The right of indigenous people to land and self-determination is etched in international law and parallel to the preservation of our ecological frontiers that help mitigate the impacts of climate change. They are defending their ancestral lands and, ultimately, their lives. What they nurture, we all benefit from. Their loss is our loss.
The indigenous Lumad from the island of Mindanao in the Philippines face an alarming increase in violence in their communities from the very government that should be protecting them: indigenous schools are being closed, their leaders being killed, and thousands of their people being forced to evacuate from their ancestral lands.
The Lumad decry the impunity in Mindanao and the encroachment of large-scale miners and other extractive corporations that stand to benefit from it. The land grabs are led by local and global mining giants such as Benguet Corp., Philex, Nickel Asia, Glencore, Sumitomo, Toronto Ventures, Red 5 Limited, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, and BHP Billiton.
The plight of the Lumad is a worldwide phenomenon rooted in the same global economic system that breeds violence, exploitation, pollution, and climate disruption. From the Asheninka in the Peruvian Amazon to the Batin Sembilan in Indonesia, indigenous communities that have opposed extractive and fossil fuel corporations are being met with repression and plunder.
On October 26, a 1,500-kilometer protest caravan led by over 700 Lumad will arrive in Manila to resist the abuses they face, and demand their right to life, land, and justice from the administration of President Noynoy Aquino. Their struggle is our struggle. Together, let us stand with the Lumad!
Learn and share more information on why we should join the call to #StopLumadKillings:
“ALCADEV, the Little Lumad School That Could, stands not only on fertile soil, but on highly mineralized land as well…As of 2012, nine (9) coal operating contracts cover 58,000 hectares of lands in the region.”
– Leon Dulce, Campaign Coordinator, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
“Environmental and land defenders are often on the frontlines of efforts to address the climate crisis and are critical to success. Unless governments do more to protect these activists, any words agreed in Paris will ultimately ring hollow.”
– Global Witness
“Military occupation of civilian institutions and killing of civilians, particularly in places such as schools which should remain safe havens for children from this type of violence, are unacceptable, deplorable and contrary to international human rights and international humanitarian standards.”
– Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and Michel Forst, United Nations Special Rapporteurs