Participatory Mapping for Indigenous Rights

Gregor MacLennan
October 12, 2013

In August I was priviledged to be invited to the global indigenous mapping conference in Samosir, North Sumatra represent Digital Democracy. Indigenous peoples from around the world spoke passionately about their struggle to defend their ancestral lands from ever encroaching deforestation, contamination and colonization, and the importance of mapping and digital tools for supporting that struggle.

"Mapping not only empowers indigenous communities with evidence that they canuse to assert their land rights, it also provides communities with the abilityto catalog the natural resources sheltered in their territories"Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, head of Tebtebba

Read more about the conference in this blog post by Giacomo Rambaldi from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, Philippines.

The participants highlighted the importance that the technology for mapping and monitoring is accessible to indigenous peoples and that the information is controlled by them.

Over the coming months we will be releasing new tools that we hope will make mapping, GIS and environmental monitoring more accessible to indigenous peoples in remote areas. Follow our ongoing work with indigenous people in Chiapas, Peru and Guyana.

(The photo is of @minassetra with the proud people of Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, who are struggling to save the last of their forests from destruction for paper pulp. Find out more here)

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Gregor MacLennan
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