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Community Empowerment

Faced with the threat of losing their traditional lands thanks to logging, dams, and industrial agriculture, cooperation between the various Indigenous groups of the Upper Baram has become more important than ever before. By being better informed about their rights and possible actions, Indigenous inhabitants are fortified in their struggle against the dams and in defense of their land. Indigenous peoples ought to be able to play an active part in drawing attention to their interests.

Together, our partners have trained dozens of indigenous activists in community mapping, enabling communities to map areas of ancestral land claims and win legal cases and negotiations. We have supported paralegal education and mobile legal aid clinics that have helped over 200 longhouse communities hold off destructive logging and industrial plantations. We have facilitated hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct community grants for infrastructure projects, education, forest restoration, and other village-led initiatives. 

We also facilitate workshops, awareness exercises, and capacity-building training to strengthen the rights of the Baram Indigenous communities as inscribed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). These initiatives include introduction and the implementation of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) rights, the designing of relevant Community Protocols, and Community Mapping, done with the objective of strengthening IPs' capacity to effectively advocate for their rights and welfare. 

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