Remembering Darrell Posey: Traditional Resource Rights Today

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Darrell Posey with Kayapo children in the late 1970s (Courtesy: University of Oxford)

On 21 May in Montpellier, France, Holly Shrumm and Harry Jonas (Natural Justice) hosted a session at the 13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology entitled “Remembering Darrell Posey: Traditional Resource Rights Today”. Posey helped organize the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territory, Environment and Development in parallel to the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, making the 20th anniversary of that meeting an opportune moment to reconsider the issues. Posey then went on to develop traditional resource rights, which he described as an integrated rights concept that recognizes the “inextricable link between cultural and biological diversity and sees no contradiction between the human rights of Indigenous and local communities, including the right to development and environmental conservation”.

Part I of the session included the following speakers: Alejandro Argumedo (Asociación ANDES and Co-chair of the ISE Global Coalition on Biocultural Diversity), Juliana Ferraz da Rocha Santilli (Ministério Público do Distrito Federal), Vincenzo Lauriola (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisa da Amazonia), and Ana Luiza Assis (Federal University of Catarina Brazil). During the first session, the following people also spoke about Darrell Posey: David Stephenson (ISE President), Maui Solomon (Hokotehi Moriori Trust, New Zealand), Christine Kabuye (Makerere University, Uganda), and Kelly Bannister (University of Victoria, Canada).

Part II of the session brought together the presenters and a number of Darrell Posey Fellows to discuss the paradox presented by the contrast between the range of international and national instruments that on the one hand support Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights to govern their lands and natural resources, and the continued denial of these rights at the local level on the other. The Fellows included: Cheatlom Ang (Cambodia), Amay Mantangkilan Cumatang (Agtulawan, Philippines), Joaquin Carrizosa (Colombia), Daniel Salau Rogei (Maasai, Kenya), Leigh Joseph (Salish Nation, Canada), Gabrielle Legault (Métis, Canada), and Johannes Henricus de Beer (Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme). Thanks to all of the presenters, the Darrell Posey Fellows, Darrell’s friends, and Mary Stockdale, Co-Chair of the Darrell Posey Fellowship, for their contributions to the session, and to the Shuttleworth Foundation for their support to attend the Congress.

22 May 2012

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