Indigenous women stand up for their children's rights to a better future
Indigenous women in Gabon are speaking out about the need for equality for their people and better rights protection for their children.
Since The Rainforest Foundation UK, (RFUK), began its Community Legal Fieldworkers programme in Gabon, and thanks to the commitment of their mothers, who have attended a series of focus groups and spoken out about their concerns, around 20 children have obtained birth certificates. These communities have also now begun to discuss the process of realising their basic civil rights with local authorities.
Laurence Duprat, Rights and Legal Capacity Building Programme Coordinator for RFUK said that indigenous women in Gabon have led this process from the start because they are concerned about their children’s future.
The world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea, has become the latest high-profile victim of a flawed environmental certification system, after the announcement of the suspension of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) compliance certificate.
As was reported in the Times newspaper on Sunday 23rd February, the certification was stripped from Swedwood, Ikea’s forestry subsidiary, after inspections at their logging operations in North Karelia, Russia, revealed that areas important for wildlife had been felled for timber. The company has leases to log 700,000 acres. Under the rules of its FSC certification, it is supposed to avoid damage to areas of ‘high conservation value’ forest, and to protect other valuable habitats.
[Photo: Robert Svensson]
When five-year-old Charlie Schoonover read a blurb about deforestation in his children’s encyclopaedia, he didn’t simply turn the page. He couldn’t. In fact, he refused to go to sleep that night until his mum, Jenny, had figured out a way to help the rainforests.
The Schoonover family, who are currently based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, engaged into some intensive research that night and the following morning, came across the Rainforest Foundation UK’s (RFUK) website and made a donation.
But Charlie felt he hadn’t done enough to make much of a difference and wanted to think of ways to encourage more people to raise money because “a little bit of money would come up to be a lot”.