Archive for February, 2012

21st International Seaweed Symposium

The 21 International Seaweed Symposium will be held April 21-26, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. The symposium is hosted by the Indonesian National Organizing Committee comprised of leading scientists and business people from private, academic and public sector organization engaged in Indonesian seaweed science and utilization. This is the first International Seaweed Symposium to be held in Indonesia and the second to be held in the Coral Triangle the 16th International Seaweed Symposium was held in Cebu, the Philippines, in 1998.

The island province of Bali was the first place where extensive commercial seaweed farming began in Indonesia about thirty years ago. Active seaweed farming still takes place minutes away from the 21 International Seaweed Symposium venue and on islands that are an easy day trip away. Bali is also a convenient point from which to travel to seaweed habitats and farm areas throughout Indonesia.

Accommodation with a range of room prices is available in the vicinity of the 21 International Seaweed Symposium venue so that even students will not find their budgets stretched. Details will be provided in the Second Circular and on our upcoming website.

Ngurah Rai airport is the international airport of Bali and it is located about half an hour away from the International Seaweed Symposium venue. The international three letter code of the airport is DPS, for Denpasar, which is the capital city of the province of Bali.

via Date and Venue :: XXI International Seaweed Symposium.


Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and Community Health: Strengthening the Linkages

Adopted From: UNU-IAS

Newman and Cragg 2007 demonstrated, through their review of pharmaceutical products developed over 25 years, that about 70 per cent of these products are still based on natural product development, with limited success from experiments with synthetic molecules. This comes as no surprise as ecosystems and resources within constantly adapt to stressors resulting in a continual evolution in their chemical constitutions. While the relevance of biodiversity to mainstream health may be more obvious given the more commercial nature of the products, their relevance to deliver health to people in insufficiently connected and economically disadvantaged regions of the world can be considered to be much more profound. Whereas on the one hand these regions are rich in resources such as medicinal or nutritional and related knowledge they are marked also by lack of sufficient public health care infrastructure and personnel.

The use of biological resources for health care has been developed in different cultures in different ecosystems based on available resources and the perceptual and intellectual acuity of people living therein. Commonly referred to as traditional medicine, it is practiced both non-formally as local healing traditions by traditional healers /shamans, and formally through recognized medical systems distinct from the western system of medicine—for example, Ayurveda, Chinese medical system, Siddha, Unani, etc. Despite the differences in approaches in these diverse medical systems, it can be pointed out that they share a common philosophy to health and healing, defined by their focus on “non-material” or “non-physical” dimensions, and a comprehensive approach to health, keeping in mind physical, mental, social and ecological factors of well-being. Health in this approach largely pertains to not just physical healing, but it also involves a mosaic of practices and resources that relate to mind-body-nature balance, nutrition, lifestyle practices and livelihoods.

Federal Court allows Tongod villagers’ application of leave to appeal

via New Sabah Times, 26th July, 2011

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Court allowed the application from five natives for leave to appeal against a Court of Appeal’s decision which affirmed a High Court ruling to dismiss their suit relating to their Native Customary Rights (NCR) claim over land in Tongod, Kinabatangan.

Yesterday, the courtroom was packed with over 100 villagers eagerly waiting for the court to deliver its decision after hearing arguments from all parties.

The decision was pronounced by a three-man panel comprising Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria, Federal Court Judge Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen in respect of four questions of law.

First is on whether the High Court has the originating jurisdiction or jurisdiction to determine Native Customary Rights under common law and/or the constitutional provisions of Federal Constitution under Articles 4, 5, 8, 13, 153 and 161A (5).

Secondly, whether Sections 14, 15, and 41 of the Sabah Land Ordinance 1930 exclude the jurisdiction of the High Court to determine claims of Native Customary Rights under common law and/or under the said Articles.

The third question is on whether the relevant provisions of the Land Ordinance 1930 preclude the jurisdiction of the High Court to grant declaratory relief with respect to Native Customary Rights under common law and/or under the constitutional protection provided under the said Articles.

Finally, on whether the Assistant Collector of Land Revenue (ACLR) has the jurisdiction under Sections 14 and 15 of the Sabah Land Ordinance to determine Native Customary Rights over alienated titled country land.

Apart from that, the court also allowed the plaintiffs’ application to stay the decision of the Court of Appeal which ordered the ACLR to conduct a public inquiry to determine the plaintiffs’ NCR claim under the Sabah Land Ordinance.

The leave to appeal was brought by Darinsok Pangiran Apan, 83, Kayah Unto, 44, Wilster Lewrince, 49, Jaafar Dorong, 51, and Jaimon Darinsok, 44.

They are suing on behalf of themselves and all other proprietors, occupiers, holders and claimants of NCR land at Kampung Maliau, Kampung Minusoh, Kampung Liupampang, Kampung Namukon, Kampung Mananam, Kampung Napagang, and Kampung Lanung in the Kinabatangan district (collectively referred as “Tongod region”).

The plaintiffs were represented by counsels Datuk Kong Hong Ming and Mary Lee Chung Ching and named Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd as first defendant, Asiatic Development Bhd as second defendant as well as Tanjung Bahagia Sdn Bhd, Director of the Department of Lands and Surveys Sabah and the government of the state of Sabah as third, fourth and fifth defendants respectively.

Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd was defended by Counsel Datuk Simon Shim while counsel Michael Denis Tan represented the second and third defendants and State counsel Julita Gumpil represented the fourth and fifth defendants.

Earlier, Kong and Mary told the court that the seven criteria in Section 15 of the Sabah Land Ordinance were very narrow and had limited scope.

They submitted that the plaintiffs’ claim is based on the common law of NCR which extend beyond the seven criteria and that the claim is founded on the protection provided under the Federal Constitution in respect of fundamental liberty of the native people as well as the duty of the government to safeguard the welfare of natives in Sabah.

They further submitted that the common law of native title and constitutional protection are outside the jurisdiction of the ACLR.

Kong said the plaintiffs were seeking the court’s assistance to determine their NCR because the land in question is no longer state land.

Meanwhile in rebutting the submission, Simon told the court that the Sabah Land Ordinance excludes the originating jurisdiction of the High Court to determine NCR because according to the Land Ordinance, only the ACLR is empowered to determine NCR.

Based on the sequence of events, on Oct 11, 2002, the plaintiffs commenced a writ action at the High Court claiming NCR over their ancestral land on the basis of common law as well as protection under the Federal Constitution and under statutory laws including the Sabah Land Ordinance.

On Nov 30, 2002, the plaintiffs applied for an injunction under Order 29 Rule 1 of the Rules of the High Court 1980 with certificates of urgency.

On March 18, 2004, the first, second and third defendants raised preliminary objection on jurisdiction at the commencement of hearing of the plaintiffs’ application for injunction under the said Order.

On June 20, 2008, the High Court Judicial Commission upheld the preliminary objection raised by the defendants that the High Court had no originating jurisdiction to hear NCR claimed by the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs then appealed against the High Court decision and on June 9, this year the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Judicial Commissioner and decided that the High Court had no originating jurisdiction to hear the plaintiffs’ claim on NCR.

It further made a consequential order directing that the Collector (ACLR) should conduct a public enquiry to hear the plaintiffs’ claim on NCR within 60 days from the court’s decision.

Earth System Governance Conference, Tokyo

Earth System Governance Tokyo Conference, to be held 28-31 January 2013 at the United Nations University Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. This event is part of the global conference series organized by the Earth System Governance Project, a ten-year research programme under the auspices of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change IHDP.

This conference will be the fourth in a global series organized by the Earth System Governance Project. The Earth System Governance Tokyo Conference will be jointly hosted by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies UNU-IAS, the International Environmental Governance Architecture Research Group and the Tokyo Institute of Technology on behalf of the Earth System Governance Project.

Key Date:

  1. Deadline for paper abstracts: 1 July 2012
  2. Notification of acceptance: 1 September 2012
  3. Full papers due: 1 December 2012
  4. Conference date: 28-31 January 2013

Details at:  Earth System Governance.

Govt loses appeal on NCR land cases

February 16, 2012 VIA: Joseph Tawie

The Court of Appeal in Kuching has held that judicial reviews were not a suitable method in dealing with native customary rights.

KUCHING: The Court of Appeal in Kuching has decided that native customary rights (NCR) land owners are entitled to file their claims in the civil court by way of Writ of Summons.

It also advised judges to be ‘slow’ to close the door on those claiming such rights, which are proprietary rights enshrined and protected under the Federal Constitution.

In a landmark decision, the court presided by justices Sulaiman Daud, Haji Mohamed Apandi Ali and Wira Mohtarudin Baki, yesterday unanimously dismissed the state government’s appeal against a decision favouring native landowners here.

The Court of Appeal was posed with the legal issue of whether it was proper for the natives to seek a declaration of their NCR over provisional leases and timber licences granted by the Superintendent of Land and Survey and the state government of Sarawak by way of an ordinary Writ of Summons or whether they should have apply for a judicial review.

The state had submitted that NCR claims must be filed by way of judicial review as these involved elements of public law and the challenging of public authorities exercising their power under the laws of Sarawak in issuing such provisional leases and timber licences.

‘No’ to judicial review

It was argued on behalf of the natives that NCR claims involved issues of law and of facts and therefore their claims against the state must be filed by ordinary writ, which allows oral evidences to be adduced at the proper trial.

“The decision by the learned Court of Appeal judges comes as a great relief to many NCR landowners as there had been an increase in interlocutory applications by timber and palm oil companies lately, to strike out NCR claims based solely on the grounds that their claims should have been filed by way of judicial review.

“This of course was intended to oust the natives’ claims from reaching the courts should judicial review be the proper mode of commencing their claims.

“A judicial review requires that such claims must be filed within 40 days of the date of issuing the lease or timber licence,” said Baru Bian, who appeared on behalf of the landowners.

“This would in most cases be impossible as the issuance of provisional leases and timber licences are normally done ‘behind the back’ of the natives, ” he said.

Bian added that the interlocutory applications by the companies and the State Attorney General have substantially delayed many trials to date.

“This latest decision by the Court of Appeal is a sign that the court is indeed pragmatic and just in dealing with NCR claims, understanding as they have demonstrated, the predicament in which many natives of Sarawak find themselves when faced with such intrusion of their NCR lands by lessees and timber companies,” said Bian who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.

The court ordered costs of RM10,000-00 each against the three appellants. There are more than 200 NCR land cases waiting to be heard in the High Court.

Suhakam Wants Open Investigation Into House Burning Case

This is an open investigation initiated by SUHAKAM in 2006 concerning state-society relations. In this case state agency acted to burn more than 80 houses alleged to have been build inside the newly identified forests reserves.  Questions remain, who gave the order, what were the real motives behind, etc. The document is found here:

This was reported by Bernama, the official national (state) news agency:

KOTA MARUDU, May 16 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has proposed an open investigation into the house burning case in Kampung Kaiboton 1, Beluran, soonest possible.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk Siva Subramaniam said the investigation was  important because burning of the villagers’ houses was an inhumane and uncivilised act.

“The responsible persons should have sought peaceful means to solve their problems, especially since the house owners were poor people,” he said to Bernama after visiting the village involved which was said to be in the Paitan forest reserve.

He was accompanied by Suhakam deputy chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.

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Siva said the burning of houses belonging to citizens had not happened in democratic countries and he regarded the case as very serious.

“Even foreign migrants would be notified if their squatter homes were to be demolished.

“The residents of Kampung Kaiboton 1, Beluran, Sabah, will never forget the Oct 3 incident last year where 20 of their houses were burned, believed to be by the staff of the Sabah Forestry Department,” he added.


Indigenous Around the World – February 2012

Bu: Karl Newbury

I hope that this image travels the world . . .”While newspapers and television talk about the lives of celebrities, the chief of the Kayapo tribe received the worst news of his life:Dilma, “The new president of Brazil, has given approval to build a huge hydroelectric plant the third largest in the world. It is the death sentence for all the people near the river because the dam will flood 400,000 hectares of forest. More than 40,000 Indians will have to find another place to live.

The natural habitat destruction, deforestation and the disappearance of many species is a fact.”What moves me in my very bowels , making me ashamed of being part of Western culture, is the reaction of the chief of the Kayapo community when he learned of the decision—his gesture of dignity and helplessness before the advance of capitalist progress, modern predatory civilization that does not respect the differences . . .But we know that a picture is worth a thousand words, showing the reality of the true price of our bourgeois “quality of life”.

14-02-2012 To All,Thank you so much for your support and concern!

I posted this picture and article as it touched me deeply, as it has so many of you. I put it on Frontier Bushcraft’s webpage as I thought this would be the only place where most people would care. I never expected so much response from people all over the world, proving to me that there is hope for the human race after all! I have since read articles stating that reason the Chief was crying is not as I previously stated, regardless of this reason the issues at hand are still true and this picture has created a lot of awareness to these issues worldwide!

I am receiving updates from the Amazon watch website confirming that our comments and shares are creating quite a stir over there!I am just a regular guy no different to the rest of you and until now have never been actively involved in anything like this before, after seeing and reading all your responses I have since signed the petition below and will continue to do all I can for these people! Now the rest of you just have to act upon your new found awareness to these issues.

Please sign the petition below and join their newsletter to receive regular updates.

Also please check out Frontier Bushcraft webpage link below where I have posted this article, it is a great source of information for people looking to learn about what it takes to survive and live like the Kayapo do. Paul Kirtley the owner has kept my picture and article on his page even after the whole world started to comment and basically take over his webpage.

Sincerely: Karl Newbury

via Karl Newbury