Target: Miskito community
Goal: Congratulate Miskito people for winning back their traditional lands
The granting of one million hectares (3,860 square miles) of land to the Miskito people comes as a great triumph to the community. The Honduran government has finally recognized the rights of a treaty signed in 1850 and in doing so, the indigenous community will help save the environment.
The initiative is meant to save the forests, which have been slowly deteriorating as the world vies for resources. With the Honduras government granting the Miskito people over 7 percent of their land, they are entrusting that this community will do all it can to save the forests. By granting the Miskito this land, the government is also recognizing the rights of one of the most neglected people in the hemipshere’s poorest countries. Indeed, it has been a long time coming, as the treaty signed over by the British people stated that the rights of Miskito people “shall not be disturbed in the possession of any lands or other property which they may hold or occupy.” Unfortunately it was not the law, but isolation that kept them protected.
For the past 40 years, the Miskito people have urged the government to protect them as ranches, drug dealers, and palm oil growers rushed into the area. There is also the danger of illegal hunting and lodging that they people are also trying to combat. They’ve organized the press and asked them to bring attention to their long forgotten rights, which has ended successfully as the people won seven titles to the land. The Miskito people also intend to participate in treaties provided by the United Nations. The program pays the country by keeping their forests standing to lower carbon emissions. Over 40 percent of the country is covered with forests, but deforestation is quickly lowering that percentage. Indigenous communities like the Miskito have long standing success in ensuring that these forests survive and thrive. They can ensure that endangered species such as the jaguar, Baird’s tapir, the giant anteater, and the howling monkey still have a place to call home.
Sign the petition and congratulate the Miskito people for finally obtaining the rights to their land.
Dear Miskito community,
I am writing this letter to congratulate you on winning back your people’s traditional lands. I realize that you’ve been fighting for several decades over the rights to this land, granted to you by the British people. I also understand that it has been 150 years since the Honduras government has acknowledged such rights. The government has wronged you gravely by denying you such land, however I hope that you still cherish the environment. The planet needs people who are willing to look after the rainforest and ensure that it doesn’t get cut down. The animals need homes and indigenous groups such as yours ensure that their habitats won’t go away.
I hope that winning the titles to these lands will ensure that ranchers, poaches and other illegal activities won’t find themselves in your territory. I also hope that you will ensure that these rain forests thrive for many years to come. I understand that you wish to participate in the REDD program that the United Nations provides, and I commend you for this action. Again, a massive congratulations for your efforts in maintaining and obtaining the lands of your people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dennis Garcia via Wikimedia Commons