Indigenous peoples around the world value land rights and land based resources. They form the basis of their cultural, spiritual, and social identity and are vital sources of income and livelihood.

The key challenges facing indigenous peoples today are attempts by governments and multinational corporations to acquire large track of land on indigenous territories without their consents in the name of “development.” In recent years, he lowland Ethiopian territories have attracted the attention of multinational corporations for agricultural investment, mining exploration, and hydroelectric dams threatening indigenous peoples’ livelihoods, natural environment, wildlife, fish populations, and other resources vital for their survival.

In the remote Gambela region and adjacent territories in Ethiopia, thousands of hectares of land belonging to indigenous peoples have been leased out to foreign and national investors for agribusiness, mining, logging of forests, and dam construction without their prior and informed consents, knowledge, or consultation.

Indigenous peoples are forcefully evicted from their fertile ancestral lands, burial sites, and sacred places and are relocated to barren lands without adequate social and economic infrastructure to support their livelihoods, education, health, clean water, and other vital needs.

Anywaa Survival Organisation works closely with indigenous peoples affected by governments’ and multinational corporations’ efforts that deprive them of important sources of economic livelihood, degrade their environment, and threaten wildlife and other sources of food supply. We undertake research, disseminate information, and raise awareness about the impacts of large-scale development projects on indigenous peoples’ lands and territories.

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Photo: Andreea Câmpeanu/ICIJ