Center for Human Ecology Study of Highlands CHESH – Viet Nam

Linked to our presentation of Tran Thi Lanh on December 26, 2005.

Center for Human Ecology Study of Highlands (CHESH), Viet Nam, linked to our presentation of Tram Thi Lanh, December 26, 2005.

Read here the Report of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations on its eighteenth session.

TWN / Third World Network writes: Ms Tran Thi Lanh, director of the Vietnam-based ‘Towards Ethnic Women’ (TEW) and the ‘Centre for Human Ecological Study of Highlands’ (CHESH), argued that ADB’s development policies are incompatible with indigenous peoples’ aspirations, which are based on a holistic relationship between human beings and their natural resources. But the ADB had ignored such concerns, she said. In an interview with Watershed she explained:

“We became aware of a (ADB) project called the ‘Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management in the Remote Watersheds of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)’ and attended a meeting in Vientiane hosted by the ADB… At the meeting, it became clear that the ADB has adopted an approach to development that is fundamentally different from the approach of TEW/CHESH.”

Firstly, Ms Tran commented on the undemocratic structure of the bank’s project, “…no local representatives of ethnic minority people were present at the meeting. There was noone from a district or community level there to express their needs and voice their experiences.”

Secondly, she criticized the incompetence of project designers. “The organizers, who were responsible for the project lacked both knowledge and understanding of indigenous people’s reality in the Mekong Region,” she said. “They ignored indigenous values: values about nature and human values of culture and community. This was clear in the project documents, their comments at the meeting and the way the meeting was contolled.”

Finally, she pointed out the ADB’s neglect of indigenous peoples’ traditional social systems and cultures. “The project documents were focused on how to introduce new methodologies of marketing cash crops and developing cash economies throughout the GMS, with no criteria or indicators to assess what exactly would happen as a result in the future regarding social impacts, indigenous people’s values or identity, indigenous social institutions, traditional community structures, etc. We did not see any analysis about these indigenous issues and their relationship with the development being proposed. Judging from the way the conference was organized and the documents, we consider that long-term outcomes will be worse for humans and for natural diversity in the Mekong Region as a result of this project.” Read the rest about this event on Third World Network.

Throuhg CHESH, four projects are realised in Viet Nam by ICCO (NL):

Civil Society Ontwikkeling in Vietnam Centre for Human Ecology Studies of Highland:

Afgelopen periode zijn ICCO en een aantal van haar partners in Vietnam door een moeilijke periode gegaan. De pijlen van de veiligheidsdienst richten zich momenteel m.n. op de organisatie TEW en speciaal op de directrice van deze organisatie. (Read the rest, in Netherlandse, on ICCO);

Pilot Customary Law Centre for Human Ecology Studies of Highland: Afgelopen jaren hebben zich onder Centre for Human Ecology Studies of Highland (CHESH) verschillende _ethnische minderheden sleutel-boeren netwerken’ ontwikkeld. Vooral afgelopen jaar hebben een aantal van deze netwerken zich goed ontwikkeld. Read the rest on ICCO;

Capacity Building for Poverty Alleviation Centre for Human Ecology Studies of Highland: In September 2002 heeft een Vietnamese delegatie Nederland bezocht. De delegatieleden zijn belangrijke actoren binnen de Vietnamese samenleving waar het gaat om het verder ontwikkelen en invullen van het begrip civil society. Read the rest on ICCO;

Case study Son Kim Centre for Human Ecology Studies of Highland. De organisatie CHESH is een Vietnamese organisatie die is opgericht om de capaciteiten en het zelfvertrouwen van etnische minderheden in berggebieden te verbeteren. Read the rest on ICCO.

CHESH as a NGO beeing not in Consultative Status with ECOSOC has been accredited to participate at the UN organized World Conferences Against Racism.

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