By BBN Staff: Today is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and the 10th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) is launching the Maya Lands Registry in commemoration of the day.
In 2015, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ordered the Belize government to “create an effective mechanism” to identify and protect Mayan lands in accordance with their traditional governance.
Two years later and still no mechanism exists.
“Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the court order, Crique Sarco took the matter into their own hands,” Froyla Tzalam, SATIIM Executive Director said.
Crique Sarco was the first Maya community to ask for SATIIM’s assistance to prepare for the legal mechanism specified in the CCJ ruling. SATIIM and Crique Sarco developed a Mayan model that identified traditional territorial boundaries and resolved boundary conflicts.
The maps are the initial entry in the listing of customary land usage and delineation that will be collected in the Maya Land Registry. “This is a historic moment, a big step in a long process ahead,” Tzalam said. “We celebrate that the Maya have taken the initiative to implement the CCJ order.”
SATIIM is also releasing the mini-documentary on the model developed in Crique Sarco.
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