1st International Conference

15th of February, 1992, in Penang, Malaysia

Resolution of the 1st Conference of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples
of the Tropical Forests

  • That in this conference we have proved that the problems of indigenous and tribal peoples are similar in Africa, Asia and the Americas; that the same ecocide and ethnocide carries on regardless; and that those responsible are united and coordinated at the international policy-making level regarding both natural resources and the denial of the right of self-determination of our peoples
  • That it is necessary for the representative organizations brought together here to respond to this by joining in a common struggle through unity and solidarity
  • That two important steps towards unity are the Charter of shared Principles, Goals and Demands; and that a Joint Plan of Action that we have now approved. Nonetheless both steps may be insufficient to achieve concrete results for our peoples. Therefore, in order to give life to this programme and common plan, the next step must be to establish here and now a minimum of coordination between us.



    1. To constitute the ‘International Alliance of Indigenous-Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests’, composed of the representatives of the people present here, but open to other sister organizations of the tropical forests of the world;
    2. To call our Charter ‘Charter of the Indigenous-Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests’ and to name this meeting the ‘First Conference of the International Alliance of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests’;
    3. To structure this alliance, so as to deepen our mutual understanding and solidarity, by means of joint action; and to organize ourselves in the following way:

A) The fact of establishing the Alliance reinforces the solidarity in the common objectives but does not reduce or affect the autonomy of action of each organization;

B) Responsibility for each working committee (established in 4, below) will be taken on by a representative indigenous organization, which will appoint the person responsible, who will then organize a working committee based in her/his region;

C) The working committees will correspond to the activities approved in the action plan. Each one will be the responsibility of an indigenous organization. The meeting of those responsible for these working committees will compose the ‘Coordinating Committee of the Alliance ‘;

D) That the second Conference of the Alliance will take place in an Amazonian city and within no less that 12 months/ Its organization will be the duty of the Coordinating Committee with the help of the WRM and other solidarity institutions.

4.To compose the Coordinating Committee of 5 Working Committees which will assume, in addition to those contained in the Plan of Action, the following main tasks:

(A) Committee of Organization and Campaigns:

•  Campaigns of solidarity and joint struggle in defense of the indigenous peoples, their territories and the tropical forests of the planet

•  A special campaign in defense of out brothers from Sarawak ( Asia ), Batwa ( Africa ) and Amazonia ( Americas )

•  To support the organizations of and participation at the ‘Conference of Indigenous Peoples on Territory, Environment and Development’ (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 21 – 31 May 1992)

•  Coordinate the organization of the 2 nd Conference of the Alliance

    1. (B) Committee for Dissemination and Securing Support for the Charter:

      •  International distribution and publicity

      •  Dialogue with indigenous organizations to ensure it is understood and subscribed to in relations with the international press

(C) Committee on Relations with UNCED and the UN System:

•  Promotion of the Charter and indigenous participation in the UNCED and the institutions which it gives rise to

•  Promotion of the Charter and indigenous participation in the UN Plan for 1993; the FAO; the Human Rights Commission; GATT, WIPO, etc.

(D) Committee on Relations with the Multilateral Agencies:

•  Promotion of the Declaration and of indigenous participation in agencies like the World Bank, ADB, IDB, ITTO, TFAP, IFAD etc.

(E) Committee on Relations with International Solidarity Movements:

•  Relations with environmentalists, consumer groups, indigenous rights groups, third world organizations, human rights groups, etc.; in order to achieve support for the Charter and the Plan of Action

    1. The election of the Coordinating Committee shall proceed as follows:

(A) The indigenous peoples’ organizations from the following regions shall each appoint one member to the Coordinating Committee: Amazonia , Southern Cone, Central America and the Caribbean , Africa , Continental Asia, Bahasa, Maritime Asia and Pacific

(B) The seven organizations so elected will form the Coordinating Committee and will meet immediately to share out the responsibilities entrusted to 5 Working Committees mentioned in Paragraph 4 and will announce the names of those persons who will provisionally take on these tasks, until ratification by the base organizations

6.The above was approved and the seven organizations then met and took on the following responsibilities:



Responsibility for Working Committee


Coordinating body for the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin


Southern Cone

Mocovi Centre Ialek Lav’a’


Central America and Caribbean

Sejekto Cultural Association



Association for Promotion of Batwa


Continental Asia

Naga Peoples´ Movement for Human Rights



Sahabat Alam Malaysia ( Sarawak )


Maritime Asia

KAMP – National Conferderation of Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines