Protimos Makes Two Commitments to Support African Legal Programs at the Clinton Global Initiative

September 24, 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Today, at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative 2009, Protimos announced two new Commitments to support the legal environment in Africa. The first to launch a regional Judicial Action Group (JAG) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the second to create the Green Light Program, an initiative aimed at safeguarding the intellectual property rights of indigenous African communities in their local biodiversity.

JAG will build the capacity of local judiciary across Sub-Saharan Africa, through practical support, empowerment, and training, to address the lack of capacity within local courts to handle issues of emerging complexity. Members will be drawn from amongst leading Commonwealth judges and former judges, primarily from Sub-Saharan Africa. The project will be managed in partnership with the International Commission of Jurists Africa Programme, and the International Lawyers Project, among others. Protimos will launch the first Judicial Action Group in the House of Lords, UK on 16th October 2009.

Protimos, along with implementation partners including Fauna and Flora International, Phytotrade Africa, and Amnesty International, also commits to the alleviation of poverty through the creation of The Green Light Program

The Green Light Program will support the development and implementation of an international, legal Protocol, through which the consent of a community will be negotiated in an equitable and mutually beneficial manner, before any use of the communities’ natural resources may occur.

“Often, community natural resources are removed, and/or commercially exploited without any consent from the community concerned” – Fiona Darroch, Executive Director, Protimos. “By excluding a community from the development process in this way, they can be deprived of access to a highly significant means of poverty alleviation.”

Protimos will pilot this commitment within selected indigenous communities, including in particular 100,000 San across Southern Africa.

Protimos is an organisation of lawyers who provide access to the legal process for indigenous and marginalised communities, in order to help prevent or rectify the exploitation of their natural resources. Protimos believes that legal empowerment can provide communities with a significant means by which to lift themselves out of poverty. For further information please visit www.protimos.org or contact Emily Wright, Protimos Development Manager, +1.347.604.3990, +44 (0) 20 7717 1573, emily.wright@protimos.org

SOURCE Protimos

Source: newswire

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