Thursday, July 8, 2010

Small Grants Programme under the Second Decade

Applications for grants under the Small Grants Programme under the Second Decade will be accepted between 1 July 2010 and 1 October 2010

Applications for grants under the Small Grants Programme under the Second Decade will be accepted between 1 July 2010 and 1 October 2010. Applications are to be submitted to: during this time period. Applications submitted outside of this time period or to other email addresses will not be considered for funding. The proposals will be assessed by the Bureau of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in May 2011 and successful applicants will receive notice thereafter. A list of organizations awarded grants will also be posted on this website.

Please note:
- Project must have a focus on indigenous peoples
- All applicants must submit their project proposals in accordance with the Trust Fund
Project Proposal Format and include both a summary sheet and a proposal document
- Projects will be disregarded if the required information is not present.
- Additional information pertaining to the proposal will not be accepted beyond the deadline of submission (1 October 2011)

Please visit our webpage to obtain updated grant information and application


Las solicitudes para subvenciones del Programa de Pequeñas Donaciones dentro del marco del Segundo Decenio Fondo Fiduciario para el Segundo Decenio serán aceptadas entre el 1 de julio y el 1 de octubre del 2010.

Las solicitudes deben ser enviadas a: durante este plazo. Las solicitudes recibidas fuera de este plazo o enviadas a otras direcciones de email no serán consideradas. Las solicitudes serán evaluadas en mayo del 2011 y los candidatos exitosos serán notificados después de esta fecha. La lista de las organizaciones que reciban subsidios estará disponible en esta página web.

Por favor tomar en consideración:
- El proyecto debe tener un enfoque sobre pueblos indígenas
- Todos los candidatos deben someter sus propuestas de proyecto de acuerdo con
el formato de Propuesta del Proyecto y adjuntar la hoja resumen y el documento
de propuesta.
- Los proyectos que no tengan la información requerida no serán considerados.
- Información adicional relacionada con la propuesta no será aceptada una vez
vencido el plazo de presentación (1 de octubre de 2010).

Visite por favor esta página web para obtener información y materiales actualizados sobre las solicitudes:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FCC loses key ruling on Internet `neutrality'

Federal appeals court rules for Comcast and against FCC on key `net neutrality' case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission and could even hamper the government's plans to expand broadband access in the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC's authority to impose such "network neutrality" obligations on broadband providers.

Supporters of network neutrality, including the FCC chairman, have argued that the policy is necessary to prevent broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online services, such as Internet phone programs or software that runs in a Web browser. Advocates contend there is precedent: Nondiscrimination rules have traditionally applied to so-called "common carrier" networks that serve the public, from roads and highways to electrical grids and telephone lines.

But broadband providers such as Comcast, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. argue that after spending billions of dollars on their networks, they should be able to sell premium services and manage their systems to prevent certain applications from hogging capacity.

Tuesday's unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel was a setback for the FCC because it questioned the agency's authority to regulate broadband. That could cause problems beyond the FCC's effort to adopt official net neutrality regulations. It also has serious implications for the ambitious national broadband-expansion plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs the authority to regulate broadband so that it can push ahead with some of the plan's key recommendations. Among other things, the FCC proposes to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

In a statement, the FCC said it remains "firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans" and "will rest these policies ... on a solid legal foundation."
Comcast welcomed the decision, saying "our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation."

The case centers on Comcast's actions in 2007 when it interfered with an online file-sharing service called BitTorrent, which lets people swap movies and other big files over the Internet. The next year the FCC banned Comcast from blocking subscribers from using BitTorrent. The commission, at the time headed by Republican Kevin Martin, based its order on a set of net neutrality principles it had adopted in 2005.

But Comcast argued that the FCC order was illegal because the agency was seeking to enforce mere policy principles, which don't have the force of regulations or law. That's one reason that Martin's successor, Democratic FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, is trying to formalize those rules.

The cable company had also argued the FCC lacks authority to mandate net neutrality because it had deregulated broadband under the Bush administration, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2005.

The FCC now defines broadband as a lightly regulated information service. That means it is not subject to the "common carrier" obligations that make traditional telecommunications services share their networks with competitors and treat all traffic equally. But the FCC maintains that existing law gives it authority to set rules for information services.

Tuesday's court decision rejected that reasoning, concluding that Congress has not given the FCC "untrammeled freedom" to regulate without explicit legal authority.
With so much at stake, the FCC now has several options. It could ask Congress to give it explicit authority to regulate broadband. Or it could appeal Tuesday's decision.

But both of those steps could take too long because the agency "has too many important things they have to do right away," said Ben Scott, policy director for the public interest group Free Press. Free Press was among the groups that alerted the FCC after The Associated Press ran tests and reported that Comcast was interfering with attempts by some subscribers to share files online.

Scott believes that the likeliest step by the FCC is that it will simply reclassify broadband as a more heavily regulated telecommunications service. That, ironically, could be the worst-case outcome from the perspective of the phone and cable companies.

"Comcast swung an ax at the FCC to protest the BitTorrent order," Scott said. "And they sliced right through the FCC's arm and plunged the ax into their own back."

The battle over the FCC's legal jurisdiction comes amid a larger policy dispute over the merits of net neutrality. Backed by Internet companies such as Google Inc. and the online calling service Skype, the FCC says rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from prioritizing some traffic or degrading or services that compete with their core businesses. Indeed, BitTorrent can be used to transfer large files such as online video, which could threaten Comcast's cable TV business.

But broadband providers point to the fact that applications such as BitTorrent use an outsized amount of network capacity.

For its part, the FCC offered no details on its next step, but stressed that it remains committed to the principle of net neutrality.

"Today's court decision invalidated the prior commission's approach to preserving an open Internet," the agency's statement said. "But the court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end."

Author: Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer
Source: Associated Press

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Land rights for indigenous peoples via the web

The issue of land ownership in Bolivia is a long-standing source of conflict and division. Over the past few years however, the situation has been changing for the better largely because of the determination of the indigenous peoples themselves who have enlisted the latest technology to help them overcome the bureaucratic obstacles that have prevented land transfers from taking place.

By 2001 after 11 years of land titling in Bolivia's lowlands, only one percent of land claims by indigenous peoples had been settled. Eliana Rioja, responsible for the communications programme of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB) explains: "The slow progress in land titling we attributed to the reluctance of the agrarian reform institute (INRA) officials to move claims forward. They kept on coming up with confusing information or requesting technical information that was already available. Basically most of them were close to the large landowning interests." The CIDOB decided to take action to accelerate this process.

In 2001 CIDOB launched its internet land titling project, which consisted of building up a database of all land claims, systematically updating their progress, and setting out clearly the procedures for settlement.

Community leaders were taught to use computers, navigate the Internet and then understand the databases created to assist land claims. Now, dozens of blogs and community activities, accessible through the CIDOB webpage, are run mainly by indigenous women.

The result of this technical revolution in the indigenous communities has been a huge increase in the number of successful land claims. Since the community 'logged on' in 2001 half of the claims have been settled. The indigenous peoples of the lowlands now have ownership of 10 million hectares of land.

CIDOB has trained 250 communications volunteers throughout the Bolivian lowlands, an area which covers 34 different indigenous groups, most of them with their own languages. These communities live from farming, fishing and hunting. Some of these peoples live in remote lands that are only accessible on foot or by river.

CIDOB is giving a great push also to other areas of communication. More than 300 videos were produced and the film "El grito de la selva" ("The shout of the forest"), which has an archive of some 100 radio interviews and thousands of photographs, won an international prize in 2008.

The UN human rights office in Bolivia recently shared this story in a workshop held in Santa Cruz, Bolivia's largest city. The Office presented information about the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Bolivia Office expects the information to reach hundreds of indigenous communities, including those in the lowlands, so that they can take more action for their rights.

Source: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Monday, February 1, 2010

Comment Deadline: 05 Feb. WSIS Questionnaire

In order to fully engage all WSIS Stakeholders in the preparatory process for the upcoming WSIS Forum 2010, scheduled to be held from 10 to 14 May 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, the organizing agencies, i.e. ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP are organizing an open consultation on thematic focus of the Forum.

In this context all WSIS Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their official contribution by completing this questionnaire and submitting it by 5 February 2010, via e-mail to or using the electronic form available at WSIS Forum 2010 website You are also welcome to visit the platform and participate in the ongoing discussions on the topic. Please note that all contributions will be reflected during the final review meeting, to be held on 10 February 2010 in ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. In case of queries, please do not hesitate to contact the WSIS Team by e-mail to or by phone (+41 22 730 60 65).

To download invitation letter, please click here -->
To download questionnaire, please click here -->