Victoria TAULI-CORPUZ (Board Member, 2013-present)
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Philippines, is an indigenous Igorot woman from the Cordillera region of the Philippines. She is the founder and executive director of the Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education).
As a leader in advancing indigenous rights internationally, she began her advocacy in the 1970s when the World Bank and the Marcos regime tried to build a big dam in her peoples territory. Having to go beyond her own borders to help protect her people, she became active in applying indigenous rights to key international institutions, including many multinational mining companies, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose rules invited in so many more investors for destructive natural resource extraction from indigenous lands.
She served as past president of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) from 2005 to 2010, and in 2007 helped shepherd through the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Culminating a 25 year campaign lead by indigenous peoples to pass the Declaration, Mrs Tauli-Corpuz urged International Forum on Globalization (IFG) to play a pivotal role in rallying an alliance of non-indigenous NGOs to help usher UNDRIP through in the final steps of the global push. She has since led efforts to apply UNDRIP directly to decision-making by governments, most recently in the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC)’s Cancun Agreements, which is the first time any international human rights agreement has been included in a multilateral environmental agreement. She is also the co-author of Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples Resistance to Globalization (2007) with Jerry Mander.
In 2014, Mrs Tauli-Corpuz was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to serve as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.