Urgent action is needed to halt the takeover of indigenous peoples’ lands for megaprojects in forested provinces like Kalimantan and Papua in Indonesia. The destruction of forests and rivers is undermining local indigenous livelihoods, and destroying ancestral lands. Between 40 and 70 million people in rural Indonesia depend on access to lands and resources, including water for drinking and sanitation, protected by customary laws.
The Maninjau Resolution
28th January 2016
Wilmar’s broken promises: we want action not just pledges
The world’s largest palm oil trading company, Wilmar International Ltd. (F34.SI / WLIL.SI), promised ‘Zero Exploitation’ throughout its supply chain alongside its commitment to ‘Zero Deforestation’. As human rights workers and NGOs that support the rights of the indigenous peoples and local communities in Indonesia and internationally, we NGOs who assembled here near Lake Maninjau in West Sumatra on 26-28 January 2016, declare the following.
In response to an appeal submitted by the Indonesian Indigenous Peoples Alliance (AMAN) and Forest Peoples Programme under its urgent action procedure, the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on the Indonesian government to reconsider its plans to allow a private sugar company to take over half of the Aru Islands as a plantation.
In an article published in the Jakarta Post, senior officials of the Indonesian REDD+ Agency (the government body charged with reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) argue that recognising the collective land rights of forest peoples is key to curbing climate change and promoting sustainable use of natural resources.
Aware of the historical value of documentation, the Pancur Kasih Empowerment Movement (GPPK) records the experience of its 30-year work to serve as learning for present and future generations of GPPK, as well as activists and organisations of indigenous peoples elsewhere.
- Milestones in GPPK Work in Response to Problems of Dayak Community (1981-2011)
Indonesia’s forest and peatland fires have flared up again this season, sending smoke and haze from the island of Sumatra north across the Malacca Strait to Malaysia. The fires are now an annual consequence of the mismanagement of Indonesia’s forests. With the removal of a single word from the country’s constitution, however, that may change for the better.
By Abdon Nababan and Betanio Chiquidama
Source: The Jakarta Post
Though one of us lives in Central America and the other in Indonesia — nearly half the Earth’s circumference away from each other — we have the same urgent message for the decision makers who are gathered in Indonesia this week to discuss how best to slow climate change.
In an important statement to an international meeting of some of the world's largest buyers of Indonesia's palm oil and paper-pulp, Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, announced new steps to curb deforestation.
In what may well prove to be a historic judgment for Indonesia's indigenous peoples, the Constitutional Court in Jakarta ruled today that the customary forests of indigenous peoples should not be classed as falling in 'State Forest Areas', paving the way for a wider recognition of indigenous peoples' rights in the archipelago. The judgment was made in response to a petition filed with the court by the national indigenous peoples' organisation AMAN (Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara) some 14 months ago. AMAN had objected to the way the 1999 Forestry Act treats indigenous peoples' 'customary forests' as providing only weak use-rights within State Forest Areas. The judgment now opens the way for a major reallocation of forests back to the indigenous peoples who have long occupied them and looked after them. The Government's own statistics revealed last year that there are some 32,000 villages whose lands overlap areas classed as 'State Forest Areas'.
Following high profile cases of police violence and killings of rural people protesting land grabs, a new alliance of rural people - indigenous peoples, farmers, workers and landless people as well as supportive NGOs - is demanding the repeal of laws which allow the State to expropriate people's lands and resources in favour or large businesses. They are also demanding the passing of new laws that secure the people's rights in land and ensure ecological justice, through agrarian reforms and the recognition of indigenous peoples' rights.
Working closely with partners in Indonesia, Forest Peoples Programme helped convene a global meeting of The Forests Dialogue about how to make sure that the right to ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)’ is respected in Indonesia. The four day field dialogue held in Riau Province on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, in October 2010, brought together over 80 participants from a great variety of backgrounds including indigenous peoples, representatives of local communities, non-governmental organisations, international financial institutions, government agencies and the private sector. The meeting was the first in a planned series of field dialogues which have the main aim of exploring how in practice government agencies, commercial enterprises and non-government organizations should respect the right of indigenous peoples and local communities to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent, as expressed through their own freely chosen representative organisations, to activities that may affect their rights.
There are growing concerns about the poor consultation and engagement of indigenous peoples in discussions on major forest and climate initiatives and the potential risks for their rights. This March, indigenous people were excluded from a meeting in Paris to launch a French-Norwegian initiative on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation - Plus); concerns have been voiced by Guyanese indigenous peoples with reference to the ongoing REDD+-Low Carbon Development (LCD) strategy process in their country; and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) has been elaborating on their Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) framework without clarifying how World Bank safeguards will be implemented.
In response to an urgent action request from Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), Sawit Watch, FPP and others, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has urged Indonesia to guarantee effective protection of indigenous peoples' rights while implementing reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
Expansion of biofuels plantations and plans to market forest carbon fail to respect indigenous peoples' rightsPress release issued by AMAN, Sawit Watch and Forest Peoples Programme(See UN's Urgent Action letter)
Press Release: Regional consultation on the draft SPS results in refusal by civil society to engage with the draft as it currently stands. Protesting organisations include AMAN, the National Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago