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 national indigenous peoples’ alliance in Indonesia, the Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) and the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) have submitted a critical update to the UN Human Council’s Universal Periodic Review as the HRC prepares to review the human rights situation in Indonesia. Important threats to the security of indigenous peoples in the country are highlighted, as are recent legal changes in the country.
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 order to avoid imminent and irreparable harm, the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), the national indigenous peoples’ organization of Indonesia, and Forest Peoples Programme respectfully request that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) considers the situation of the Aru indigenous peoples of the Aru Islands District, Moluccas Province, under the its early warning and urgent action procedure.
7th July 2015: In a recent meeting with the national indigenous peoples’ alliance (AMAN), the Indonesian President vowed to support the Bill on the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, which has languished in the legislature for several years. He also committed to setting up a Task Force on Indigenous Peoples and promised to release indigenous persons unfairly criminalized for pursuing their livelihoods.
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.
This publication, published by AIPP, is a collection of stories of struggle of some indigenous women in Asia who directly face the negative impacts of mining. This publication is part of the Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders Network (IPHRD Net) efforts to inform actors and stakeholders of the efforts of indigenous women and their communities to address violations of their rights, particularly their collective rights as indigenous peoples. The IPHRD Net is supported by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
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)
The principle that the enjoyment of human rights is both the means and the goal of development, highlights the importance of human rights monitoring as a means for empowering rights-holders to exercise their rights, whilst holding States and other actors accountable for their human rights obligations.
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.
The subject of this request is the extreme harm caused to indigenous Papuans by the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate project (the MIFEE project), a State-initiated, agro-industrial mega-project implemented by a variety of corporate entities that, to-date, encompasses around 2.5 million hectares of traditional indigenous lands in Merauke. The affected indigenous peoples have already lost a considerable area of their lands due to acquisition by these companies and conversion to plantations of one kind or another. The irreparable harm they have already experienced continues to expand and intensify as more companies commence operations.
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'.
Dr. Jim Yong KimPresidentWorld Bank
March 4, 2013
Dear Dr. Kim,
Click here to read the Statement of Indigenous Peoples and Ethnic Minorities made at the Workshop on Indigenous Peoples & Ethnic Minorities, Friday 30 March 2012, during ACSC/APF 2012, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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.