|INDONESIA AND IPs MOVEMENT|
Speech by Abdon Nababan
Secretary General of AMAN, Indonesia
At the Forest Day Event UNFCCC Meeting in Copenhagen, December 13th 2009
Indonesia is an archipelagic country with more than 17.000 islands, and 4 big islands, -making Indonesia one of biggest small-islands country in the world. With 1,072 different ethnic groups, including 11 ethnic groups with a population of over one million people, Indonesia is one of the world's most culturally diverse nations.
Estimated 40 to 70 million out of 230 millions Indonesian population are indigenous peoples (masyarakat adat) who live in their ancestral territory, exert sovereignty over their land and natural resources, govern their community by customary law and institutions which sustain the continuity of their livelihoods (KMAN 1999). Estimated 30 to 50 millions of indigenous population is forest dependent communities.
Small part of this population has joined the IPs movement through AMAN, Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago, formed by our first congress in March 1999. We now have 1163 communities registered members, is about 8-10 millions population. I am Secretary General elected in our third congress in March 2007.
What are we fighting for and our challenges? Alas, we, indigenous peoples are still fighting the most basic struggle, the root and underlying causes of all our hardships and forest destruction:
1. Define forest! We have our definition of forest. It is a definition that lives and gives us meaning, and guides us through centuries of harmonious co-existence with the forests.
So we are fighting when the Indonesian Government forced its own definition of forest for us to follow. This definition of the Law 41/1999 simply states that all our forests are owned by the state. We are fighting the FAO who defines that a minimum of 10% crown covers means a forest. It means anything green on the satellite imagery is a forest. Because this definition will be a time bomb for us. In a carbon trading regime, this will encourage perverse incentives for those coorporates who are currently controlling lands and concessions and accumulating land use permits, like those who are or pretend to be palm oil companies.
2. Self determination! Decide what to do with our lives and forests! This is a most basic human right that for so long now we have been denied. Just for a start, we are now fighting so that any project, mining-plantation-REDD, anything, should recognize and require our consent, freely given and prior to start of the project.
This is not yet happening. Today, 5 million hectares of indigenous peoples' forest in papua is handed over to industrial timber plantation and palm oil plantation without our consent.
3. Be transparent, stop corruption! This is our fight specifically in terms of forest governance. There will be no hope for a better future of our lives and forests when these enabling conditions for clean and good governance are not present. Now, you all must have heard of this tale from my country about the small anti-corruption 'lizard' that is in a life or death struggle with the big corrupt 'crocodile'. When the lizard prevails, we will have a chance to politically and legally process our tenure issues, organize our people better, and more importantly agree on comprehensive and holistic ways to move forward towards climate change.
Finally, because of these fundamental natures of the fight of our movement, fighting the most basic problems and causes of injustice and destruction, we cannot just sit and wait until after all you international conference goers to confer and conclude, deliberate, agree, and sign something. We have to wake people in our country up, those who are dreaming of an ATM of fast cash REDD.