Press Release – ICCA Capacity Building 2015
At a time when the government Indonesia is showing strong commitment to resolve tenurial issues with the plan to allocate 12.7 million hectares of forest land to local communities and revise the law on protection of biodiversity, focus on indigenous peoples’ community conserved areas and territories (ICCAs) represents one way to accelerate the process of documentation and registration of Indigenous Peoples’ lands made possible with the Constitutional Court ruling no 35 in 2012. In line with this ruling, the Ministry of Home Affairs released Regulation No.52/2014, guidelines for the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples . The Agrarian Ministry similarly issued regulation No. 9/2015 on the recognition of communal land rights. Finally the Ministry of Environment and Forestry released a regulation on customary forests or hutan adat through ministerial regulation No.P.32/MenLHK-Setjen/2015 about customary forest. More regulations are issued at provincial and district levels This is a prerequisite to a fair and legitimate allocation of ‘open’ forest land and more sustainable and equitable management of natural resources in Indonesia.
The Regional ICCA Knowledge Sharing & Capacity-building event is being held in Lombok (Indonesia) on August 17-22, 2015 and is hosted by the Working Group ICCAs Indonesia (WGII), UNDP GEF SGP, the ICCA Consortium, with additional financial assistance from WWF Indonesia. The initiative aims to enhance capacities about ICCAs in Indonesia and South-East Asia with participants representing countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, among others, and to encourage a collective reflection and sharing on key issues, opportunities and threats/ problems for the recognition of ICCAs and support in policy and practice. Catharina Dwihastarini of UNDP-GEF-SGP- Indonesia shares “This event is possible through the support of the ICCA Global Support Initiative, or GSI, which is a collaborative initiative supported by UNDP GEF SGP, the German Ministry of Environment (BMU), the ICCA Consortium, IUCN and UNEP WCMC with the main goal being to foster the appropriate recognition of, and support to, ICCAs and the promotion of their effectiveness via enhanced capacities in at least 26 pilot countries. In Southeast Asia, pilot areas include Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.”
ICCAs are increasingly recognized as a way for caretaker indigenous peoples and local communities to secure collective rights and responsibility to their land, water and natural resources and foster respect for their traditional knowledge, practices and institutions. This aspect received special attention at the recent World Parks Congress in Sydney (Australia) in November 2014. Forest and coastal areas, but also lakes, rivers and other key habitats that are traditionally managed by Indigenous and local communities, have also a key role in sustaining their livelihoods, water and food security, and preserve their cultural identity and pride. “In place of ruthless exploitation of natural resources and top-down conservation, many in the region call for strengthening local engagement in direct governance of natural resources, drawing from customary knowledge, wisdom and institutions and engaging in fair negotiations among partners. ICCAs are an opportunity for conservation that is equitable and effective.” States Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Global Coordinator of the ICCA Consortium, an alliance that unites the representatives of thousands of ICCA caretakers all over the world.
Since the first ICCA event held in Bogor in October 2011, the documentation of ICCAs is gaining strength all over the archipelago from Sumatra to Kalimantan, Lombok, Maluku Islands and Papua. “The documentation of ICCAs is the first step towards the full registration of the customary lands in Indonesia and recognition and integration in provincial and district spatial plans” says Kasmita Widodo Head of Indigenous Territories Registration Body (BRWA) and coordinator of WGII. “BRWA, an autonomous body of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), has so far registered and verified 6.8 million hectares of customary lands in Indonesia.”
East Lombok District has recognized the local wisdom in local community based resource management through East Lombok District Regulation No. 9/2006 and No. 10/2006. These regulations recognize awig-awig, a customary and participatory approach to sustainable resource management. Mr. Amin Abdullah, leader of Fishers Resources Management Organization (LPSDN), a local group of fishers in Teluk Jor, advocated for the awig-awig regulation as a traditional means to sustainable fisheries and coastal resource management. “As a co-management strategy to fisheries, awig-awig still needs government support , public awareness and cooperation for our marine traditions to be viable and for conservation and sustainable livelihoods for local fishers to thrive”. Abdullah stated.
In addition, KIARA (the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice) urges the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries to be more focused in empowering local communities in managing their coastal areas. “We noticed the revision of the Coastal and Small Islands Law has not recognized the right of the local people to manage coastal resources, especially those resources that are the basis of their livelihoods .
The revision also unfairly places the community in direct competition with large private sector players for the management of natural resources”states Marthin Hadiwinata KIARA Deputy Officer on Law and Policy Advocacy. “We will continue to work with the Ministry and the local communities to make sure empowerment becomes a reality.
The Working Group ICCAs Indonesia (WGII) was established to promote ICCAs practices and advocate for their formal recognition as a way to balance the need for protecting critical ecosystems while securing the rights of local and Indigenous communities. Member organizations are Indonesian NGOs active in advocacy and best practices for good governance of natural resources and conservation, protection of the environment, community mapping, land use and tenure, community benefits and rights, and the recognition of Indigenous Peoples. They are: AMAN, BRWA, JKPP, Huma, Kiara, NTFP-EP, Pusaka, Sawit Watch, WALHI, WWF Indonesia. Currently the Working group is coordinated by the Head of BRWA. WGII is hosted by NTFP-EP Indonesia.
The ICCA Consortium is an international association dedicated to promoting the appropriate recognition of and support to ICCAs (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories) in the regional, national and global arena. It is comprised of Members (Indigenous People Organisations (IPOs) and Community-based Organisations (CBOs) and civil society organisations working with IPs/LCs) and Honorary members (individuals with relevant concerns and expertise relating to ICCAs). As a global institution, the Consortium is collaborating with the CBD Secretariat, GEF SGP, UNEP WCMC, IUCN, research and advocacy organisations, and UN mechanisms promoting human and IP and LC rights.
Established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit, the GEF Small Grants Programme embodies the very essence of sustainable development by “thinking globally acting locally”. By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.
Since 1992, the GEF SGP Indonesia has provided support to grassroots movements in conserving biodiversity, mitigating the impacts of climate change, halting land degradation and reducing pollution of international waters. Over the years, GEF SGP Indonesia has successfully supported a total of 502 projects, for a total disbursement of close to USD 9.0 milllion that have built its constituents’ capacities and generated significant impacts in sustainable environment management, livelihoods, and poverty reduction.
For more details contact:
Mr. Kasmita Widodo
Coordinator – Working Group on ICCAs in Indonesia
Ms. Tanya Conlu
Regional Coordinator for Southeast Asia – ICCA Consortium
Coordinator – SGP Indonesia