April 22nd - Earth Day - 2009 – The forest management practices of indigenous peoples in Indonesia provides important lessons for world governments about to make crucial decisions on how to deal with climate change.
A new book launched today - Forests for the Future - is written by indigenous communities across Indonesia and describes the skills and knowledge used for generations to manage forest ecosystems without destroying them.
CO2 emissions from runaway deforestation and peatland destruction in Indonesia are making a substantial contribution to climate change worldwide.
Forests for the Future avoids romanticising the indigenous way of life. Instead it presents lessons learned from communities striving to meet today's economic and political challenges. It is a testament to the willingness of indigenous peoples to engage with an international audience so that their ways of forest management may be better known and get the recognition and respect they deserve.
Traditional knowledge has enabled indigenous communities to benefit from the wealth of forest resources such as food crops, rubber, medicines, materials for building and household goods.
Many governments are keen to include forests in mechanisms that permit industrial polluters to buy carbon credits from forest schemes in countries like Indonesia. But there are huge risks involved. For indigenous communities, these risks include the loss of livelihoods and the violation of their right to manage their forests. Powerful business and political elites in Indonesia have pushed indigenous communities aside for decades in Indonesia: now they may rush to grab more forests so they can profit from the carbon trade.
Forests for the Future is published by Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance, AMAN, and Down to Earth. It marks AMAN’s tenth anniversary and aims to assist efforts to develop community-based models which present a more achievable, viable and just way of addressing the challenges of sustainability, poverty reduction and upholding the rights of indigenous peoples.
The book can be downloaded from DTE's website at http://dte.gn.apc.org/GNSCON.htm
For further information and/or interviews please contact:
Abdon Nababan, AMAN
+62 811 111 365
Yuyun Indradi, DTE
+6281 31066 3859
Emil Kleden, Pusaka
Chip Fay, Samdhana Institute
+63 917 718 3780
For more information about AMAN visit http://www.aman.or.id
For more information about DTE visit http://dte.gn.apc.org