Indigenous Women Must Be Included at Climate Change Negotiations

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Jakarta (Greeners) – Local knowledge and wisdom of indigenous women in natural resources management are practised and developed as much as their roles as guardian of their family and community’s livelihood.

The local wisdom include the use of plants for fabric and natural dyes, for medicine, for emission friendly agriculture or plantation.

Mina Susana Setra, Deputy I of Indonesian Indigenous Peoples Alliance or AMAN said that indigenous women were categorized in prone groups with children, elderly and disable people at the climate change negotiations especially adaptation and mitigation.

“Indigenous women should have special protection such as in the implementation of REDD+ or in conservation isssue which evicted indigenous women from their lands,” she said in a press statement to Greeners in Jakarta, on Saturday (21/11).

The key to empowerment, she said, was acknowledgement of their knowledge and wisdom in managing natural resources which have been long neglected.

If these are fulfilled then Indonesia’s natural resources inside customary lands can be protected.

However, Khairina Arif of Woman’s Divison, North Sumatra region stated that oil palm plantation over their area have destroyed the legacy of knowledge from indigenous women which have been passed on to many generations with less documentation to complicate the problem.

“As the case of Penunggu community which demanded full recognition over oil palm plantation owned by PT LONSUM to be re-managed as agricultural land which combines hardwood plants to recover the soil and be more adaptive,” she said.

Reports by Danny Kosasih