Sunday, April 22, 2012

Indonesia's indigenous people not yet focused on climate

Fidelis E. Satriastanti in the Jakarta Globe: Though long identified as among those most vulnerable to the effects of global warming, indigenous groups meeting at a national summit in North Maluku barely touched on the issue of climate change.

Nina Dwisasanti, a researcher on climate change adaptation at the Samdhana Institute, said the issue of adapting to climate change was not yet high on indigenous peoples’ agenda. “I think that’s fine because they already have a lot to deal with, including land disputes and rights issues,” she said on the sidelines of the fourth congress of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN) in Tobelo, North Halmahera.

Nina was the moderator of a discussion on “Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change Adaptation,” one of a series of events that are part of the AMAN Congress, attended by representatives of indigenous groups from across the country.

M. Djauhari, a representative for a group from Enggano Island in Bengkulu, told the discussion about how his community had been fighting the provincial administration’s plan to set up a rocket launch site on the island. “We are worried about the future of our island,” he said.

“Where will our grandchildren live if the launch site is built on the island? We also live in fear of the military, because they have no problem locking us up for the smallest of mistakes.”...

A heap of rattan in a storehouse in Enggano, South-Sumatra, around 1915

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