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Indigenous Peoples’ organisation demands “immediate moratorium” on REDD+ in Central Kalimantan

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Indigenous Peoples' organisation demands immediate moratorium on REDD+ in Central Kalimantan

Members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago – Central Kalimantan Chapter (AMAN Kalteng) have issued a statement demaning an “immediate moratorium of all REDD+ processes and investments in Central Kalimantan”, until a series of conditions are met. AMAN Kalteng’s statement can be downloaded here (pdf file 72.1 KB) and is posted in full, below.

Central Kalimantan is the pilot province under the Indonesia-Norway US$1 billion REDD deal. As a REDD pilot province, Central Kalimantan faces two serious problems. The first is that deforestation is continuing. Last week activists from the Environmental Investigation Agency and Telapak uncovered a Malaysian plantation company illegally clearing forest in Central Kalimantan. The company denies that it was acting illegally and argues that it is therefore is not in breach of Indonesia’s moratorium on new forestry concessions. Meanwhile, Per Fredrik Ilsaas Pharo, of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, acknowledges that the forest clearance is illegal and argues that it is therefore not in breach of Indonesia’s moratorium. I know, this version of Catch 22 makes no sense to me either.

The second problem in Central Kalimantan are the REDD projects that are supposed to be addressing the ongoing deforestation. AMAN Kalteng’s statement highlights a series of problems for indigenous people as REDD unfolds in Central Kalimantan:

  • REDD+ and the Central Kalimantan Spatial Plan are not transparent.
  • The principle of free, prior and informed consent has been “completely ignored”.
  • The National Strategy on REDD+ is unfinished – meaning that there is no Provincial Strategy either.
  • The REDD+ governing body was established without the full and effective involvement of Indigenous Peoples and is unable to manage and coordinate the various REDD+ initiatives in Central Kalimantan.
  • Provincial regulations on indigenous institutions and land rights fail to guarantee the rights of Indigenous Peoples. For example, the regulation on land rights only addresses individual land rights and not the collective land rights of indigenous communities.

Anja Lillegraven, Project Coordinator Southeast Asia at the Rainforest Foundation Norway commented that,

“The Rainforest Foundation Norway fully support the demands of AMAN Central Kalimantan, and we encourage Norway to focus on the fulfillment of the conditions listed in AMAN’s statement. AMAN pinpoints crucial elements which need to be addressed if REDD is going to succeed.”

When REDD-Monitor interviewed Abdon Nababan, Secretary General of AMAN, shortly after the announcement of the Indonesia-Norway deal last year, he described REDD as currently a threat, but added, “We want to change this threat to an opportunity.” A year later, it appears that REDD remains a threat.

STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON REDD+ IN CENTRAL KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA:

Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Archipelago – Central Kalimantan Chapter

We, the members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago -Central Kalimantan Chapter (AMAN Central Kalimantan) conducted on June 16-17, 2011 our Strategic Meeting to address concerns and problems related to REDD+ in the Central Kalimantan’s Provincial Spatial Plan. The Meeting was attended by members of the Local and Regional Chapters of AMAN Central Kalimantan and Indigenous Leaders from eleven districts.

We, Indigenous Peoples of Central Kalimantan affirm that Indigenous Peoples have the right over land, territories and customary forest. Indigenous Peoples have traditional knowledge and innovations in managing and safeguarding our forest and have thereby sustained forest resources over the centuries. On the other hand, development projects such as oil palm plantations, industrial plantations, mining and the peat land mega project are the main drivers of deforestation in Central Kalimantan.

As the Pilot Province for REDD+, Central Kalimantan has been on the global spotlight. It has become the target of REDD+ investments. Various initiatives have been developed such as the Kalimantan Forest and Climate Partnership (KFCP) between the Government of Indonesia and the Australian Government; and the Letter of Intent (LoI) between Indonesia and Norway that is by far the biggest REDD+ investment in Indonesia. In addition, there have been many other initiatives involving international organizations such as The Clinton Foundation, WWF, FFI, BOS, CARE International and Wetland etc.

Meanwhile, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Spatial Plan is yet to be finalized as the reference for spatial management and allocation. However, indigenous peoples and civil society organizations are excluded in the on-going spatial planning processes.

Responding to the current situation in Central Kalimantan concerning REDD+ and other development issues, we wish to highlight the following:

  1. Various initiatives on REDD+ and the preparation of the Central Kalimantan Spatial Plan are not being implemented in a transparent way. Information on the various initiatives and activities relating to REDD+ had not been shared to indigenous peoples, and thorough consultations are not taking place. This lack of interaction and engagement with indigenous communities is now resulting to confusion and chaos among indigenous communities.
  2. Indigenous communities in Central Kalimantan remain un-informed on the various initiatives that have emerged from the identification of Central Kalimantan as a REDD+ pilot area. Moreover, Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as the principle and the right of Indigenous Peoples has been completely ignored in all REDD+ initiatives and the processes relating to the development of Central Kalimantan Spatial Plan. While indigenous peoples are seriously going to be impacted by these initiatives especially in relation to their right over their land, forest, territories, and their collective wellbeing, they are not involve in any decision making processes relating to REDD+ planning and activities.
  3. The absence of the Provincial Strategies on REDD+ as a result of unfinished National Strategy on REDD+, causing uncertainty of reference for REDD+ implementation in Central Kalimantan.
  4. The REDD+ governance in Central Kalimantan was designed without full and effective involvement of Indigenous Peoples. In addition, the existing REDD+ governing body is not able to manage and effectively coordinate all of REDD+ initiatives in Central Kalimantan. This is resulting to continuous poor coordination and lack of information of REDD+ projects.
  5. Provincial Regulation No. 16 (2008) on the Dayak Indigenous Institutions in Central Kalimantan contains ambiguities of authority and does not distinguish functions between Damang as the Head of Indigenous institutions and the government institutions. This causes an overlap and conflicts in teh exercise of authority in the community. In addition, the Regulation does not provide provision for capacity building of indigenous institutions to tackle external affairs that concerns them among others.
  6. Meanwhile, Governor Regulation No. 13 (2009) on Indigenous Land and Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Central Kalimantan Province does not guarantee the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples over territories. This regulation only addresses individual land right. Furthermore, there is no implementation guideline and no funding is provided in the implementation of this Governor Regulation.

Based on the above mentioned issues in Central Kalimantan, we, the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago – Central Kalimantan Chapter (AMAN Kalteng) call for the IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM of all REDD+ processes and investments in Central Kalimantan until the following conditions are met:

  1. Clear commitment from the government to recognize and protect the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Central Kalimantan, including the collective rights to land, territories and natural resources, in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  2. Establishment of mechanisms and inclusion of indigenous peoples in REDD+ bodies and precesses to ensure their full and effective participation in the entire process of planning, implementation and monitoring of development in Central Kalimantan, including REDD+ and provincial Spatial Plan, in accordance with Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
  3. Socialization and dissemination of information to Indigenous peoples in forms understood by them to be carried out in timely manner on all REDD+ projects in Central Kalimantan. This is to ensure a clear understanding of indigenous peoples of REDD+ and the initiatives, activities and plans relating to this to facilitate their effective engagement and involvement in decision-making processes relevant to REDD+ in Central Kalimantan.
  4. Government and other groups involved in piloting REDD in Central Kalimantan shall directly engaged with indigenous communities in the identification, documentation and inventory of traditional knowledge and innovations of Indigenous Peoples in forest management as the basis for forest management in Central Kalimantan. This is in accordance with the mandate set out in the policy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  5. Government of Central Kalimantan to recognize and support efforts by Indigenous peoples in the participatory mapping of their land and territories.
  6. Government of Central Kalimantan to immediately disseminate information and conduct public consultations regarding the Provincial Spatial Plan involving Indigenous Peoples and civili society. In addition, indigenous peoples duly designated representatives shall be part of governing bodies and other relevant processes related to the development of the Provincial Spatial Plan.
  7. The Regulation/Provincial Regulation No. 16 (2008) should guarantee collective rights of Indigenous Peoples over political sovereignty of Indigenous Institutions to regulate and manage indigenous territories in accordance with customary laws. The Governor Regulation No. 13 (2009) should guarantee the collective rights of Indigenous peoples to lands, territories and natural resources.

In addition to the above, the following are our concerns in responding to the Presidential Decree No.10 (2011) regarding Moratorium on Granting New Permit and Improving Governance on Primary Forest and Peat Lands:

  1. We, Indigenous Peoples indeed support government efforts to postpone the granting of new permit and to improve the governance fo primary forest and peat lands. However, this effort will not be able to run effectively through a mere Presidential Decree. The Indonesian government should conduct immediately a review of all policies related to forest management and existing permits. The Forestry Law No. 41 (1999) has been the fundamental cause of all forestry issues and conflicts in Indonesia, therefore it should be revised.
  2. The Presidential Decree should be with a stronger reliable policy that comes with clear criteria and indicators to be used in assessing the success and failure of its implementation on the ground.
  3. Policy on forestry should clarify the governance of forest in Indonesia, including the legal rights of Indigenous Peoples on forest resources; both in forests and non-forest areas.
  4. In particular, we demand full implementation of the Presidential Decree No. 2 (2007) regarding Rehabilitation and Revitalization of the Ex Central Kalimantan One Million Hectares Peat Land Mega Project that limits only to 10 thousand hectares for oil palm plantations in that area. In fact, permits have been granted for 360 thousand hectares for oil palm plantations. These violation including allegations of corruption in these investments should be addressed accordingly.

17 June 2011
Wisma Soverdi, Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan

Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago -Central Kalimantan Chapter (AMAN Central Kalimantan)
Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nuantara (AMAN) Kalimantan Tengah

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Leave a Reply

  1. Well done and congratulation to AMAN Kalteng and keep your faith and position that NO RIGHT NO REDD+.

  2. AMAN has underlined very important points here, especially regarding unfinish business on provincial spatial planning (and all related tenurial issues) and national REDD+ strategy. These inputs should be considered carefully by the government prior to any REDD+ implementation.

  3. congratulations, hope this can inspire others to keep defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

  4. Agus Purnomo, advisor on climate change and REDD to Indonesia’s president, was quoted in an AFP article yesterday as saying that,

    “The statement is baseless. I can guarantee that the rights of indigenous people will be protected. We have agreed that the group will be among the REDD’s board members with significant power.”

  5. It is clear mentioned by Agus Purnomo in the AFP Article: ‘as the indigenous group will have great authority to monitor its implementation’. From his perspective the major role of Indigenous group is just to MONITOR, NOT, as MAJOR IMPLEMENTER of the REDD activities. Hence, please do not expect too much that the Govt will involve IGs/IPs in the implementation of REDD-/+ activities in Indonesia.