West Java, Indonesia, September 22 – 25, 2015: Approximately 30 representatives from Cambodia, India, Burma, Philippine, Indonesia attended a Regional Exchange trip focused on Strengthening Indigenous Peoples (IPs) Movement, hosted by Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), co-supported by Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and The NGOF on Cambodia (NGOF).
The overall objective of the trip was to strengthen cooperation and increase knowledge and skills of -Indigenous Peoples and Forestry Network (IPFN) and IRAM members includes women through their exchange and inter-learning among indigenous and forestry organizations in regional level.
“We have been visiting various communities during this trip, and the part that impressed us the most is how strong and concrete structure of AMAN’s work. Following by 17 million IP members, each of them agreed to contribute membership fee of 10$ per year to support their community,” said Sam Somony, the Forestry Rights Project Coordinator of NGOF. “Additionally, the communities are able to manage and protect their territories with their own mapping, which was produced with the technical support from AMAN. The IPs system in this country is very solid and united even though there is no any regulation to promote IPs rights besides the constitution.”
Another noticeable point from the IP community in Indonesia was the community system. In their practice, the livelihoods and careers of their ancestors were continued passing on to their next generation with the very clear roles and responsibilities of individuals; for instance, those families whose parents are the pharmacists, safeguards or external affair, community leader will automatically pass the same responsibility to their next generations.
The group has arranged to visit different IP communities, located in different areas. Those communities, included Kasepuhan Cipta Mulya, Sinar Resmi and Ciptagelar.
Ms. Tep Tem, an IP representative from Promeh, Preah Vihear, Cambodia, who had the chance to take a part in this trip showed a great impression upon her visit, particularly, in the way that the Indonesian Government and Communities manage their natural resource management and to promote IPs and forestry rights. “I admired the knowledge, skills and sturdy cooperation of IP organizations here, in which they can enhance their implementation from the ground and share if effectively to the communities. Especially, their ability to provide a space to learn, share and formulate action plans for strengthening indigenous peoples’ capacities to assert their rights and sustain their resource management and livelihood practices among others,” he added.
The four-day exchange visit was proceeding as planned and finished with the result, knowledge and lesson learned for all the participants in Cambodia as well as the other countries.