IPs call for the respect of indigenous traditional knowledge
November 9, 2010
BAGUIO CITY -- Participants to the International Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Alternatives and Solutions to the Climate Crisis on November 5 to 8 here called on the world to recognize and adopt the indigenous traditional knowledge and practices on disaster response.
In one of the workshops in the said conference, the Climate Disasters Impact and Preparedness representatives from participating countries agreed that their governments should recognize the traditional knowledge, ways and cultural practices of the IPs in addressing disaster.
The participants further criticized their governments for implementing policies promoting projects of multinational companies of industrialized countries causing massive destruction to the earth's natural resources that are largely located in IP territories. These projects include large scale mining, logging and power generation such as building of dams and agrofuel plantations.
Santos Mero, an Ibaloi of the Cordillera and deputy secretary general of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) iterated that sustainable use and conservation of natural resources is innate in indigenous culture and practices because IPs view nature as the source of life. He stressed that IPs do not view nature as a source of profit.
"Our view on the environment was articulated by a martyr of the Cordillera peoples movement Ama Macliing Dulag of Kalinga when he said that land is life," Mero iterated.
The participants agreed that environmental degradation, poverty and government inefficiency magnify the the impact of the disasters and that greatly affects the IPs.
"Denudation of mountains, extensive mining and large scale drilling operations affects the mostly the IPs," Muhammad Dinul Haq of AMAN an indigenous organization in Indonesia.
Haq said the oil explorations in East Java, Indonesia created cracks in the grounds of the place. He also reported that because of the oil drilling operations mud volcanoes in the place reacted which greatly affected the people in the place. He added that there were also dextral movements in the rail roads.
In Nepal, Sonam Sherpa of the Nepal Indigenous Nationalities Student Federation (NINSF) said that because of the melting of glaziers in the mountains, the water levels in the rivers increased which causes flood in villages. He said it was worse during rainy days. According to him, many people and animals disappear during these times.
Militarization was also identified as one of the human disasters in indigenous communities.
Jacob Rumbiak of West Papua said militarization in Figea prevents IPs from their livelihood activities. He said the people follow a food cycle and they transfer every three months to other places to plant crops however because of the military forces they were not able to follow the cycle.
This is similar to the experience of the Moro brothers as shaed by Dulfing Ogan of Kalumaran an indigenous organization in Mindanao. He said people evacuate and leave their places not knowing when to come back. "They leave for months until the conflict settles,” he added. Earlier, Nordis report similar experiences of the Cordillera IPs in Abra, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
Meanwhile, the participants also urged the United Nations to pressure the governments of the different countries to review all concessions and strictly implement policies on IPs provided in international conventionsand consider these in all undertakings of the state. They also called on governments to efficiently address disasters and the welfare of the IPs greatly affected.#