Recognition and Protection of Customary Communities

One of historic milestone involving the return of the tenure rights of forests to customary communities (MHA, Masyarakat Hukum Adat) was Constitutional Court’s Decision number 35/PIU/2012 on March 2013 which ruled that customary forests were no longer state forests. This mark the new era in institutionalizing comprehensive and effective participation of MHA in the management of natural assets. By this regard, nine government ministries/institutions agreed today to launch the “National Program for Recognition and Protection of Customary Communities (PPMHA) through the REDD+ mechanism”. This program is designed to provide legal impetus, strengthen institutions and to provide a framework for all parties in the implementation of REDD+ Indonesia. (Credit Photo: Secretariat of Vice President of Indonesia).

Indigenous peoples have proved themselves as one of the best protectors of the forest. But they’re also the most impacted party when there is an imbalance function of forest that happens. Ideally, the forest should be able to provide food supply, be the source of medicine, and also traditional clothing to fulfilling the spiritual needs of the indigenous people. What we need to stress is, there’s an interdependence relation between forest and indigenous people.

Talking about climate change policy, we need to recognize the importance of including indigenous people as an element of the policy making. To continue the work, we need to involve indigenous people as part of the agreement and strategy for forest protection.

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  • Indigenous People
Climate change can not be ignored because it will threaten many people. The previous statement was made by Beted, a 17 year old Orang Rimba (Kubu People), Kedundung Mudo group, in Bukit Duabelas National Park, Sarolangun, Jambi.
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United Nations Development Programme - 2016

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