East Kotawaringin in Central Kalimantan will hold 'Isen Mulang' — literally, 'never step back' — a cultural festival to preserve and promote local Dayak culture, on May 19-22. (Antara Photo/Yudhi Mahatma)

AMAN Slams Govt for Leaving 'Indigenous People' Out of Climate Plan


SEPTEMBER 14, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia's outspoken watchdog for indigenous peoples' rights has lambasted the government for not using the term "indigenous people" in the country's proposed climate actions outline for the period beyond 2020.

Last Thursday, Indonesia submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) its climate targets in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).

Abdon Nababan, the executive director of the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), told reporters in Jakarta that the government has chosen the term "adat communities" instead of the internationally accepted "indigenous people" in the INDC, which will be discussed during a climate conference in Paris scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

"This shows the half-heartedness of the government in attending to the indigenous people in an global forum," Abdon told a press conference on Monday.

The AMAN chairman argued that by using the term "adat communities" -- essentially the communities of people, primarily indigenous and mostly living on outlying islands, who follow customary law -- the government is trying to prevent that it would have to grant these people internationally recognized standards of protection.

"The term 'indigenous people' has a bargaining power," Abdon said, stressing its close relation with human rights issues.

To empower the archipelago's indigenous people, AMAN says the Indonesian government should change the term.