INDIGENOUS WOMEN & INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AS MAIN SUBJECTS OF SDGs

A Position Paper by PEREMPUAN AMAN on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Bogor, 3 August 2017

 

‘Leave No One Behind’ should mean and ensure that no single person is left behind in the realization of the sustainable development

 

BACKGROUND

The United Nations (UN) has estimated the total number of Indigenous persons in the world is about 370 million. About 2/3 of the total Indigenous population are concentrated in Asia, which made Asia as the region with the highest cultural diversity in the world. With the diversity of traditional knowledge, heritage and sustainable management system of natural resources, Indigenous Peoples are capable of actively contributing to sustainable developments in their countries. However, Indigenous Peoples in Asia are constantly marginalized from development plans and the Indigenous Peoples’ concept of “development” is destroyed gradually. Indigenous lands, natural resources and territories have been-and still are-taken over for “national development” and “conservation” without the Indigenous Peoples’ consent.

PROBLEMS

At the same time, basic public services like education, healthcare and support for living needs are not properly met which exacerbates marginalization towards Indigenous Peoples. Meanwhile, the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) failed to address the issues and visibility of Indigenous Peoples, despite the fact that they are currently 15% among the world’s poor population.

Referring to the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIPs), The United Nations and member states commits to acknowledge, respect, and protect the rights of

Indigenous Peoples. Member states affirm their commitment to advance the implementation of Indigenous Peoples rights at the national and global levels through the adoption of the Outcome Document of the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014. Similarly, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, which encompasses the Sustainable Development Goals

(SDGs) engages Indigenous Peoples focusing and aiming to “Leave No One Behind” in their various targets and indicators.

However, it must be acknowledged that there is a lack of participation and engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the SDGs formulation processes at all levels. As a result, many indicators of the 17 goals shaped without accommodating the concerns of Indigenous Peoples. Many terms in the document are difficult to understand, or interpreted differently from what the goals actually meant. There are at least three main things that are missed in the SDGs. These are: Indigenous (Women) Knowledge in farming, medication, and sustainable food management; Indigenous

Women’s Collective Rights in technology and innovation; and Indigenous Territories that see the environment in one unified ecosystem and the inextricable connection of flora-fauna, land, and water with its governance and autonomy in the hands of Indigenous Peoples.

From the 17 goals, we, the Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples fathom that there are 2 goals that can potentially worsen our poverty and impoverishment which are Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (Goal 9) as well as Decent Work and Economy Growth (Goal 8). Learning from the past, the discourse on economic growth becomes a pathway for the country to give ways for extractive industry concessions including timber industry (HPH and HTI), large scale palm oil plantation, conservation and large-scale infrastructure development in Indigenous Territories. These concessions have severely impacting and uprooting our sovereignty over our resources. Currently, many resources such as water, food, fire wood, ritual materials, weaving materials and the like that we used to obtain from water springs, rivers, farming lands, grazing areas, forests and seas in our territory have to be purchased as a result of the aggression of the industries. This makes us severely poorer.

Therefore, we urge the government to strengthen the achievement of the 11 goals by opening a substantial participation space taking into account the perspectives and special needs of Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples in the implementation of the SDGs. The 11 goals in the SDGs are closely related to our daily life as Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples, for that reason we are able to contribute to the succession of sustainable development. The eleven goals are: No Poverty (Goal 1), Zero Hunger (Goal 2), Good Health and Well-being (Goal 3), Quality Education (Goal 4), Gender Equality (Goal 5), Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), Affordable and Clean Energy (Goal 7), Reduced Inequality (Goal 10), Climate Action (Goal 13), Life below Water (Goal 14), and Life on Land (Goal 15).

From the lens of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Women, those 11 goals can be achieved through recognition of indigenous territories along with our autonomy and governance covering both land and sea. With that recognition, we, Indigenous Women and Indigenous

Peoples, will be able to sustainably meet our needs to food, clean water, and firewood as source of our energy, and also actively involved in adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the indigenous territories both in the land and sea ecosystems.

Recognition of indigenous territories will also sustainably open equitable and equal space for indigenous women and men to be able to access modern education without abandoning the core values of our cultures and traditions. We believe that education and the core values of our cultures and traditions are the main requirements for Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples to continuously and actively involved in reducing inequality and eradicating poverty.

If the global commitment to eradicate all forms of poverty and discrimination as well as achieving equality through the 2030 Agenda is to be accomplished, then the SDGs implementation needs to be fully aligned and based on human rights, social justice, non-discrimination, and environmental sustainability. The rights, perspective and full and effective engagement of Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples, need to be ensured in national planning, implementation, monitoring and review processes of the SDGs to “leave no one behind”. Realization of the full and effective engagement of indigenous women and indigenous peoples shows that the State is also present amongst Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples in the effort to encourage transformation process for Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples to realize justice, equality and sustainability.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • The Indonesian Government shall recognize indigenous territories along with the autonomy and governance within covering both land and sea through the enactment of the Bill on Recognition and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,
  • All parties to continuously consult Indigenous Women and Indigenous Peoples in every development activity that potentially impacting Indigenous Peoples, based on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
  • All parties to recognize and respect at least – but not limited to – indigenous knowledge, collective rights and indigenous territories,
  • Government shall engage Indigenous Peoples including by giving attention to the particular needs of Indigenous Women in the decision-making processes at the national level according to the Presidential Regulation No. 59 of 2017 on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals,
  • Encourage AIPP to actively amplify the voice and aspiration of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Women’s in the SDGs related processes at regional level and actively consult Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Women at country as well as community levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *