As people from different walks of life gathered in Morocco in the bid to committing to climate actions, indigenous people were not left out. It was interesting to know that indigenous people, though form relatively small community (5% of world’s population), cover a greater percentage of the world’s richest biodiversity (80%). I was privy this to incredible information when I attended a session on indigenous people forum on climate change that I thought worth sharing. As a student of forestry my thirst for knowledge aroused wanting to find out how indigenous people by themselves manage these vast resources without sacrificing the safety of the environment. This was particularly so because our educational training greatly based science and technology is by far totally different from the indigenous systems.Importantly, there could be take-away lessons and knowledge on these two extremes of perspectives on forestry!
Well, indigenous people believe that their approach and systems, based on traditional knowledge and customary laws, in natural resources utilization and management especially forests are geared towards sustainability. A classical example is the indigenous system known as DAHAS – pertaining to the indigenous people of Indonesia.The concept of Dahas refers to the indigenous integrated natural resources system management which is family or clan-based. This is the kind of concept that the indigenous peoples emphasized on as a forest management system able to conserve forest ecosystems .Dahas, according to the indigenous perspective, has proven reliable as it contributes significantly to maintaining the existing carbon stocks and at the same time reduce carbon emission from forests.
Indigenous people have a strong believe that they have unexploited potent wisdom, knowledge and experience that could be used in both the mitigation of global warming and the adaptation to climate change.
On another session with the indigenous people, I had the opportunity to interact with them. The much-focused observers got to hear about IFSA and our activities. They were impressed with IFSA and encouraged us to carry on with the spirit!