News / 15 October 2020

Land rights for Indigenous Peoples to protect their forests

Institut Dayakologi works to preserve Indigenous Peoples' livelihoods and cultures in West Kalimantan. One of their central goals is to gain ancestral land rights for Indigenous communities. This is not only essential for the security of these communities, but also for the forests and ecosystems on which they depend for their livelihood, identity, culture and customs.

Many Dayak people, the region's Indigenous inhabitants, describe how the forests, animals and ecosystems of West Kalimantan provide them with a livelihood, but also form a crucial part of their identity, spiritual beliefs, traditions and culture:

  • Daria Judin, an Indigenous woman from Sanggau: "Forests are like a rice barn to us, because they provide us with food and a sustainable livelihood."
  • Zainab, an Indigenous woman from Sanggau: "Forests are breath to Indigenous Peoples' lives. If forests are gone, livelihoods disappear and nature will become hot and arid."
  • Marcelus Yopos, local activist for Institut Dayakologi: "Forests are part of life for Indigenous People. If forests are destroyed, our lives will be destroyed, leading to a loss of customs and culture."

Palm oil for European markets

One of the main threats to the forests of West Kalimantan is palm oil. Global demand for palm oil is still rising and the European Union is one of the biggest markets. Europe's consumption of palm oil is therefore a direct threat to the forests of West Kalimantan and the Dayak People that live in and depend on them.

European Commission wants to stop deforestation

The good news is that the European Commission acknowledges this problem and is now designing measures to address the deforestation around the world connected with EU supply chains and consumption. They are currently holding a public consultation about what the EU should do.

We've developed an easy way for you to give your input. Just fill in your details below and hit the 'ACT NOW' button, and a clear message in your name will be sent automatically to the European Commission.

Yes, I add my opinion to protect the world's forests!

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