Indigenous Knowledge and Food Security: Kemitraan’s Participation in the Paris Peace Forum 2023

Posted on November 30, 2023 by Admin

INKLUSI Partner Kemitraan − Partnership for Governance Reform was invited to the Paris Peace Forum 2023, highlighting the crucial role of indigenous knowledge, especially that of indigenous women, in ensuring food security within their communities and Indonesia. The forum, held in Paris 10-11 November 2023, provided a global platform for sharing best practices, underlining the need to support indigenous communities facing challenges in preserving their traditions and resources.

Supported by the Australia-Indonesia Partnership Towards an Inclusive Society, seconds the INKLUSI program, Kemitraan’s participation underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in tackling social issues. Widya Anggraeni, Project Manager at Kemitraan spoke at the session Seeds of Change: Women as Catalysts for Agricultural Resilience and stressed the essential role of indigenous women in managing natural resources and enhancing food resilience in Indonesia. In villages such as Toro Village, Central Sulawesi Province and Pasir Eurih Village, West Java indigenous women wield authority in designing agricultural work, mediating conflicts, and organising rice fields and farms, contributing to both food security and community well-being.

Ms Anggraeni addressed challenges faced by indigenous women, including limited participation in development forums, gender-based violence, climate-related issues, and land disputes. These challenges hinder women’s recognition as custodians of traditional knowledge, restricting their involvement in policymaking and perpetuating gender disparities.

The benefits of providing equal space for indigenous women in discussions and policymaking were evident in Meurumba Village, East Sumba Regency. Anggraeni shared a story from Rambu Bombu, an indigenous woman and Marapu faith adherent, who emphasised the positive impact of prioritising communities’ needs, especially in agriculture, over infrastructure alone.

INKLUSI supports Kemitraan to establish women’s groups and Women’s Forum to discuss issues important to the community, to advocate to local governments, and to set up women’s economic and business groups.

Kemitraan, in collaboration with 10 local partners through the INKLUSI Program, actively collects and documents traditional knowledge. This initiative aims to support evidence-based policies, raise awareness among indigenous communities and highlight traditional knowledge as a strength in enhancing social and economic resilience.

The hope is that showcasing the good practices of various Indigenous Communities at the 2023 Paris Peace Forum will foster a broader network to address food insecurity faced by many communities, especially indigenous ones. Preserving traditional knowledge and traditional land is not just about safeguarding traditions and cultural values, it is a commitment to ensuring the well-being of current and future generations. As the world grapples with evolving challenges, harnessing indigenous knowledge emerges as a key strategy for building resilient and sustainable communities.

The Paris Peace Forum serves as a unique platform for Kemitraan to promote this initiative internationally. Focusing on social issues, environmental concerns, climate change, and gender issues, the forum facilitates the exchange of ideas among practitioners worldwide. Kemitraan’s participation, its second opportunity, showcases the commendable practices of indigenous communities in Indonesia alongside 49 global projects.

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