One Voice on Earth Day from ILC Members in Asia
Securing the land rights is one of the most essential way to be taken in order to fight the climate change and safeguarding the Earth. Below are the stories compiled by ILC Asia, to show how the members in Asia addressing the land rights of the communities, as one of the way to save the earth from destruction.
From Southeast Asia, a member from Indonesia, RMI (Indonesian Institute for Forest and Environment) celebrated the Earth Day by engaging the youth of River Watch Group for planting trees and biomonitoring in a village located in Banten Province, west Java, Indonesia.
The River Watch Group Indonesia program is a part of the Sungai Kita Hidup Kita (Our Rivers Our Life, or OROL for short) campaign that had children and young adults from Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia involved in taking care of rivers. The OROL campaign aims to strengthen youth interest of the rivers of Java as an integral part, as well as voicing out on the rights of children to enjoy a clean and safe environment (Ecological Child’s Rights) where many violations occur due to the many agrarian conflicts that occur in the government’s efforts to improve the country’s economic sector.
While in Thailand, ILC Asia member, AIPP (Asia Indigenous People Pact) along with #landrightsnow campaign supporters across Asia were celebrating 2017 Earth Day by organizing local, national and regional activities under the theme “Securing Indigenous Peoples’ #landrightsnow to Combat Climate Change” to highlight the importance of indigenous peoples’ collective land rights in combatting climate change.
This event engaged seven countries across Asia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, to voice out their message for protecting the earth and combat climate change by returning the land rights to the Indigenous Peoples. The event was not only including the tree planting, but Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Executive Council Chairperson, Kittisak Rattana, reads the AIPP Statement for the #EarthDay2017 - "Secure Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights to Combat Climate Change".
Click here to read the whole statement.
When a bold statement delivered by Thailand, our South Asian member in Nepal, CSRC (Community Self Reliance Center) was celebrating Earth Day together with the land rights heroes, as a reflection in fighting against climate change. Whilst on the same time Celebrating culture, identity and rights, they also organized an awareness rally, and afforestation program, as well as the 'Bhumi Puja' and an Interaction Program in Dang and Siraha.
Whilst we are on the higher ground now, why don’t we visit our member in Central Asia, Mongolia, to see how the Earth Day being celebrated in the country.
During the Earth Day, ILC Asia member in Mongolia, JASIL (Environment and Development Association) held the Local community land rights day in Khar Khoshuu of Tuv province. This year’s Earth Day also an opportunity for them in delivering their protest against the construction of International Airport in Ulaanbaatar and other related infrastructures, as this projects may cause the herders and communities losing their seasonal pastures.
JASIL also conducted a willow tree seedlings from its plantation at the steeps and deserts.
The willow seedlings, were widely distributed to the locals residing in the province and also the communities of Mongolia. This also an action to reflect the protection of Selbe river basin in Ulaanbaatar.
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, where landrights has been the most neglected issue in the region. Inequitable access to productive resources also occurring in this region, which leading to injustice distribution on land, and resulting to earth’s destruction and massive exploitation. Local communities are the best guardians of their land and natural resources, which surely will save the earth from climate change and resources exploitation.
News source and photo credit by: JASIL, RMI, AIPP, and CSRC
Cover photo credit by AIPP