Antara News (Original Article in Indonesian) 

The Alliance of Indigenous People (AMAN), has organized a Global Conference on Participatory Mapping of Indigenous Territory, to take place on 25 – August 28, 2013 in Samosir, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

The purpose of this global conference is to strengthen participatory mapping in the mapping of the region and indigenous forests, said a press release from the SAFE to AFP on Friday.

A map of the area is important in demonstrating the use and occupation of the land by indigenous peoples and can be used as a tool to fight for the rights of indigenous peoples for their lands, territories, and resources.

Implementation of the Global Conference on Participatory Mapping of Indigenous Territory is the result of the cooperation SAFE ( and Tebtebba (, an international organization that examines Indigenous policy and education.

According Abdon Nababan, Secretary General of AMAN, this is the first global conference of its kind after in nearly 10 years. The conference will be used to share knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned from global experiences of territory mapping.

Global conference participants represent indigenous peoples and local communities from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and who have been carrying out participatory mapping and resource inventory.

Also, in attendance are non-government organizations and community mapping experts, and representatives of the United Nations (UN) and the elected governments that have extensive experience in finance or carry out participatory mapping.

"We will identify a number of case studies from Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua, and Kenya. We will also examine case studies from several non-governmental organizations and from our partners at RRI (Rights and Resources Initiative), who have experience in community mapping, "Abdon said in a press release.

Through participatory mapping, indigenous communities can develop their own maps that help them identify the land, forests, and their resources. It also helps demonstrate the use of land, forests, and the resources via traditional knowledge systems, traditional practices sustainable forestry management, improving livelihoods, as well as helping to resolve conflicts over forest lands and territories.

Indonesia's involvement as a host of this global conference is the results of  the Constitutional Court (MK) decision regarding judicial review of the Law No. 41 (1999) on Forestry that affected the claims made on tens of millions of hectares of indigenous forest.  These forest lands were originally claimed as state forest, but are now recognized as belonging to indigenous peoples as a result of the law.

Antara News (Original Article in Indonesian)