SUMMARY: For the next 2 years we set up a network of active forest defenders through which we engage 1,000 local leaders throughout Southeast Asia. The victims of deforestation, biodiversity loss, climatic disasters, cultural and political oppresion, shall now lead the movement for survival, resilience, and recovery of forests and peoples.
PROBLEM SPACE: The devastation of forests and peoples in Indonesia, the Philippines and throughout Southeast Asia has parallels with or may be even worse than the devastation of the economy, physical infrastructure and socio-political institutions of Europe and Japan during World War II. Vast tracts of forestlands have been decimated. Landscapes and ancestral territories have been obliterated. Forest-dependent and indigenous peoples are losing their identity, their right's to land and human dignity. So, not only has the physical forest landscape has been devastated, but also the social, cultural and spiritual heritage. Again, indigenous peoples and forest peoples are the victims, losers, and most vulnerable, even more worrying now that latest study finds that the impact of climate change is worse than previously projected.
The forests and peoples can not wait for global talks and conventions, international aid and programs to address clear and present danger they are facing. What is needed is not too uniform approaches, but ones that are locally tailored. This calls for a strong regional and local leadership and initiatives in making sure that landscapes, lifespaces, forests, and peoples of this region will survive through decades to come.
SOLUTION: The initiative is Building Leadership towards Forests and People’s Survival in Southeast Asia.
This will be a movement of connected thousands local leaders. It will be about promoting investment in people and open social processes, fostering solidarity as a complementary strategy for the region’s development, creating and testing common platforms for governments, communities, and businesses in Southeast Asia, and ensuring Southeast Asia’s forests and forest peoples will sustain and flourish in the next 50 years.
It will not be based in an office, or city, or country. Rather, each leader and each of us will be one of many centers. One server among thousands of this region wide web. Therefore a new way of leading, organizing, and creating changes. It’s the social-environmental movement in the Internet era.
It will work initially from a small group, the team, who connects with local leaders, which in turns will identify and connect to more leaders. Then there will be a crowd-processing-like system, can be as simple as a facebook group of these leaders, where technical and logistical support processed, ideas and information shared, activities coordinated and documented, and a movement created.
CONTACT PERSON: [email protected]