Home World News World Food Day: Indigenous Leaders Demand End to the Land Grabbing, Violence

World Food Day: Indigenous Leaders Demand End to the Land Grabbing, Violence

World Food Day

Following violent attacks and the murder of a community leader last week for protesting against a palm oil company for violating the rights of local indigenous communities, Indonesia’s national indigenous organization calls attention to need to reform global food systems and protect indigenous and local communities’ rights.

Statement from Rukka Sombolinggi, Secretary General of AMAN, the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago, for World Food Day Following the Conflict in Bangkal

World leaders must see the food on their plates for what it really is: the product of great suffering inflicted on Indigenous Peoples, farmers, and local communities by agriculture and other food companies that are decimating our lands for profit.

Indigenous Peoples’ food systems are among the most sustainable in the world. We generate hundreds of nutritious foods on our ancestral lands that protect biodiversity and support humanity’s resilience in the face of climate change.

Today, companies are forcing us out of our ancestral territories and deforesting swaths of forest to make way for oil palm and soybean plantations. Globally, agriculture drives more than 90% of deforestation–and many of those forests had been cared for by Indigenous communities. They are taking our lands, our lives and humanity’s best hope of surviving the greatest crisis of our time.

An Indigenous brother of ours was shot to death by police last week in Borneo’s Dayak village of Bangkal for protesting against an oil palm plantation company that is violating the rights of his community. Two others were injured and more than 20 community members were unlawfully arrested. We stand with them and all others who have put their lives on the line to defend our way of life and the critical ecosystem we protect.

As countries look to transform global food systems at this year’s COP28 and align them with nature and people, countries and businesses must take a hard look at their supply chains and mend the harm they have caused to Indigenous and local communities. If the rights of our communities, who are stewards of what remains of global biodiversity and pristine forests, are constantly under attack, then there will be no future for anyone on this planet.

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