Posted on 22 September 2015
This year, the Equator Prize is awarded to 21 outstanding local and indigenous community initiatives from a total of 1,461 nominations from 126 countries submitted this year to The Equator Initiative.
JAKARTA – FORMADAT, the Alliance of the Indigenous Peoples of the Highlands of Borneo (Indonesia – Malaysia), has been named as one of the Equator Prize 2015 winners announced at the United Nations Secretariat in New York, Monday night (21/09).
This year, the Equator Prize is awarded to 21 outstanding local and indigenous community initiatives from a total of 1,461 nominations from 126 countries submitted this year to The Equator Initiative. Komunitas Adat Muara Tae in East Kalimantan and Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung in Sumatra are also amongst the winners. The awarding of the Equator Prize 2015 will be held during the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris.
FORMADAT as a trans-border alliance, Indonesia – Malaysia, came together in 2004 to build on the shared historical and cultural bonds among the Lundayeh/Lun Bawang, Kelabit, and Sa'ban indigenous peoples living in the Highlands of the Heart of Borneo (HoB). The Alliance aims to integrate conservation and development, and ensure that the development of the highlands respects the environmental and social characteristics of the area and its communities.
The traditional landscape of the highlands HoB is a patchwork of agricultural fields, ancient forests, rivers and streams, and cultural sites. The area is a traditionally farmed catchment area on the island of Borneo. Farmers have developed a traditional wet rice farming system which is unique in the interior of Borneo where most farmers use rotational agriculture. The group has prioritized farming native rice varieties like adan rice and preserving local fruit trees. Beyond farming, FORMADAT is managing a tele-center operated with solar energy opened in 2011. Together with E-Bario and E-Ba’ Kelalan in Malaysia, this initiative supports education and information exchange and supports the local ecotourism.
“What the leaders of FORMADAT started to envisage and discuss back in September 2003 showed a powerful long-term vision of sustainability and security for their homeland and communities” says Cristina Eghenter of WWF Indonesia. “The Equator Prize 2015 is a well deserved recognition of FORMADAT for trying to outline a local model of sustainable and fair development that builds on strong cultural heritage,” continues Cristina.
In the words of the Head of FORMADAT Indonesia, Lewi G Paru, “FORMADAT is a forum in our own backyard to serve the interests of all living along the border of the Borneo Highlands. It unites us in one fellowship, one thought, one journey, to look after our homeland, our rights, our environment and our culture.”
Notes to Editor:
1. More information on FORMADAT can be accessed in: http://www.wwf.or.id/en/about_wwf/whatwedo/pds/social_development/formadat/
2. More information on Equator Prize can be accessed in: http://equatorinitiative.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=889&Itemid=1093&lang=en
For further information, please contact:
Cristina Eghenter, Deputy Director for Social Development, WWF-Indonesia
, Hp: +62 813 47121590
WWF Indonesia is the largest conservation organization in Indonesia and has begun its activities since 1962. This independent foundation has been registered under Indonesian law since 1998. In total WWF-Indonesia has 28 field offices encompassing areas from Aceh to Papua, supported by more than 400 staff. Since 2006, WWF-Indonesia has been supported by more than 54,000 supporters spread all over Indonesia. More info, visit www.wwf.or.id