Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Groups of campaigners and experts will host an international conference on Indonesias diverse local wisdom to protect, as well as preserve, the environment and natural resources for future generations in the country, an activist has said.

"Indonesia and the other developing nations have shared the similar problem of environmental destruction. Hence, we are now seeking the possibilities of how the local wisdom practised by the indigenous communities in the country could help us resolve the issue," an activist, Nasrullah said, Friday, on the sidelines of the event hosted jointly by an academic publicist, Jurnal Wicaksana, and the campaigner, Policy and Human Rights Advocacy for Papua Association (PAK-HAM Papua), in Jakarta.

Hosted in Bali on March 2018, the international conference will feature speakers from several countries, including France, United States of America, Japan, Australia, China and Singapore.

"This issue (protecting nature) has posed a global concern not only for the developing countries, but also the developed nations. Therefore, we would like to invite all scholars and experts to talk about the possibility of following local wisdom to protect the environment and promote sustainable economic activities," he remarked.

Therefore, the FGD, which was hosted by the academic publicist and campaigner, aimed to generate ideas from scholars and experts, ahead of the conference.

"The discussion was part of our efforts to prepare the conference. Following this event and another talk in Lahat district, South Sumatra province, we will continue hosting similar sessions in other regions, such as in Palembang, South Sumatra province, and Yogyakarta, " Nasrullah explained.

As one of the speakers during the talk, senior journalist Aat Surya Safaat noted that most indigenous groups in Indonesia have practised sustainable lifestyle, which promoted harmonious relations among nature, society and the God.

"The local wisdom practised by our traditional communities actually has protected the natural reserves. Hence, the government, as well as the business sectors, need to learn and adopt this value to ensure the sustainability of the environment, mainly for the future generations," Safaat emphasized on the sidelines of the discussion.

He further stressed that most economic activities, such as mining, plantation and logging, have been performed in a non-sustainable manner. Therefore, ecosystems were deteriorating owing to the pollution and man-made disasters.

"In order to stop the destruction, we need a strong commitment of not only the government, but also the companies, and the civil organization, to actively engage in protecting the nature by learning from our local wisdom," he reiterated.

During a similar occasion, PAK-HAM Papua head of investigation Decy Violent Riwu said the government needed to rethink its goal of accelerating the development in Papua province.

"We lauded the government effort in building many infrastructures to accelerate the economy in Papua. However, the authority should consider how the development will affect the lives of many indigenous groups in the island," Riwu said.

Therefore, any development projects have to take local wisdom in Papua into account, she maintained.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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