Kynan Tegar, a filmmaker and Indigenous Dayak Iban, joins Climate Curious to reveal why Indonesia’s capital city move isn’t the green dream we’ve been sold.

Transcript: Climate Quickie: How Indonesia’s capital city move is displacing Indigenous Peoples

TEDxLondon Climate Curious

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Kynan Tegar, an 18-year old filmmaker and Indigenous Dayak Iban, joins Climate Curious to unearth the truth behind Indonesia’s capital city relocation. Specifically, why the government’s move of the capital from Jakarta to Borneo – to become a so-called “sustainable forest city” – is a pipe dream. Kynan shares how the capital city move imperils Indigenous communities throughout Borneo that have stewarded the land successfully for centuries. Recorded live at Our Village NYC Climate Week.

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Ben Hurst 0:01
welcome to climate quickies bite sized nuggets a planet goodness from our TEDxLondon London experts in under five minutes. In this week’s climate curious quickie we hear from Kynan Tegar, an 18 year old indigenous Dyak Iban about making documentary films to share indigenous knowledge. He joins us to share what’s going on in Borneo. Specifically why the government has been trying to move the capital city of Jakarta to Borneo over to Kynan to share more. Stay curious.

Kynan Tegar 0:31
So my name is Kynan Tegar. I am an 18 year old indigenous filmmaker from the Daya cabin tribe of Borneo, Indonesia. I grew up in a village, my village sumo thick. It’s a small village in the heart of Borneo, and its affiliates that still has very, very rich culture. And because of that, we still have our forests that our grandfathers my grandmother’s fought for, in the 70s. A park. In the 70s, a logging company came to my village, they came with truckloads of money, and they wanted to exchange it for the right to our land. But our grandmothers or grandfathers, they said, No, we do not want these temporary gains,

these temporary gains to take priority over the life that our force has give and will give because the forest is their legacy, and now my legacy to the future generations. That’s what inspired me to do what I’m doing now, since I was 13. I’ve been making films, focusing on my people, our people, and our connection to the land, what it means to us, the nature, our culture, and our role in what is happening now in the world, with climate change becoming a reality. So I am here at the New York climate week as a youth representative of among the indigenous peoples alliance of the archipelago.

So right now, there’s a lot happening in Indonesia. In January of last year, the government enacted a new law that legalised the moving of our capital city of Jakarta, a congested city, with more than 30 million people living in it. And they are planning to move it to the island of Borneo, my home island to a place that they say is empty land in the eastern part of the island of Borneo. But of course, it’s never empty land. There is people, indigenous peoples and local communities living there and living for hundreds of years prior to, and they are going to be the ones that are affected most by this change.

And this won’t affect just the peoples but it will also affect the entirety of the island, the ecosystems within it. And because of that the world because Borneo is home to one of the largest rain forests in a world that is still intact, and its requestors millions and billions of carbon. And if this new council comes to fruition, it will provide access to these primary forests and impact the local communities living there, they would lose access to their land, they would lose access to their way of life to the forest that provides them with everything they need. What we want is for indigenous peoples and local communities throughout Indonesia, throughout the archipelago, to be recognised as the rightful owners of their land, for them to have the rights to it recognise.

This new law by the government that was finalised in less than 43 days is changing the history of the people who have lived there for hundreds of years. It will, it will erase their history, it will erase their culture because without land without their customary territory, these peoples, they wouldn’t be able to practice their culture they wouldn’t be able to live off of the land that they go home. That’s something that has happened in so many other communities throughout not only our island, but also Indonesia, but also the world. You know the story that has taken place over and over again, indigenous communities indigenous peoples, whose lands are taken from them, turned into palm oil plantations in the Nickel Mines.

coal mines, gold mines, whatever it may be, these extractive industries take away their land take away their ability to sustain themselves. Because of that they suffer greatly. And so many of the time these changes, these laws that affect their lives in such critical ways are made without their consultation, made without having their opinions be heard. And that’s also what we are trying to achieve. By true our activism, you know, through our participation in climate week, here in New York, we want for their free prior and informed consent to be recognised,

for these companies and countries to recognise how important it is to have that free, prior and informed consent of the communities, because we want for there to be no discussion about us without us.

And my grandfather, he always has a saying that he says time and time again and I continue to echo to this day. It is the saying that defines our philosophy. In a village, every single decision that we make is with it in mind, and the saying goes, that the land is our mother. The forest is our father.

And the river is our blood.

Ben Hurst 6:30
Thanks for listening to this quickie. This episode was created by our superstar podcast team at TEDx London.

Until next time, stay curious.


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