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The COVID-19 challenge and indigenous wisdom solutions


01 September 2020

 

The COVID-19 challenge and indigenous wisdom solutions
 
By Wimar Witoelar
Green Communications Specialist, Founder and Chairman InterMatrix Communications.
OK, let us talk (yet again) about clean energy and indigenous peoples’ environment. Some people might say I am biased since I am a consultant working for the Batang Toru hydroelectric power plant in North Sumatra but the underlying logic is too clear to be ignored. Clean energy infrastructure and environmental protection can and should coexist. It is baffling that some still believe the two are in conflict. Thus the topic warrants repeating.
The link between environmental damage and pandemics is quite close. This has been brought to public attention by indigenous peoples for decades because natural heritage is so important for their survival. Through their local wisdom and their relationship to nature, the indigeneous peoples have long known that environmental degradation is the source of disease.
In the context of the campaign against the the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to listen to indigenous peoples, and to respect their local wisdom. The indigeneous lands are home to most of the world's biodiversity. Hence the indigenous peoples have a lot to say t about balancing our relationship with nature. This will reduce the risk of future pandemics. 
Indigenous peoples are always looking for their own senvirolutions to pandemics. They use local wisdom i.e. traditional knowledge and practices such as voluntary isolation and closure of their territories. 
Once again, they have demonstrated their high capacity to adapt in spite of the complex environment. 
Local wisdom comes at the right time. Conventional thinking does not provide a way out of the COVID-19 conundrum. We are destined for permanent deadlock unless everybody comes together and finds a solution that is to everybody's agreement. There is a feeling that there is no simple solution unless it is achieved together. Fortunately the genius of the problem is that the solution is right there for those who appreciate the traditional wisdom of the indigenous peoples.
We live in a digital world now. It is not wise to ignore the importance of mastering digital technology in competition with other nations. But that does not mean that we can ignore the positive aspects of the local wisdom our ancestors have taught us. 
And yet it is also true that we can also get clean energy from the forest. Take the case of the Batang Toru hydroelectric project, which is expected to generate 510 MW from run-of-the-river techniques, avoiding the necessity of creating large reservoirs. It also means avoiding large-scale environmental disruption and preserving the natural habitat.
It will act to mitigate climate change as it makes available the additional power critically needed for Sumatra’s development. While it was designed before planners were aware of the pandemic looming over the world, the project now beautifully serves two survival needs of Indonesian society: the COVID-19 pandemic and electrical power needs.
The pandemic has taught us an enormous lesson, how certain circumstances have changed our daily life forever. Imagine how climate change will have an impact on our forthcoming life. Therefore, investing in renewable energy and adopting indigenous peoples' way of life will be beneficial in preventing catastrophic events in our future.

By: Wimar Witoelar

Green Communications Specialist, Founder and Chairman InterMatrix Communications.

 

 

OK, let us talk (yet again) about clean energy and indigenous peoples’ environment. Some people might say I am biased since I am a consultant working for the Batang Toru hydroelectric power plant in North Sumatra but the underlying logic is too clear to be ignored. Clean energy infrastructure and environmental protection can and should coexist. It is baffling that some still believe the two are in conflict. Thus the topic warrants repeating.

 

 

The link between environmental damage and pandemics is quite close. This has been brought to public attention by indigenous peoples for decades because natural heritage is so important for their survival. Through their local wisdom and their relationship to nature, the indigeneous peoples have long known that environmental degradation is the source of disease.

 

 

In the context of the campaign against the the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to listen to indigenous peoples, and to respect their local wisdom. The indigeneous lands are home to most of the world's biodiversity. Hence the indigenous peoples have a lot to say t about balancing our relationship with nature. This will reduce the risk of future pandemics. 

 

 

Indigenous peoples are always looking for their own senvirolutions to pandemics. They use local wisdom i.e. traditional knowledge and practices such as voluntary isolation and closure of their territories. 

 

 

Once again, they have demonstrated their high capacity to adapt in spite of the complex environment. 

 

 

Local wisdom comes at the right time. Conventional thinking does not provide a way out of the COVID-19 conundrum. We are destined for permanent deadlock unless everybody comes together and finds a solution that is to everybody's agreement. There is a feeling that there is no simple solution unless it is achieved together. Fortunately the genius of the problem is that the solution is right there for those who appreciate the traditional wisdom of the indigenous peoples.

 

 

We live in a digital world now. It is not wise to ignore the importance of mastering digital technology in competition with other nations. But that does not mean that we can ignore the positive aspects of the local wisdom our ancestors have taught us. 

 

 

And yet it is also true that we can also get clean energy from the forest. Take the case of the Batang Toru hydroelectric project, which is expected to generate 510 MW from run-of-the-river techniques, avoiding the necessity of creating large reservoirs. It also means avoiding large-scale environmental disruption and preserving the natural habitat.

 

 

It will act to mitigate climate change as it makes available the additional power critically needed for Sumatra’s development. While it was designed before planners were aware of the pandemic looming over the world, the project now beautifully serves two survival needs of Indonesian society: the COVID-19 pandemic and electrical power needs.

 

 

The pandemic has taught us an enormous lesson, how certain circumstances have changed our daily life forever. Imagine how climate change will have an impact on our forthcoming life. Therefore, investing in renewable energy and adopting indigenous peoples' way of life will be beneficial in preventing catastrophic events in our future.

 

 

source:

https://www.thejakartapost.com/paper/2020/08/27/the-covid-19-challenge-and-indigenous-wisdom-solutions.html

 

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