Indigenous Peoples' food systems is given its due place in the fight for climate change mitigation in the new FAO publication which follows two other publications Indigenous peoples’ food systems: the many dimensions of culture, diversity and environment for nutrition and health (2009) and Indigenous Peoples’ food systems and well-being: Interventions and policies for healthy communities (2013). TIP and its partner NESFAS were happy to contribute to this third volume which explores territorial management issues and analyses the driving factors that make Indigenous Peoples’ food systems one of the most sustainable, self-sufficient and resilient on the planet, and the external pressures that are eroding them. The areas of coverage include forest-based food system of the Baka people in South-eastern Cameroon, Reindeer herding of the Inari Sámi people in Nellim, Finland, Fishing and agroforestry of the Melanesian people in Solomon Islands, Pastoralist of the KelTamasheq people in Aratène, Mali, Agro-pastoralism and gathering of the Bhotia and Anwal peoples in Uttarakhand, India. Fishing, chagra and forest food system of the Tikuna, Cocama and Yagua peoples in Puerto Nariño, Colombia, Milpa of the Maya Ch’orti’ people in Chiquimula, Guatemala and finally TIP facilitated Jhum, fishing and gathering food system of the Khasi people in Meghalaya, India.
Officially launched on June 25, 2021 through an online event organized by FAO and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT the session invited various representatives from communities and authors to elaborate the importance of the featured food systems.
TIP coordinator Phrang Roy moderated the session which also saw Bhogtoram Mawroh, Sr. Associate represent NESFAS as the co-author of the Khasi Food System chapter. “Our Indigenous Food Systems (IFS) are determined by self determination and values of sharing and caring”, shared Phrang Roy. The study shows that more than sixty percent of the food produced is from Jhum cultivation and this has enabled the communities to attain autonomy in food production and more than sixty of the diet and income comes from the jhum-based IFS.
Dr. Mawroh expressed, “North East India and Meghalaya in particular still maintain strong indigenous food systems. However, this is coming under increasing threat. The study helps in shedding light on the sustainability of the Indigenous Peoples’ food systems and bringing out lessons for resilience and sustainability of the food systems in general. These will help policy makers around the globe to customize their own policies on food for sustainable development.”
The significance of the book and the event was that it drew the attention and participation of Dr. QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General who said in his opening remarks,
“Indigenous Peoples’ food systems: Insights on sustainability and resilience from the front line of climate change”
And when the Khasi term of respect “Bah” was used to address and introduce Phrang Roy in a global forum, it marked a subtle shift towards respect for all indigenous sensitivities.
Event agenda: shorturl.at/eosB9