Support us from £3/month
We deal with almost 1000 cases a year assisting communities, groups and individuals in protecting their local spaces and paths in all parts of England and Wales. Can you help us by joining as a member?
The society was proud to receive the first Elinor Ostrom Award for practitioners, two years ago in Japan. This time, our general secretary Kate Ashbrook was one of the judges. She went to the biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) in Edmonton, Canada, in May and presented the practitioners’ award to Abdon Nababan on behalf of AMAN, the Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago. You can see the video of the ceremony here.
AMAN works across Indonesia to defend community rights to the commons. It has used a range of campaigning techniques. For instance, it has lobbied the government to secure the rights and access of indigenous people. Importantly, it challenged the government in court on the ownership of the forest commons. To have taken on the Indonesian government is no small thing. AMAN was founded in 1999 and is now composed of 2,349 indigenous communities.
AMAN submitted a judicial review of the Forestry Law to the constitutional court; the court found that customary forests are no longer state forests. AMAN then produced a handbook to explain to the communities what their rights are. (It is interesting that, whereas we fought to keep our forests in state hands, in many parts of the world this is highly undesirable because it leads to exploitation of the land and local people ousted.)
AMAN has mapped the territories of indigenous people and persuaded the government to recognise people’s rights . It has also set up a group to address the issues faced by women and has involved young people in the management of the commons.
Clearly, AMAN is a courageous, fearless and innovative organisation, and Abdon is a great leader, prepared to stand up for people’s rights.
The Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of Common Resources was created in 2012, the year of Lin’s death, by the IASC to honour her memory. A political scientist, Lin was IASC’s first president and won the Nobel prize for economic sciences in 2009.