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Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Indigenous Peoples’ Voices on Biodiversity: Ms. Pinsuda Khamkaew – Thailand

Message from Ms. Pinsuda Khamkaew, Coordinator of the Ton-kla Indigenous Children and Youth Network 

Hello, my name is Pinsuda Khamkaew. My nickname is Pin. I belong to Dara Aung Indigenous group. I live in Ban Huay Makliam, T.Mon Pin, A.Fang, Chiang Mai. Currently, I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and work in Ton-kla Indigenous Children and Youth Network. I am working as a coordinator.

Personally, if asking about how to protect natural resources. For Children and youth, what we need to do is to take care of, gain and transmit knowledge on how to protect natural resources from the adults in the community first. This is because the adults of each tribe have different ways to take care of or protect specific areas like community forest areas or usable areas. Each area needs a sensitive approach pertaining to each area.
We as children and youth should learn how to take care of the natural resources from the adult in the community. Such as this type of tree, how should we best take care of it. This is because each tree has diversity same as each area.

Indigenous Peoples have a lot of knowledge on how to manage their natural resources. Whether it is shifting cultivation, growing rice, or traditional way of life, each tribe has a different way of doing things according to their context.

For example, in growing rice for Dara-ang Tribe from the past to present, 1 Rai does not only contain rice but the farmer grows other plants together in the rice field, such as pumpkin, variety of vegetables, corn, and peanut. This shows the diversity within just 1 Rai of Rice field. It is just one piece of knowledge showing how people balance and keep the diversity of plants or in the rice field. It is based on the traditional knowledge passed on from the ancestors.

For us, our role is to harvest the body of knowledge, apply and adapt it in our lives. So that in the future, there will continue to be biodiversity whether it is plants or seeds.

At present, many areas decrease in their biodiversity. As children and youth, I think we should protect and maintain by first learning and utilizing what we learn in our life and in the future. Thank you.