'Lives of the Forest' is a new video created by indigenous activists from across the Asia Pacific region exploring the likely impacts of the UN's REDD programme on indigenous resources and lifestyles. It was created during a participatory video facilitator training in Ifugao (Philippines) by representatives of 15 distinct indigenous communities from 8 different countries.
The film was shot entirely on location within the remote mountain community of Hungduan in Ifugao (home to the Tuali peoples - one of the many indigenous groups in the Cordillera region of the Philippines) and explores the traditional knowledge and lifestyles of the Tuali peoples including their deep connection with, and reliance upon, their Muyong (clan-owned woodlands) and communal forests as an example of an indigenous community whose way of life is threatened by programmes such as REDD. The indigenous filmmakers behind this short film assert that market-based approaches to climate change are at odds with the traditional lifestyles and belief systems of indigenous peoples and that, through such programs, governments around the world will assert ownership over the forests inhabited by indigenous communities leading to landlessness and increased loss of bio-cultural diversity.
It was planned and created by 18 indigenous activists as a collaborative filmmaking exercise during a 2-week training program in participatory video facilitation. The trainees undertook all the conceptualisation, storyboarding and filming. They made all the editing decisions during a participatory 'paper edit' process. The footage was edited on location with all the trainees in attendance by the trainers, whilst they received editing training and pieced together the short films created by local women and youth during community placements.
'Lives of the Forest' is intended as a piece of video advocacy that will add to the rich tapestry of perspectives on how best to address the climate crisis. It does not purport to represent all indigenous communities; nor does it claim to be 'balanced' or 'objective'. This is collaborative polemic filmmaking by those whose voices are rarely heard and are always under-represented.
The training programme was delivered by participatory video pioneers InsightShare (www.insightshare.org<http://www.insightshare.org/>) in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN). Funding support was provided by The Christensen Fund and the Lia Fund. It is part of Conversations with the Earth - www.conversationsearth.org<http://www.conversationsearth.org/>
InsightShare are leaders in the use of participatory video as a tool for individuals and groups to grow in self-confidence and trust, and to build skills to act for change. Our methods value local knowledge, build bridges between communities and decision-makers, and enable people to develop greater control over the decisions affecting their lives. For more information see www.insightshare.org<http://www.insightshare.org/>
About Conversations with the Earth:
Conversations with the Earth is a way of listening closely to traditional stewards of the earth, indigenous peoples, to help formulate a viable collective response to the global challenge of climate change. It is an indigenous-led multimedia campaign to amplify indigenous voices in the global discourse on climate change. For more information, please visit www.conversationsearth.org<http://www.conversationsearth.org/>