Taiwan Indigenous Conserved Territories Union

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= organization to protect the land tenure rights and well-being of Taiwanese indigenous communities


member of the ICCA Consortium, which aims to protect Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas


Sutej Hugu:

"The fundamental problem is that ICCAs have been deprived of collective land tenure and rights for natural resources in their traditional territories. Self-determination and self-government of ICCAs is the ultimate goal for us to achieve. Before it comes true, keeping a dynamic and adaptive vision of ICCAs is most important for its survival and revival.

In our internal discussion with younger generation, community-habitat collaborative commons and peer-to-peer collaborative commons is understood as a radical alternative to business corporation and administrative agency."


"TICTU Restoration Strategic Action Plan for disrupted ICCAs

Following the holistic approach of rights-institution, knowledge-ethic, and livelihood-wellbeing, TICTU freely promotes the restoration strategic action plans on:

a. Tribal Participatory GIS for time-space adaptive information and collective memories. This is going along with tribal heritage keepers groups and tribal knowledge-base of accumulated contents. And, organize human sensors network of hunters, fishes, gatherers and farmers for long-term ecological monitoring on tribal community traditional territories.

b. Coordination with neighboring tribal communities on mutual recognition and shared governance of overlapping traditional territories. The negotiation starts from: 1. collective memory of migration routes; 2. historical tribal sites; and 3. contemporary living spaces. Mutual endorsement establishes the legitimacy of tribal sovereignties.

c. Community-habitat protocol based on tribal institution and local knowledge for interdependent economy and inter-species polity. The challenge will be how to transform the original oral tradition embedded in the deepest all-connectedness with land and nature into a post-development governance institution to keep our identity and living tradition.

d. Declaration of self-determination and self-government following into sovereignty treaty negotiation with the central government. In response to the Transitional Justice Initiative of current government, we appeal for 1. Recognition of tribal sovereignty and full indigenous rights; 2. Return of the traditional land and marine territories; 3. Reparation of colonial destruction and persecution; and 4. Collaboration on recovery and restoration processes and programs.

e. Reanimate tribal collaborative commons and social cooperative business. Lack of economic basis for ICCAs causes mostly by the loss of collective land tenure and resource rights on their traditional territories. This led to indigenous peoples been uprooted and on intubation as marginal and vulnerable groups. We seek for every opportunity of restoring a sustainable community livelihood on tribal collaborative commons as our visionary future."


A brief update on the situation of indigenous Taiwan

Sutej Hugu:

"It is clear that once ICCAs are politically governed by the colonial state apparatus and economically controlled by the global market, they have lost their natural sovereignty and integrity to take care of themselves in their traditional territories.

Here is a brief report on the situation of indigenous Taiwan after the formal apology for all the colonial crimes in these four hundred years issued by the new President last August and the launch of the Historical and Transitional Justice Committee for Indigenous Peoples at last December.

1. Despite been approved in the Legislation House since December 2015, until now the current Government (assigned to Council of Indigenous Peoples) fails to implement the legal person status for the already recognized 748 tribal community.

2. Promise by the current government to draft new version of Indigenous Land and Marine Territories Act and the Autonomy Act of Indigenous Peoples is delayed because of reactive response to change from the vested interests and existing authorities.

3. Released this February, the Regulation for Designating Indigenous Traditional Territories has offered to partially handle public land only, and totally leave the ‘private’ land intact, while in the designated traditional territories the tribal communities is permitted to implement the FPIC principle only. This provokes serious dispute and protesting of indigenous peoples' action groups.

4. One Deputy Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples asserts recently that tribal communities (ICCAs) should not have the right of self-determination. Only the unified indigenous peoples as a whole could have it.

5. Beyond all the above no so positive information, from last October to this March, there are already five tribal communities stand out to declare their own traditional territories and reaffirm their own rights and responsibilities of self-governance and conservation. Negotiation with neighboring tribal communities on overlapping and shared governance is ongoing. Adaptation and innovation on original governance institution is evolving. Tribal Participatory GIS platform as one of the basis for self-government is developing. So, the possibility of a full recognition of tribal sovereignty or a reconstruction of state sovereignty is striving.

TICTU is transforming from a leading visionary action group to the real coalition of the self-determined tribal communities. And, its Secretariat will spin off to be the think-tank and capacity-building organization in the near future to service all the 800 tribal communities of Indigenous Taiwan."

More information

  • Article: Launching the Taiwan Indigenous Conserved Territories Union. By Sutej Hugu.

URL = https://www.academia.edu/11588211/Launching_the_Taiwan_Indigenous_Conserved_Territories_Union