Indonesia is the most unique nation in the World. There are no such nations which consists a lot of difference more than Indonesia does. Nation which constituted by ethnics from Sumatra in the west into Papua in the east and from Kalimantan in the north into Pulau Rote in the south cover a lot of different religion, society, culture and economy. Indonesia is also rich in natural resource and homeland to fast growing population. It also has numerous dynamic economies.

But in spite of that, because of the desire to improve economic growth by doing industrialization and expansion of capitalism cost Indonesia with tremendous problem of Environmental degradation. By looking in what have done in the field of environment, the environmental degradation could be perilous problem for environment’s future.

To solving environmental degradation, we still use old paradigm which is still put government as a main actor in preserving environment. But in fact until now it still remain failure in gaining objectives on environment sustainable development. As we know that Asia Pacific region contains various cultural diversity and also traditional knowledge system which has been developed for almost thousand years. In many countries in Asia Pacific and especially in Indonesia there are a lot of various local indigenous which have local knowledge in viewing nature. Thus, cultural diversities in Asia pacific regions could be vital modal to preserve environment in the framework of sustainable development.

In this essay I argue that we should put local indigenous society and local indigenous wisdom as a main actors and main preference in the field of environmental sustainable development. Because the man, nature, and culture are trinity which can not be separated, without their participation and their traditional knowledge, sustainable environmental development will be only commitment in paper.

The Failure of state
Seen from international system dimension, it is already being natural for states to emphasize its national interest and to make high politic issues as main issues of state. Since environmental issues are low politics issue, until now, states is still put environmental issues as periphery issues in their national interest. Beside that, in all efforts considering environmental issues, states only build an environmental regime which only exist in paper and never realize that all of efforts are useless if it not be implemented directly.

According to Lorraine Elliot, Ineffectiveness of state in the field of environmental issues basically because is an incongruence between problems which arise from the international connected nature of the global ecosystem and solutions which are sought in the framework of geopolitical system based on system. For example, since Stockholm conference 1972 until Rio Conference in 1992 there were no big changes brought by state. Even until know, environmental degradation is still not yet decreased.

State’s roles in domestic level are far from what we expected. State failed to build institutions which conduct sustainable environmental development. Shoddier condition, state, directly or indirectly, participate on damaging environment because of bad management on natural resources or corrupted government. For example in Indonesia, state based management paradigm conduct by government of Indonesia in forest management result a decreased on Indonesian forest and fauna. It also creates poverty for indigenous society who live near forest. Also state’s support on MNC in Papua case is one of the biggest mistake hold by government which caused increasing environmental degradation and regional separatist.

Ecology not Economy
Beside the ineffectiveness of state, there are two most basic mistakes in handling environmental issues; the fallacy of logic of thinking and improper method using in solving environmental problem. If we talk about sustainable environmental development, we always associate it with economic aspects and if we talk about what is the solution we always refers to scientist or we always refers to what modern science tell us about.

States always see environmental issues in economic perspective. For developing states, Environmental issues are often used to beg more debt to developed states. Joseph K. Nyerere had ever said that negotiating about environment issues is also negotiating about economic. For developed states, since using economic approach on seeing environment issues, they dare to claim that they have already struggled for environmental issues. For example, Australia claimed that they refer to a lot of money which has been sacrificed to protecting environment. Even there is no correlation between how much money sacrificed from hazardous industry with decreasing of pollution on environment.

Honestly, we can say that logic of economic rarely concerned about future ecology. Of course in some cases, there are initiatives taken by corporate concerning environmental issues. But indeed, corporate still put environment as commodity which should be preserved so that it can be exploited in the future. Framework of economic put environment as commodity not as environment itself. Therefore, sustainable development concept only becomes such tool for corporate to always exploit natural resources.

The second problem faced in gaining sustainable environmental development is we never ask about what kind of method we can use to solve environmental issues. For this long time, we always believe in solution giving by scientist because we believe that by using scientific approach, we can get closer to the best result. But we never realize that there is relation between knowledge and power. In some degree, modern knowledge can be justification for actions resulting environmental degradation. We still remember that USA reject ratify Kyoto because it lack of scientific approval. Just like in Indonesia, where a lot of environment is sacrificed in the name of development.

The Importance of Indigenous society’s knowledge
All facts lead us to rethinking what we have believed on how should we protecting our environment. The key to all environment issues is laid on local knowledge and local wisdom. Indigenous societies become important, in managing environmental development, because of their local wisdom which is the best method for solution on environment problem.

Erich fromm said that people always choose one of two modes of living; being and having. In order to being in the world we must have things. We must have things in order to enjoy them. In this case, indigenous society lives in environment surrounding them so they know very well what nature want from them and how they should maintain environment. Differ with others which don’t living in there (evaluator or scientist), they do not have any feeling of having the nature so they don’t know accurately how to maintain environment.

It is true that local knowledge is not scientific knowledge. But philosophically, local wisdom rooted from the belief that environment is also apart of every day life. Even local knowledge absolutely unscientific and characterized as primitive in term of modernity, in fact, traditional management have been successful in maintaining environment from degradation.

It has also become clear that, because of their extensive ecological knowledge, societies which are based on sustainable developmental practices are much better able to accurately assess the true costs and benefits of ecosystem disturbance than any evaluator coming from outside the local area. How local society serves their own nature by using their local knowledge is the best way achieving objectives of sustainable environmental development. Many communities in Asia Pacific have been opted to market their own “indigenousness to tourist from the west, without giving them a chance to implement their own culture in their way of life. We never realize that indigenous culture play major significant role in preserving environment from degradation. All of the environmental degradation is caused by the withdrawal.

Recommendation and solution
In order to increase indigenous society’s participation, firstly, there should be a shift in power relations from national to local level. The rights and basic needs of local communities and indigenous peoples should prevail over the perceived national interest as determined by government. Government can not insist their willingness to develop in any local communities based by national interest because sometimes, national interest is not represented the willingness of local communities. So, Government is not the centered actor who fully responsible on sustainable environmental development anymore but indigenous society with their local wisdom will be an actor who fully responsible in their heritage land. Empowerment of indigenous society could be performed by giving them access on development planning in their own land.

To gaining objectives of sustainable environmental development, it is necessary to accommodate traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge and local wisdom is the best way achieving environmental sustainability because local wisdom perceives Mother Nature as unity with culture and also with society. The balance between nature and man can be provided by local wisdom because, unlike modern science, there is distinction between man (subject) and environment (object).

International financial Institutions or regional financial institutions such ADB should provide a large number of aids to help indigenous society to participate in maintaining their own nature. IFI still concentrate their aid to increase sustainable development by look only on economic aspects whereas environment is the main problem faced by developing countries. In Indonesia, there are some efforts empowering local communities by local NGO’s, but their efforts are not followed by support from government and financial institution which have program to reduce environmental degradation. A lot of aid gave by financial institution sill using old method which using government as an actor to solving environmental degradation so they give a lot of money to government but there were no any improvement in environmental sustainability. Aid from IFI should flow directly indigenous society that have local wisdom to maintain and manage their land.

Position of NGO and other social movements in efforts for sustainable environmental development are only as catalyst. NGO roles is as an actor who giving indigenous societies a consciousness that they should participating in sustainable environmental development. Government roles in sustainable environmental development is as an actor who facilitate indigenous society by conducting as law enforcer and also creating set of rules to assure the system is going well. Finally, the implementation of sustainable environment development is in the hand of local indigenous society.

Last but not least, indigenous society’s empowerment should not serve only as a symbol. There are some efforts which want to put Local indigenous community as puppet by giving them quasi roles in preserving sustainable environmental development. By implemented this paradigm which put local indigenous community as a main actor in achieving sustainable environmental development, not only environment can be saved but also Culture and human of indigenous which eradicated by modernity. For Asia Pacific region which has a lot of indigenous society, indigenous society with their local knowledge will be the most potential capital for preserving environment from degradation.