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Integrating Indigenous Resource Management with Wildlife Conservation A Case Study of Batang Ai National Park.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrating Indigenous Resource Management with Wildlife Conservation A Case Study of Batang Ai National Park."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrating Indigenous Resource Management with Wildlife Conservation A Case Study of Batang Ai National Park

2 Themes today Research questions Methods Batang Ai National Park and the Iban community Iban methods of resource management Farmland ownership and rules of access Forest areas conserved Socioeconomic changes Economic development State legislation Co-management New rules Reinforcing local authority A sense of ownership Conclusions: Lessons from Batang Ai

3 Research questions Horowitz, L.S Integrating indigenous resource management with wildlife conservation: a case study of Batang Ai National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia. Human Ecology 26(3): To what extent do long-standing, community-based methods of resource management still provide for the conservation of wildlife and natural resources under today’s circumstances? How can components of these systems be reinforced by state policy as part of an integrated conservation plan?

4 Methods Semi-structured interviews Participant observation List of topics local beliefs and regulations rules of access use rights enforcement ownership sense of collaboration Interviews with government officials Documents

5 Batang Ai National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia

6 Batang Ai National Park and its longhouses

7 Iban methods of resource management Pioneer shifting cultivation Primary forest has shrunk due to: local population growth loss of legal rights logging concessions Adat responsibility of longhouse leader flexible

8 Farmland ownership and rules of access Longhouse territories Reserved for community Land rights belong to descendants of person who cleared but not exclusive, permanent, or of sale Rights to former longhouse sites

9 Forest areas conserved Pulau no farming or burning reserves of animals, trees, and plants only for longhouse indirectly conserve forest and wildlife Pulau pesaka sacred owned by individual household + descendants no farming or burning no tree cutting no selling Other sacred areas burial sites communal cemeteries

10 Fishing regulations Not allowed plant poison commercially- bought poison electric generators Flexible rules

11 Protected species Trees strangler fig along the river bank medicinal taboo Omen birds’ breeding grounds no farming no cutting trees Tua

12 Economic development Urban migration Religious conversion Technology Commercialization

13 State legislation Privatization title smallholdings In this house, we still share farmland, exchanging, like that. We don’t want to get titles. If we had titles, we wouldn’t be able to farm each other’s land. If people wanted to farm, they would have to pay money. We don’t want that, not yet. Because we still have plenty of available land. (Abong anak Bansa, pers. com. 1996) State control Sarawak Land Code 1958: uncleared land to the state can be reclaimed

14 Co-management Working with customary authorities Retaining rights New rules no cutting primary forest protected species no selling forest products rights only for residents

15 Reinforcing local authority Locals track illegal hunters Wildlife ranger course arrest trespassers inform officials

16 A sense of ownership? Co-ownership But the government, it saw that we have many animals, many things that outsiders shouldn’t take. The government helps us. We both own [the land]. The government owns, and we own. It helps us, like that. So, the reason is, the government co-owns it so that people can’t disturb [the area] (Kasi anak Sanggon, pers. com. 1996). Mistrust We are perplexed in this situation; the government won’t buy any [land]. So, it was said in the past, we can take wood here, we can take timber.... Recently, people said we can. In the future, where won’t it be allowed? Where will be the national park, what will we be permitted to disturb? Laws from the state, the whole state of Sarawak. But the government, it’s a way for the government to trick us, deceive us Iban, because we Iban don’t know, they say (Abong anak Bansa, pers. com. 1996).

17 Conclusions: Lessons from Batang Ai Changing socioeconomic conditions – CPRM is not enough Customary regulations a base for other management more respect Long-term use is necessary Batang Ai National Park recognition of rights long-term security mistrust develop a sense of cooperation


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