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Research Report

Social Science Research and Conservation Management in the Interior of Borneo: Unravelling past and present interactions of people and forests

Cristina Eghenter
Bernard Sellato
G. Simon Devung
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2003
Pages: 312
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. ix-x)
    Ecology-MAB Section and UNESCO Office
  2. (pp. xi-xii)
    Frances Seymour

    From the vantage point of early 2003, it is difficult to conjure the intellectual and political atmosphere within which the ideas that eventually led to the Culture & Conservation Program were nurtured. In the late 1980s in Indonesia, the Suharto regime was firmly in control—and indeed was the darling of the international donor community—and all decisions about forest management and nature conservation were centralised in the Ministry of Forestry in Jakarta. Landscapes to be managed for production and those to be managed for protection of nature were demarcated with strict boundaries, at least in official policy and on paper....

  3. (pp. 1-33)
    Cristina Eghenter and Bernard Sellato

    This volume presents a selection of the work carried out under the Culture & Conservation Research Program (henceforth, C&C), a program funded by the Ford Foundation as part of the Kayan Mentarang Conservation Project (KMCP) of WWF Indonesia (WWF-I) in the province of East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

    It addresses two major methodological/epistemological issues that are currently being debated in both academic circles and conservation organisations. Firstly, the book addresses the role of social science research, and more specifically anthropology, in promoting and protecting the social, cultural, and economic interests of forest-dependent people living at the margins (see Brechin et al. 2002;...

  4. Resource management and traditional knowledge

    • (pp. 35-48)
      Indah Setyawati

      It has been known for some time from agricultural and anthropological research (e.g., Freeman 1970, Sutlive 1978, Padoch 1988) that Dayak farmers identify and plant a number of varieties of rice. The importance of Borneo for collecting traditional rice varieties has been recognised by breeders (see Vaughan 1980), aware that changing economic and environmental conditions may cause loss in germplasm biodiversity, especially in genetic resource areas like Asia and Africa (Richards 1992a, Oka 1988). National and international institutions—like the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, the Centre for Research and Development of Coarse Grains, Pulses, Roots and...

    • (pp. 49-64)
      Herculanus Bahari Sindju

      This contribution focuses on the practices of land preparation and utilisation for swidden farming by the Kenyah of the Apau Ping area. It is especially aimed at understanding: 1) their methods of selecting farming land; 2) their ways of preparing the land before sowing; 3) the land acreage needed by each farming family; 4) rice productivity in relation to a family’s yearly needs, and the use of the land both during and after the farming year; 5) the special forms of work organisation and the techniques for efficient use of human resources; 6) particular cultural traditions in the preparation of...

    • (pp. 65-81)
      Martua Thomas Sirait

      The village of Long Uli is located on the banks of the Bahau River. Its inhabitants are members of the Kenyah Oma’ Long (or Uma Long), the Kenyah Leppo’ Ndang (or Leppo’ Ntang) and there are a few families of Punan Benalui who use the forest resources in the area to make a living. Rattan, collected for sale as well as for everyday use, is one of the most important forest resources. Both raw and woven rattan are very valuable, for exchange, sale, and use, which makes it one of the economic mainstays of the community. The marketing of unprocessed...

    • (pp. 83-102)
      Blajan Konradus

      The highly effective forest management institutions formerly used by all Kenyah people are no longer strictly enforced today, even though the Kenyah have lived in close interaction with the forest for centuries. Factors much touted as the primary causes of this change are economic pressures and market demands for forest products which continue to force people to collect forest products in disregard for their traditional management rules. These pressures and demands also seem to have caused a shift in the values relating to the tana’ ulen leppo’ (village forest preserves). These areas that formerly served social and economic functions nowadays...

  5. Traditional institutions and land tenure in a changing society

    • (pp. 103-115)
      S. Jacobus E. Frans L.

      The research into customary law conducted in the subdistrict of Pujungan in 1991 has its starting point in a question that all indigenous Dayak people of Kalimantan have often been asking lately: ‘Is it true that land ownership based on customary or adat law can be recognised?’ Today the easy answer is: ‘Yes, it can be accepted if there is evidence.’ In light of administrative practices dealing with land titles that have been in use so far, the formal judicial meaning intended by the term ‘proof’ or ‘evidence’ tends to be the land certificate issued by the Office for Land...

    • (pp. 117-138)
      Angguk Lamis, Paulus Bunde and Concordius Kanyan

      The traditional utilisation of land and natural resources is an expression of the deep relationship between humans and their environment. This relationship also determines the form of control over or ownership of land by individuals as well as by groups.

      In 1991, preliminary research was carried out in the subdistrict of Pujungan by Jacobus Frans (previous chapter). Jacobus’ research included all the Kenyah groups in this subdistrict and focused primarily on judicial aspects of adat law and their position as seen from the point of view of national law. He demonstrated that the Kenyah of the subdistrict of Pujungan form...

    • (pp. 139-152)
      G. Simon Devung

      This contribution is a modified version of a paper presented at the Fourth Biennial International Conference of the Borneo Research Council in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, in June 1996. It is based on fieldwork carried out in two villages, Long Tebulo and Long Uli, in the upper Bahau River area, Pujungan District.

      The absence of national laws regulating activities related to the use and management of specific forest resources does not imply that there are no effective mechanisms for the same purpose at community level (Ostrom 1992: 47). A community may possess special rules and regulations, transmitted from generation...

  6. Recovering the past (in non-literate societies):: Implications for development

    • (pp. 153-174)
      Njau Anau

      The Leppo’ Ké and the Nyibun are two ethnic groups belonging to the larger group of the Kenyah, who are presently living in the subdistrict of Pujungan, specifically in the desa (administrative villages) of Apau Ping, Long Pengayan, Long Lat, Long Berini, Long Kemuat, Long Alango and Long Tebulo (see Table 9.1). Leppo’ Ké and Nyibun are also found in the villages of Long Loreh and Gong Solok along the Malinau River, and in Long Banga’ and Long Selaan, in the Baram area of Sarawak. The village of Apau Ping, the focus of this research, is the last settlement on...

    • (pp. 175-198)
      Liman Lawai

      The history of the Kenyah Leppo’ Tau can be reconstructed on the basis of local oral traditions in combination with written records produced by officials of the Dutch colonial government, Kenyah leaders (such as Gun Kila), and several foreign researchers (such as H. Whittier). These historical records also make it possible to analyse changes in the social structure through time.

      It is known that the Kenyah initially lived in the mountainous area between what is now part of the Bahagian Belaga and Bahagian Baram in Sarawak and the Iwan River area in East Kalimantan. It is possible that they were...

    • (pp. 199-239)
      Karina Arifin, Bernard Sellato, Aryandini Novita, S. Krisprihartini, Dody Johanjaya, Anggara Yonathan and Yoga Prima Subandono

      A number of megalithic structures are found on the upper reaches of the Bahau River and along its tributaries, in Pujungan Subdistrict. They consist primarily of urn-dolmen burial monuments. According to the Kenyah who now inhabit this area, these megalithic structures were erected by the Ngorek (see Sellato 1992b, 1995c). From historical reconstructions by Sellato, it is surmised that the Ngorek originally came from the upper Baram River in Sarawak. War with the Kelabit peoples finally forced some of the Ngorek to move to East Kalimantan in approximately 1700 AD. By about 1750, the Ngorek are believed to have occupied...

  7. Research output back to local communities:: Strengthening cultural identity and traditional rights?

    • (pp. 241-257)
      C. Yus Ngabut

      This contribution focuses on the Kenyah Bakung who are at present living in the village of Long Apan Baru (Long Aran) in the district of Pujungan. These people originally came from Lasan Adie (Iwan River) and subsequently moved to Long Bakung on the Pujungan River (on the history of the Bakung, see Ngindra, in Eghenter and Sellato 1999, and Rousseau 1990). More recently, a group of Bakung living in Long Apan (on the Lurah River) finally moved to Long Aran in about 1969. Because they came from Long Apan, the village of Long Aran is better known as Long Apan...

    • (pp. 259-274)
      Daniel Lawing

      Not surprisingly, traditional songs and music play a prominent role in the daily life of the Kenyah Leppo’ Ma’ut. Demonstrably, almost every daily activity is accompanied by songs and musical performances. The importance of songs and music can also be measured by the great variety of songs and music of the Leppo’ Ma’ut. Nevertheless, the traditional culture of the Leppo’ Ma’ut is disappearing, and this includes their traditional songs and music. Thus, it is very important to document these and make as complete as possible an inventory and classify them according to the context in which they are used.