Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Traditional knowledge, perceptions and forest conditions in a Dayak Mentebah community, West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Edith Weihreter
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 49
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-4)

    Indonesia is blessed with an extraordinarily rich natural and cultural heritage. It contains 10% of the remaining global tropical rainforest, placing it in third place, after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo (FAO 2010). These tropical forests house a high biological diversity and provide multiple goods and services. Deforestation for cultivating crops created radical changes during the last decades, resulting in a forest cover drop from 162 million hectares in 1950 (Global Forest Watch, 1995) to 94.4 million ha in 2010 (World Bank 2010; FAO 2011). This induces rapid habitat loss, threatening a high number of endemic species with...

  2. (pp. 5-10)

    Nanga Dua Village is in Bunut Hulu District, where the Mentebah and Penungun rivers meet. These two rivers belong to important watersheds and a large number of tributaries meet them. Nanga Jerihai to the east is a hamlet belonging to Nanga Dua that was not included in this study. South of it, downstream, is the neighboring village of Nanga Payang. The villages and the rivers are at an altitude of under 100 m. Low but steep hills, not higher then 200 m stretch north of Nanga Dua (Gunung Tahu). Overall, most of the territory is below 300 m in altitude,...

  3. (pp. 11-19)

    The area has been inhabited for centuries, but the village was formally established in 1984, and currently has a population of 490 inhabitants. Due to an increased number of villagers, the traditional longhouse architecture was abandoned and people now live in individual houses, regrouped into one or more households (Photo 6). Access to the village is either by boat or through a former logging road by motorcycle. Travel time depends on rainfall. When it does not rain for a few days, most of the rivers and creeks become too low for navigation. When the rain is heavy the dust road...

  4. (pp. 20-21)

    Overall, the lack of fluency in the local language and in Indonesian by the author was a barrier to the field research, especially at the beginning.

    Central observations in this study were differences in perceptions between men and women. As observed in other Dayak communities (Gönner 2000; Mulyoutami et al. 2009), some tasks were exclusively the men’s or the women’s domain, although there was a large amount of common labor. Men were underrepresented in this study, especially during the focus group discussions and the survey of medicinal plants. First, they were mostly away during the 3-month study period and second...

  5. (pp. 22-22)

    This study brings new insights on a Dayak Mentebah community and the ways they perceive and use their environment.

    The communities of Nanga Dua and neighboring villages are dependent on forestry resources. Despite the economic incomes earned through gold mining along rivers, people still rely on hunting and gathering; and on the fruits, vegetables and rice from their swiddens. Forest products are widely used for basketry, construction of houses or boats, fuelwood and food. The participatory surveys show that primary swamp and hill forest are important reservoirs of resources and that the people of Nanga Dua rely on them and...