Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia (Routledgecurzon Contemporary Southeast Asia Series)

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Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia (Routledgecurzon Contemporary Southeast Asia Series)

Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia This book examines the relationship between land tenure, co

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Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia

This book examines the relationship between land tenure, conservation and rural development in the context of the Southeast Asian archipelago. In particular, it is concerned with people living in and around national parks and other protected areas. It discusses the value of reinforcing indigenous tenure and sustainable resource use practices and of including them in policies and projects that attempt to integrate conservation and development. Use is made of a wide range of case studies from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Peter Eaton now lives in the Peak District National Park and is Visiting Professor with the Department of Geography at the University of Plymouth, UK. Much of his working life has been spent in Sarawak, Papua New Guinea and Brunei. His teaching and research interests are in rural development, land tenure and conservation. He has acted as a consultant to the South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme and a number of other international organizations.

RoutledgeCurzon Contemporary Southeast Asia Series

1 Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia Peter Eaton 2 The Politics of Indonesia–Malaysia Relations One kin, two nations Joseph Chinyong Liow

Land Tenure, Conservation and Development in Southeast Asia

Peter Eaton

First published 2005 by RoutledgeCurzon 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by RoutledgeCurzon 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2004. RoutledgeCurzon is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group © 2005 Peter Eaton All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested

ISBN 0-203-60870-4 Master e-book ISBN ISBN 0-203-34585-1 (Adobe eReader Format) ISBN 0-415-30373-7 (Print Edition)


List of tables

List of figures Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations

vii viii ix x xi


Introduction 1 Land tenure and conservation 2 Protected areas

1 3 17


The islands of Southeast Asia


3 Landscapes of change


4 Conservation policies



Case studies


5 Kalimantan


6 Sarawak


7 Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier


8 Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia


9 Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea







10 Land policies and conservation


Glossary Bibliography Index

159 161 173


3.1 Biodiversity in the Southeast Asian archipelago 3.2 States of the Southeast Asian archipelago 3.3 Change in forest cover 3.4 Economic valuation of fire and haze damage from the 1997 Indonesian fires 4.1 Protected area coverage in the Southeast Asian archipelago 4.2 Protected areas in Indonesia (1999)

35 37 42 49 59 59


2.1 Land tenure and management of protected areas 2.2 Access and resource use in protected areas 3.1 The Southeast Asian archipelago 5.1 Protected areas in Borneo 6.1 Main ethnic groups in Sarawak 7.1 Protected areas in Palawan 8.1 Location of ICDP case studies 8.2 Ujung Kulon National Park 8.3 Bunaken Marine National Park, North Sulawesi 9.1 Wildlife management areas and National Parks in Papua New Guinea

21 22 34 75 87 104 112 116 121 136


My interest in land tenure and conservation began during my childhood in the English Peak District. This beautiful area of gritstone moors and limestone dales was popular with ramblers, but their rights were restricted by the reservation of large areas on private estates for shooting and fishing. Conflicts between walkers and landowners were frequent, culminating in the mass trespass by ramblers on Kinder Scout in 1932. Some years later, my own early wanderings were often marked by confrontations with gamekeepers and water bailiffs, prompting youthful feelings on issues of landownership and access. In 1951 the Peak District was designated Britain’s first national park and since then much of the landscape has been both conserved and made more accessible. Much of my working life has been in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific where I gained fresh perspectives on land tenure and national parks. In particular, in Papua New Guinea the customary communal land tenure systems provided challenges to national parks based on Western models and instead favoured the development of wildlife management areas that reinforced traditional rights and resource management practices. In Borneo, customary land rights have also been an issue in conservation and rural development, and indigenous communities have often been in conflict with governments and private companies over access to forest resources. One of my most vivid and distressing memories is of seeing a group of Penans being marched, handcuffed and manacled, to the courthouse in the river-side town of Marudi in Sarawak; their only crime had been to blockade logging roads preventing timber companies from destroying forests to which they claimed customary rights. Another significant experience while in Borneo was living through the periods of thick haze and air pollution generated by the great forest fires that were largely a result of inappropriate land policies and the neglect of traditional methods of resource management. The contents of this book then are mainly a result of my experience, teaching and research in Southeast Asia and the islands of the South Pacific. In addition, in the first two chapters I have included examples from elsewhere of policies and projects that emphasize community participation and the integration of conservation, land tenure and development.


In collecting information for this book, I have received help from a large number of individuals and organizations. I am grateful to the University of Papua New Guinea and Universiti Brunei Darussalam for supporting my research. My students at these institutions were always enthusiastic participants in our research and learning projects, often providing valuable insights into the customs and practices of their communities. Staff of the different government departments dealing with national parks and conservation have invariably proved co-operative and I would like to record my gratitude for their help. During my fieldwork I have always found the people living in and around the protected areas helpful, informative and willing to discuss their problems; I would like to thank them and express my best wishes for their efforts to safeguard their land and resources. I have been associated with and benefited from the networks provided by a number of international organizations. In particular I would like to mention the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the Borneo Research Council and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. National and international NGOs working in Southeast Asia have often provided important data and many are listed in the bibliography. At the University of Plymouth I wish to thank Mark Cleary for reading early drafts of the book and for his comments and encouragement. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Cartographic Unit of the Geography Department for help with the preparation of maps. Finally, I wish to thank my wife, Mavis, for her support, as always.




Asian Development Bank Air Pollution Index (Malaysia) Association of South East Asian Nations Provincial Planning Board (Indonesia) Central Planning Board (Indonesia) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (Philippines) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (Philippines) Communal Management Plan for Indigenous Resources (Zimbabwe) Convention on Biological Diversity Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters (Papua New Guinea) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas, commission of IUCN, now replaced by World Commission on Protected Areas. Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (Singapore) Department of Environment and Conservation (Papua New Guinea) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Philippines) Environmentally Critical Area Network (Philippines) Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia Exclusive Economic Zone Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Investigation Agency El Nino Southern Oscillation Environmental Science for Social Change (Philippines) Food and Agricultural Organization Federal Land Development Authority (Malaysia) Global Environmental Facility Geographical Information System





Global Positioning System Integrated Conservation and Development Integrated Conservation and Development Project Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador International Tropical Timber Organisation International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (now known as the World Conservation Union) Indonesian Institute for Tropical Forests Land Custody and Development Authority (Sarawak) Leuser International Foundation (Sumatra) Leuser Management Unit (Sumatra) Man and the Biosphere National Academy of Sciences (United States) Non-Government Organization National Integrated Protected Areas (Philippines) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States) Protected Area Management Board (Philippines) Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (Indonesia) Directorate General of Nature Conservation and Protection (Indonesia, after 1999) Papua New Guinea Pollution Standard Index Sabah Forest Development Authority Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority Sarawak Land Development Board South Pacific Regional Environment Programme Trans-Boundary Biodiversity Conservation Area Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area (Sabah/Philippines) United Nations Conference on Environment and Development United Nations Development Programme United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization United States Agency for International Development United East India Company (Dutch) Indonesian Forum for the Environment Indonesian Centre for Conservation World Commission on Environment and Development World Conservation Monitoring Centre Worldwide Fund for Nature

Part I



Land tenure and conservation

Land tenure systems and land policies are concerned with access to natural resources and control over their management. They decide which members of society hold these rights, and how the rights are exercised, regulated and distributed. The nature of land tenure systems reflect the balance between individual and communal interests in society, and are a major factor in determining the sustainability of development, whether it is based on shortterm or long-term objectives. This book explores this relationship between land tenure, conservation and development with special reference to developing countries, in particular the island nations of Southeast Asia. In this chapter we examine some of the concepts basic to land tenure: the functions of territory in nature and the philosophical bases of private property in land. This is followed by a more detailed analysis of customary tenure and the management of common property resources. Traditional conservation practices and knowledge systems are then discussed as intrinsic components of indigenous tenure and resource management. Finally, although the titles of the book and chapter specify ‘land’ tenure, keeping in mind that seven-tenths of the world is covered by sea, the last section considers marine tenure and associated resource management.

Territory In attempting to understand the origins and workings of land tenure systems, an examination of the nature and functions of territory in nature provides a useful introduction. Territory in nature has been defined by Ardrey (1969: 13) as ‘an area of space, whether of water or earth or air, which an animal or group of animals defends as an exclusive preserve’. Territorial behaviour in wildlife has been noted by many naturalists. In The Natural History of Selborne (1912: 127) Gilbert White wrote that ‘during the amorous season, such a jealousy prevails between the male birds that they can hardly bear to be together in the same hedge or field. Most of the singing and elation of spirits of that seem to be the effect of rivalry and emulation: and it is to this spirit of jealousy that I chiefly attribute the equal dispersion of birds in the spring over the face of the country.’ In his important work on the subject,



Territory in Bird Life, Howard also emphasizes the importance of breeding in ‘securing a territory’, which he describes as ‘part of a process which has for its goal the successful rearing of offspring’; he also provides another more comprehensive definition of territorial behaviour as ‘a disposition to remain in a particular place in a particular environment’ (Howard 1920: 15–18). Defining and defending territory is not confined to birds; many other forms of wildlife have their own patterns of behaviour. Ardrey provides many examples in The Territorial Imperative (1966), including antelopes, deer, wasps, and fish. In all cases the securing of territory has a number of basic functions that are often necessary for the continued existence of a species. Territory provides the shelter and security that is important for reproduction and the rearing of young. In addition, it may serve as the place from which different species obtain their food; in this respect larger creatures may need larger areas. As Gilbert White observed, the definition of distinct territories may serve to provide more even spacing, preventing overcrowding and competition for resources. Boundaries of this territory are carefully delimited and are defended in a range of ways: warning calls, strong scents, postures, dances, and aggression. It is usually defended most jealously against those of the same species and sex that are likely to represent both the greatest threat to reproduction and also competition for similar types of food. Territorial behaviour is generally most evident in the breeding season and another manifestation of the identity of wildlife with a particular area can be seen in migration patterns and the way species, such as turtles, return to the same places to breed. The extent to which the types of territorial activity found in nature also exist in human society is important to examining the psychological and biological bases of tenure. Ardrey suggests that the territorial instinct is also responsible for many forms of human behaviour and aggression at both individual and national levels, and although most of us would not accept completely his hypothesis on the animal origins of property and nations, many would recognise that a feeling for territory does influence our behaviour in many ways, in our attitudes to our homes, work and leisure activities. It can be seen in the attachment and possessive feelings individuals and groups have for particular areas and localities. We are also aware that pre-industrial rural communities are often completely reliant on their territories for the resources needed for existence; these groups identify closely with their immediate environment and this often provides the basis for their social organization, political structure and religious beliefs. If separated from their territory they not only lose their means of subsistence, but also their feeling of identity and community. This has too often been the fate of indigenous peoples and is typified by problems among many Australian aborigine and American Indian groups (Rowley 1972; Matthiessen 1986). However, although territorial attitudes and behaviour remain significant elements in land tenure systems, these systems have also evolved so that that they reflect changes in society, their economies, political and legal systems.

Land tenure and conservation


Complex systems of rights to land have developed, with shifting balances between private and public interests. Landownership is often no longer justified by territorial needs, but is vindicated or rationalized in other ways. The next section examines some of the arguments for and against private ownership of land.

Rights to nature The problem of rights to private property in land and other natural resources has been central to much of the philosophical analysis of land tenure. Rousseau’s rhetorical statement in The Social Contract is frequently quoted, but worth repeating as one of the most dramatic criticisms of the institution of private property: The first man, who having enclosed a piece of land, thought of saying ‘This is mine’ and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. How many crimes, wars, murders, how much misery and horror the human race would have been spared, if someone had pulled up the stakes and cried out to his fellow men ‘Beware of listening to the impostor. You are lost if you forget the fruits of the earth belong to everyone and the earth itself to no one!’ (Rousseau 1750: 109) Many other radical thinkers and leaders have expressed similar sentiments. An inherent right to private property is difficult to justify in terms of natural law and one has to acknowledge the logic of Henry George when he wrote ‘historically and ethically, private property in land is robbery’ and that ‘there is no such thing in nature as a fee simple’ (George 1880: 240 ). A little earlier in the nineteenth century similar views had been expressed by the French anarchist philosopher, Proudhon, in what he himself describes as his ‘diabolical work’ What is Property (1840), in which he dismisses all the arguments for the institution to confirm his view that ‘all property is theft’. He distinguishes between ‘possession’ which is ‘with right’ and ‘property’ which is without, referring to Cicero’s example of the Roman theatre which is common to all, but in which each spectator occupies a place that is his own for the performance. One of the strongest arguments for private ownership of land is that some security of tenure is necessary if those who work on it are to enjoy the fruits of their labour. The labour expended in using and improving land is itself often regarded as a major justification for and means of acquiring property rights. In many customary systems of tenure, rights to use land are often first obtained by clearing and cultivating the land, rights that can then be inherited by descendants or members of the same lineage group. In pioneer societies where new frontiers of settlement are being opened up, the same principle often applies; titles are issued to those who first occupy and develop the



land. It is a system that has often proved effective and would seem to satisfy principles of social justice in that it supports the ‘land to the tiller’ argument. The concepts of first occupancy and labour as the bases of the right to property has been endorsed by many liberal philosophers. In particular, Locke (1690) saw it as the means by which property is transferred from the realm of the commons to that of the individual. He uses the analogy of water drawn from the river and carried away in a bucket to show how a natural resource could be turned into personal property. On land he writes: ‘As much land as man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property. He by his labour does, as it were, enclose it from the common. . . . God and his reason commanded him to subdue the earth, . . . subduing or cultivating the earth and having dominion, we see, are joined together. The one gave title to the other’ (Locke 1690: 32). Here we find not only labour used to justify landed possessions but their association with the Judaeo-Christian doctrine of man’s domination of nature. It is a dangerous argument and one too often associated with the destruction of natural resources and non-sustainable forms of land use. One recent example has been the Brazilian land policies that gave titles to settlers clearing the Amazonian forest on soils that rapidly proved unsuitable for permanent cultivation (Monbiot 1993). In practice, even in Locke’s seventeenth-century England, landownership owed less to the clearing and cultivating of the soil and more to rights inherited from military conquest, the whims of monarchs, speculation by merchants, the dissolution of the monasteries, and the enclosure of common lands. Labour and ownership had already been separated, and the industrial revolution was to lead to large sectors of society being alienated from the land. In more agrarian countries the development of large estates, plantations and inequitable landlord–tenant relations meant that those who worked on the land rarely owned it. We are left with Cicero’s and Proudhon’s distinction between possession, or occupancy, and property, with little moral justification for the latter, except as a system that has been enshrined by convention and law, and has come to be regarded as a vital element in the social and economic structure. Its basis has become a functional one and the question that then has to be asked is how well the system works in meeting the needs of society. In determining how effective a system of landownership is in meeting society’s needs, one of the criteria that must be used is productivity. Does a particular type of land tenure encourage greater production of crops and materials; does it also stimulate other forms of economic activity, such as manufacturing and services? The answer can be measured in the amount of food and other products, or in financial rewards; it can also be assessed in terms of the employment it generates and the capacity to use human resources. We have also become increasingly aware that the economic activity, or the way the land is used, must be sustainable if it is to meet not only our short-term needs but those of the future and the generations to come. Natural resources must be renewed and where this is not possible, as in the

Land tenure and conservation


case of minerals, the earnings from them should provide the basis for future development. Processes that cause land degradation must ultimately destroy the sources and supports of life itself. Careful management of the land and resources is however more than a practical requisite for society’s material well-being; as ethical boundaries are extended there is a growing realization that non-human forms of being have an intrinsic value in themselves independent of their usefulness to mankind. This belief finds its expression in Aldo Leopold’s concept of the land ethic, which ‘enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively the land’ (Leopold 1966: 239). For Leopold the adoption of the land ethic was both ‘an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity’, and a decision on land use was ‘right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.’ The land ethic and respect for other forms of being are very different precepts from Locke’s justification of landownership by the subordination of earth, but would seem to provide us with more appropriate guidelines for our relationship to land and nature and ones which are more relevant to problems of conserving biodiversity and preventing habitat destruction.

Customary tenure and common property resources In much of this book we shall be concerned with what is generally described as customary tenure. The concept of a system of land use rights sanctioned by custom is not a very exact one and it can be applied to many different types of tenure. However, customary tenure systems generally share certain characteristics. One is that rights to land are inherited through membership of a kinship or lineage group claiming descent from a common ancestor. Within the group, rights are allocated, distributed and transferred according to traditional practice, but these processes and rights are not usually documented. There are no certificates of title and boundaries are rarely surveyed or marked, but instead rely on natural features, such as streams, trees, rocks and hills. Degrees of communal control vary but usually include restrictions on transferring land outside the group. Decisions on land allocation and use may involve participation by the whole group or, in more hierarchical systems, will be made by chiefs or other community leaders. Customary tenure is an integral part of a group’s social structure and culture. It results in a close attachment between the community and land, and helps to give a group identity and continuity. It provides security and a means of subsistence. It involves long-established practices and beliefs, many of which are designed to prevent over-exploitation of the natural resources and degradation of the natural environment on which the group is so directly dependent. The degree to which land and other resources are common property varies between systems, and also over space and time. The group claims ownership



over its territory and will usually deny access to outsiders, but generally allocates rights to cultivate land to a member or family within the group, either permanently or for periods that may be as short as one growing season. Within the system there is often considerable communal work, labour sharing and mutual assistance in clearing land, harvesting and house building. There are also areas common to the whole group; these may be specific sites such as sacred places, graveyards and village communal areas, but often include all the forest and uncultivated land. Hunting and fishing are often considered common rights but are frequently subject to elaborate rules, such as those relating to the methods used and the division of the catch. The concept of tenure as a bundle of different rights (Maine 1861; Simpson 1976) is especially applicable to customary systems and in particular to tree tenure, where we may find that rights to a tree and its products may be very distinct from those to the land where the tree is located. The owner of a tree may be a different person or household to the one owning the land. Rights to harvest fruit or nuts or collect firewood may also be distinct; in some cases these may be regarded as common property and gathered by anybody in the landowning group, in others the communal right is limited to fruit and wood that has already fallen under the tree. Often ownership is more closely defined and jealously guarded where the trees represent a particular valuable resource, such as bark for tapa cloth in the islands of the South Pacific. Rights to trees and their products are often acquired by planting them, and this may also be the basis of claiming the land itself. Under customary systems there are generally restrictions on cutting down trees that are of particular economic value. The communal controls and regulations existing in customary tenure mean that it rarely leads to the unregulated over-exploitation of common property resources as envisaged by Gareth Hardin (1968) in his ‘tragedy of the commons’ argument. Hardin used the example of overgrazing by cattle on common land to show that although it is in each individual herdsman’s interest to acquire additional cows the inevitable result of this process will be disaster for all the pastoralists: ‘freedom in a commons brings ruin to all’. He applies the same argument to the over-exploitation of marine resources, crowding in national parks, pollution and population growth, and suggests that we cannot expect these problems to be solved by appeals to conscience or voluntary responsible behaviour, but rather by ‘mutual coercion’. Both public regulation and the institution of private property are regarded as being preferable to ‘the horror of the commons’. In many ways Hardin’s argument is similar to that of earlier justifications of private ownership, such as that from Aristotle: ‘that which is common to the greatest number has the least care spent upon it’, but it has a wider significance as population pressure on resources increases. It applies when the exploitation of a living resource ceases to be sustainable and resource becomes diminished and degraded, but has less relevance to economies and population densities where hunting, collecting, fishing and grazing have only a limited impact.

Land tenure and conservation


Another aspect of ‘the tragedy of the commons’ is that it really only refers to situations where there is completely open access without the elements of control and management that are more frequently associated with communally owned resources. The customary rules of traditional conservation systems often place close limits on rates and methods of exploitation, and customary tenure may exclude those who are not members of the particular community associated with the land and its resources. It is only when these systems break down that there is danger of a free-for-all and consequent resource depletion and degradation. At this stage the alternatives have historically been either state intervention and control, or the alienation of land from communal tenure into private ownership; both are processes likely to hasten the decline of the traditional systems of resource management. A third alternative is the adoption of policies that reinforce rather than destroy traditional institutions, and return control over land and resources to local communities. Customary land tenure and rights to common property resources in many developing countries changed when they were abruptly brought into contact with, and often replaced by, new forms of tenure imposed by colonial powers. Indigenous rights to land were often displaced by European settlement or by new forms of land use as in the plantations. Elsewhere, demands by the colonial power for export crops distorted traditional tenure systems and created new landlord–tenant relations, as in the case of the Culture System in Java (Cleary and Eaton 1996) and the Zamindari in Bengal (Bromley 1991: 116–20). Often both a dual economy and system of land tenure were created; traditional and mainly subsistence agriculture based on customary tenure co-existed with commercial agriculture on alienated land, where ownership and transfer were facilitated by new land laws and registration of titles. Control over areas regarded as common property was gradually taken over by the state; the colonial land legislation frequently contained provisions giving governments the power to take over uncultivated land that was regarded as ‘waste and vacant’. Land appropriated in this manner was then often allocated to foreigners through introduced systems of freehold grants and leases. Open access to the forest and its products was frequently restricted by the establishment of forest reserves under government control, with the commercial exploitation of timber subject to logging concessions, which again were generally given to outsiders. These land and forest policies initiated during colonial administration were frequently continued after selfgovernment and independence, with only minor amendments to procedures and legislation. For the new political and economic elites, the continued existence of customary rights remained a problem as it had been for their predecessors, and often the safeguards protecting indigenous tenure and traditional conservation were disregarded in the drive towards national economic growth and individual prosperity. In many countries this alienation of customary land and of rights to communal resources has led to the marginalizing of indigenous cultures,

10 Introduction whose livelihoods and cultures are now increasingly threatened by global market forces. However, the sustainability of the new institutions and forms of production has become increasingly doubtful, especially in Southeast Asia following the economic and environmental crises of 1997 and 1998. There has been a growing realization of the value of indigenous knowledge of natural resources and the need to recognize traditional rights to these resources. There is also a need to ensure that when change does occur it is in a manner that minimizes harmful social and environmental impacts on the indigenous people, and ensures an equitable distribution of benefits from development.

Traditional conservation and indigenous knowledge For customary landowners dependent on the natural resources of their territory, it is essential that they have an extensive knowledge of these resources, their distribution and different uses. As in the case of land tenure, this knowledge is closely associated with the history of the group, is manifested in ceremonies and art, and is passed on from one generation to another. This intimate knowledge of the immediate environment is also reflected in indigenous languages and the detailed classifications of relevant resources: the wealth of different names the Innuit have for snow, and the Pacific Islanders’ distinction between types of waves (Lewis 1978). Both collective and individual experience provide a guide to resource management: when and how the land should be cultivated, crops harvested, plants collected, animals caught and hunted. There is frequently concern that these resources should not be over-exploited or spoilt; for example customary regulations may dictate that catches from hunting and fishing are limited to the subsistence needs of the community. For the agriculturalist, traditional conservation often means the maintenance of soil fertility and the prevention of soil erosion. Different types of shifting cultivation or swidden agriculture enable the cultivation of land that would otherwise be unsuitable for arable farming. Wild plants are preserved in these systems because they help to prevent erosion and trap soil nutrients. In other types of agriculture, traditional composting, mulching and the use of organic manure provide means of protecting the soil. Forms of tillage involving digging pits or constructing mounds and raised beds often prove effective in improving drainage and plant disease management. Water conservation in arid areas has often relied on traditional means of preventing evaporation, such as the tunnels, qanats, in Iran or the underground cisterns that collect runoff in the Negev Desert (Hillel 1994). Indigenous irrigation for rice often relied on intricate terrace patterns and careful timing for the release of water into the fields, transplanting and harvesting; these phases may be accompanied by a sequence of rituals, as occurs in the water temples of Bali (Lancing 1991). Indigenous farmers often have a very specialized knowledge of soil types and of the plants that act as indicators that help to determine the most

Land tenure and conservation


appropriate land use. There is also a deep understanding of the seasons and weather conditions that indicate the most appropriate times for land preparation, sowing and harvesting. Different forms of agro-forestry ensure a variety of products and soil conservation. In addition, by cultivating particular crop species and saving their seeds, indigenous farmers play an important role as guardians of genetic diversity. The range of types of potatoes grown in South America and the different strains of rice cultivated in Asia are not only adapted to local circumstances but also important in maintaining options and plant breeding for future agricultural development. Traditional belief systems also mean that communities often identify with particular wildlife species that serve as a totem for their kinship group; often these cannot be killed or eaten by its members. Other types of food are to be avoided, especially by women and children; pregnant women especially have to be aware of the supposed effects on them or their offspring. Examples of food avoidance in Papua New Guinea are the ban on women and children in the Collingwood Bay area eating cassowaries for fear it will cause sores on their legs, and the prohibition on pregnant women in parts of the highlands from eating bats, for it is believed that this will result in their children having deformed minute noses (Eaton 1985b). There are also places regarded as sacred or the homes of ghosts and spirits; access to these protected areas is limited, they are not to be disturbed, and no hunting or destruction of vegetation is allowed. The worship of trees, belief in tree spirits and the presence of ‘sacred groves’ has been an important characteristic of many cultures (Frazer 1922) and can still provide safeguards against deforestation. Traditional conservation may also take the form of restrictions on hunting and fishing at certain seasons or periods of the year. There may be pragmatic reasons for these bans, as when they are imposed during breeding times or, in the case of fishermen, when winds are unfavourable. Other moratoria on hunting, fishing and collecting may occur before traditional feasts and religious festivals to allow a sufficient stock of food to build up. In some cases, prohibitions on all food-gathering activities may follow a death in a village, especially that of an important leader. Prohibitions of these types are often known as pantangs in the Malay world, tambu in Melanesia and tapu in the Polynesian islands, the latter providing the origin of the word ‘taboo’. Their operation helps to protect certain wildlife species, discourages over-exploitation and helps to ensure that yields remain at sustainable levels. Enforcement of traditional conservation and compliance with its bans often depends on supernatural sanctions and fear of punishment for offending the spirits. It is closely associated with the traditional authority of chiefs and village leaders, and the need of members of a community to follow long-established rules, with the risk of ostracism or banishment from the group for those who do not conform. Increased contact with other cultures, changes in social structure and conversion to other religions may mean

12 Introduction a weakening of traditional rules, authority and beliefs, all diminishing the effectiveness of some forms of traditional conservation. At the same time, there is a growing appreciation of the value of certain forms of indigenous knowledge and practices and the need to integrate them into development and conservation programmes. The challenge has become to identify and preserve them.

Marine tenure and conservation Marine tenure has been defined as a ‘matrix of institutions defined and enforced on many levels: from the formal rights and licences issued by the state and local authorities and enforced by the police, to more informal regulations sanctioned through gossip, social ostracism’ and other means (Kalland 1999: 125). Marine resources, especially fish, are often perceived as common property resources and in the past were generally regarded as inexhaustible (Scott Gordon 1954). The depleted nature of many fisheries today however provides one of the most depressing examples of ‘the tragedy of the commons’. Over-exploitation has meant that yields are no longer sustainable and given support to policies for more stringent management aimed at regulating the number, species, age, and size of fish caught, the gear and methods used, deciding when fishing is allowed and imposing closed seasons, identifying where fishing should take place and protecting other no-go areas, and identifying who should be allowed access to the resource and be allowed to fish. We find these concerns addressed both in modern fisheries legislation and in customary rules for the management and conservation of marine resources. However, in each case there must be a territory over which the management regime can be exercised; this is generally contiguous to the territory occupied on land. How far out to sea these rights can extend is partly dependent on the ability to control coastal waters and the methods available to exploit the resources. For many years states claimed territorial seas extending thee miles from their coastline, approximately as far as a cannon could fire. Later as weapons increased their range and states wished to protect their fisheries from foreign competitors, the distance was often unilaterally extended, sometimes leading to disputes such as the ‘cod wars’ between Iceland and the United Kingdom. The concept of freedom of the seas formulated by Grotius in Mare Liberum (1609) and supported by maritime powers such as the Dutch and British has gradually been limited by custom and international law. Agreement on the territorial rights of nation states was eventually formalized in the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention in 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention uniformly increased the breadth of territorial seas from three to twelve nautical miles, giving coastal states complete control over these waters, although allowing foreign ships rights of ‘innocent passage’. National rights to manage, protect and develop marine resources were further extended to a maximum distance of 200 nautical miles

Land tenure and conservation


in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). Territorial seas and EEZs are measured from baselines on the coast, which is normally the low water mark but in the case of indented coastlines or offshore islands may be a straight line joining outstanding points. Areas within the baselines are known as inland waters, over which the state has complete sovereignty. In drawing up the Law of the Sea treaty the fixing of baselines to determine inland waters and EEZs was a particularly contentious issue for those states made up archipelagos, which stood to gain extensive areas by the linking of baselines connecting distant islands (Sanger 1986). Eventually it was decided that in order to claim all the sea between the islands the country’s minimum ratio of land to water should be 1:9. In Southeast Asia this gave both Indonesia and the Philippines control over many of the regional seas, although foreign ships retained navigation rights including those through important strategic straits. Another case for marine territorial claims, especially important for extracting mineral resources on or under the sea-bed, is where there is a continental shelf, an area of shallow seas stretching from the coast that may in some cases exceed the limits of the EEZ. Beyond the limits of the continental shelves and the EEZs are the high seas, part of the global commons where all states enjoy freedom to navigate and fish, although the exploitation of resources may be subject to international treaties such as fishing agreements dealing with migratory species, the International Whaling Convention (1946) and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980). An International Sea-Bed Authority has been established to manage the mining of minerals on the sea-bed, and a number of treaties regulate oil spillages and marine pollution. The establishment of territorial seas and EEZs has enabled states to control fishing in the seas under their jurisdiction by licensing both domestic and foreign fishing vessels and regulating their catches; quotas can be imposed and outsiders excluded. Systems of zoning are often applied: inshore areas may be reserved for small-scale artisinal fishermen, while larger craft are restricted to the outer zones further offshore. In addition, exclusive fishing territories may exist at local level, often relying on traditional and non-formal means of regulation. These may be organized by fishermen’s co-operatives or other organizations. Acheson (1975; 1988) has described how harbour gangs established and defended marine territories in the lobster fisheries off the coast of Maine in the United States. There is also considerable documentation on territoriality in fisheries in Japan (Ruddle and Akimichi 1984) describing how village-based fishing territories have evolved from the Tokugawa Period, when fishing rights were allocated by feudal lords in return for the payment of fees and dues. Many indigenous societies that relied on marine resources developed systems of management based on customary regulation and practice. These have sometimes disappeared with the changes brought on by new legislation and more open access to fisheries, but have often continued to co-exist with the introduced systems and in some cases are being revived as a means

14 Introduction of conserving depleted stocks (Johannes 1981; 1982). In many parts of the Pacific customary systems are still maintained, especially in those islands where traditional authorities and controls are exercised by hereditary chiefs, as in the Polynesian and Micronesian groups (Chapman 1985). In the customary system the boundaries and extent of the marine territories are often an extension of those on land. The ownership or use of adjacent land is regarded as the basis of rights to the beach, reefs and sea. The question of how far these rights extend out to sea is a more open one. This is how marine boundaries have been described for Atiu in the Cook Islands: Boundaries were determined by the boundary lines on dry land (which ran from inland to the coast and continued across the lagoon to the reef) and sea-passages on the reef. For some places special rocks on the cliff edges were used to mark the inner border-lines. Beyond the reef, just a few feet from where the waves break on the reef, is the end of the reef. This is marked by the site where men fished for mackerel. (Mokoroa 1984) Frequently the boundary is fixed by the outer edge of the barrier or fringing coral reefs around the islands. In some cases this boundary is referred to as the point where the sea changes colour from light green to dark blue. Sometimes more ambitious claims are made to rights to fish as far as the horizon or the outer limit of local foraging birds (Johannes 1981), but these are exceptions and more realistic outer limits may be imposed by fishing methods. In Vanuatu they might stretch as far out as one can dive for shells (Taurakato 1984), while in parts of the Marshall Islands the property rights only reach to shallow seas where people can stand waist-deep to fish (Eaton 1985b). Special markers are also used to show boundaries on reefs or beaches; large stones, posts or sticks are used, the latter with coconut fronds attached may indicate an area is under taboo and no fishing is allowed. The investment of labour and making improvements may also give particular rights. Examples of such rights are those from the making of fish traps, fences or weirs, as occurs off the Tongan coast and in Micronesia (Sudo 1984), or the construction of stone enclosures for clam gardens, as in Manus in Papua New Guinea. In the Cook Islands, the feeding of fish with coconut flesh and pieces of taro used to fatten and attract them confers particular harvesting rights (Mokoroa 1984). Particular rights may be associated with the ownership and use of particular fishing gear and techniques; Carrier (1982) has described how different lineages inherit the use of canoes and special types of nets on Ponam Island off the coast of Manus. The possession of marine territory and fishing rights gives groups powers to exclude outsiders, or require them to obtain permission from the group. This may be restricted to certain times of the years and be conditional on some form of payment, gift or proportion of the catch. The exercise of control over the fishing activities of members of the group varies. In

Land tenure and conservation


the islands of Melanesia decisions may be made by the whole village or clan; elsewhere hereditary chiefs may still exercise more power and receive privileges, for example in parts of Micronesia they were the only members of the community allowed to eat sea turtles (Ruddle 1996). In some systems there are leaders with special responsibilities for supervising fishing activities; in the Lau Islands off Fiji these were known as ndau ni nggoli and they had powers to decide who should fish and to restrict the times and areas for fishing and turtle hunting (Thompson 1949). Within the traditional systems, marine resources are managed and conserved in a number of different ways. There are restrictions on who can fish. Not only is access to outsiders controlled, but within the group custom may dictate those responsible for fishing activities. The most common is the gender division of labour, with only men allowed to carry out offshore fishing with nets, lines and spears, while women are restricted to collecting from the beaches and reefs. Among the men there may be a specialist class or caste of fishermen, as in the Lau Islands where they are known as gonedau (ibid). There are other times when fishing is not allowed: this may be during the period when the fish are spawning, after a death in the community, or when there is a need to build up stocks before a feast. Fishing is also forbidden in certain places, either temporarily or permanently; again this may serve to protect areas used by fish for breeding or shelter. Particular fish species are also protected and their killing prohibited; as on land this may be because they are totems of the group: sharks, octopus and eels are examples (Cummins 1977; Firth 1936), but other species are not eaten because of beliefs in their effects, especially on pregnant women and children. In Tuvalu, pregnant women may not eat rays or flatfish for it is believed they will produce babies that have similar flat deformed heads; Kiribati young boys are not supposed to eat the damsel fish (Pomacentrus spp.) that dart agitatedly around the coral reefs for fear they will develop similar nervous characteristics as adults (Zann 1983). Other customary rules and practices are aimed at preventing overharvesting and indiscriminate fishing. This may mean restrictions on certain types of gear and the size of mesh in nets, and the prohibition of the use of poisons and explosives. Fishermen are encouraged to avoid waste and not catch more fish than they need; if they have a surplus to their wants, custom dictates how it should be divided among the community. A wide range of sanctions exist for those who break the rules controlling fishing (Ruddle 1996: 328–30). These may take the form of social ostracism, public reprimands and shaming, banishment, corporal punishment, fines, compensation payments, or destruction or confiscation of boats and gear. Alternatively, conformity to rules may be a result of fear of the supernatural and the sickness and death that may result from breaking taboos. The effectiveness of these sanctions and other features of the customary management system has obviously diminished with social and economic change, but there remain examples of indigenous fisheries resource

16 Introduction management that have continued to be successful. In the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia, fishing yields have often been maintained by the practice of sasi, imposing a closed seasons and areas, and of pentuang, restricting entry to the fishery and stipulating the gear to be used (Nikijulow 1994). Elsewhere, the intrusion of commercial fishing and the consequent depletion of inshore fisheries has renewed interest in local management based on restricted access and using traditional knowledge and practices (Johannes 1981). These systems have also been integrated into the planning of marine reserves and sanctuaries, such as those at Palolo Deep in Western Samoa and Fagatele Bay in American Samoa (Eaton 1985b). In later chapters of this book we shall examine some of the initiatives taken in Southeast Asia to conserve local marine resources.


Protected areas

Protected area development In this chapter we examine the different types of protected areas and how they relate to some of the issue of land tenure and conservation discussed in the previous chapter. In particular, we are concerned with the role of protected areas in achieving sustainable development and preserving biodiversity, both issues of concern at all levels of policy making. The concept of sustainable development arose from a growing international awareness that the shrinking natural resource base and environmental degradation were threatening the attainment of basic development objectives. It was a major theme of The World Conservation Strategy (IUCN 1980) and of the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), which defined it as development that met ‘the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED 1987: 43). Since then, the argument for sustainable development has won general acceptance, if at times only in token fashion, in both the public and private sectors. It has the great virtue of providing a kind of solution to the fruitless economic development versus environmental protection debate, and of linking livelihoods to resource conservation. The value of biological diversity, the variety of forms of life, the genetic resources and ecosystems that exist on this planet, is being fully realized as it increasingly comes under threat. There are many reasons for the loss of biodiversity, including over-exploitation of species, pollution, climate change, and the introduction of exotics, but the most serious of all is the destruction of the natural habitat. In the words of Edward Wilson (1984:121): ‘the one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.’ This is where protected areas have particular significance as a means of conserving species and their habitat. The Convention on Biological Diversity identified them as a major means of preserving biodiversity and for meeting ‘the fundamental requirement . . . for the in-situ conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats’ (UNCED 1992).

18 Introduction The Convention on Biological Diversity defined a protected area as ‘a geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives’ (ibid.). As such, protected areas may include national parks, reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and other areas beneficial to nature and concerned with the preservation of life and landscape. The concept of the sanctuary, an undisturbed place where all forms of life are safe, is not a new one and historically has been found in many societies and cultures. In the previous chapter we have seen how it operates in customary tenure systems and how the protection of these areas is often reinforced by social sanctions, taboos and fear of spirits. Different religions hold certain places sacrosanct: the existence of sacred groves, the tradition of protecting all life around Buddhist temples, and the reverence of hill people for mountain summits are all manifestations of the concern to leave parts of nature untouched. In addition, areas have been protected so that particular resources can be conserved for exclusive use of the rich and powerful. Royal game forests were established by Norman monarchs in Britain and were a feature not only of European feudal societies, but also of Indian, Chinese and Aztec empires. Although not concerned with the sanctity of life, these reserves often resulted in the preservation of fauna and its habitat, by denying general access to the resources and preventing conversion to other forms of land use. More general support for the concept of preserving wilderness, landscapes and wildlife for their intrinsic value, scientific interest, aesthetic enjoyment and recreation gained impetus in Europe and North America during the nineteenth century. This was partly a result of the development of the science of natural history, through the work of men such as Linnaeus, White and Darwin. It also found literary expression in the romantic movement, in the writings of Rousseau, the poems of Wordsworth, and the philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau. This growing appreciation of nature and the need to conserve it was often a reaction to the industrial revolution and the environmental degradation it caused. In North America the movement of settlers westwards not only led to the appropriation of indigenous land, it also threatened unique natural landscapes. The need to keep these areas in the public domain led to the establishment of the types of parks and reserves that were to be the prototypes of the protected areas of the twentieth century. In 1864 the United States government ceded the Yosemite Valley to the state of California on the condition that it be held for public use and recreation and that it be ‘inalienable for all time’ (Allin 1990: 6); eight years later the Yellowstone area was declared the first national park. The national park concept proved popular in the United States and had spread to Canada, Australia and New Zealand by the end of the nineteenth century. In Europe development was often slower and the areas protected smaller, reflecting the fact that large spaces of wilderness and public land were frequently no longer available.

Protected areas


In the European overseas colonies reserves were often established to protect already endangered wildlife; examples of early nature reserves were Cibodas and Ujung Kulon in Dutch Java and the Albert Park (now Virunga) in the Belgian Congo. Game reserves for sports hunting were also established in several African colonies. Areas of forest were also set aside as reserves to prevent the unauthorized logging and clearing of valuable timber resources needed for construction, shipbuilding and fuel. Experience of the effects of colonization on oceanic islands such as St Helena and Mauritius, where deforestation resulted in wildlife extinctions, soil erosion and the silting of rivers and harbours, provided a stimulus for forest replanting and protection (Grove 1995). Although most parks and reserves were established and managed by governments, voluntary associations and non-government organizations (NGOs) also became involved in the acquisition of land for conservation. In Britain the National Trust was founded in 1895 with the aim of protecting areas of natural beauty from development and ensuring their continued enjoyment by the general public; later it increased its scope to include archaeological sites and houses of historical and cultural importance. For this purpose it was largely funded by public subscription and legacies; it also obtained property transferred in lieu of death duties (Jenkins and James 1994). By 2002 the National Trust had over 2.8 million members and owned over 248,000 hectares of land (National Trust 2002). The National Trust has also served as a model for similar organizations in other counties; local national trusts have, for example, been effective in managing conservation areas in small island nations such as Fiji (Eaton 1985b) and the Bahamas (Holowesko 1995). The largest landowner of all conservation NGOs has been the Nature Conservancy in the United States, which by 1992 owned and managed 1300 reserves comprising an area of 526,000 hectares (Murray 1995: 197). It has also been very effective in promoting management agreements with private landowners and protecting land through conservation easements (Hoose 1981). More recently it has been extending its activities to the Caribbean, Pacific and Latin America. During the twentieth century, especially the second half, there was a rapid increase in the number of all types of protected areas. This reflected growing public concern with environmental issues, especially those associated with biodiversity loss, forest destruction and endangered species. In addition, in many industrial societies there was a growing need to preserve pollution free areas for recreation and outdoor activities. Other reasons for establishing parks and reserves have been the protection of water catchment areas, the preservation of historical and cultural features, and the provision of facilities for scientific research and environmental education. The growth of international tourism has been particularly significant in encouraging governments to develop and maintain parks and reserves; countries such as Kenya and Costa Rica have shown the value of conservation in attracting foreign visitors and providing foreign currency earnings.

20 Introduction In addition, protected areas have been designated under a number of international environmental treaties and agreements. Areas of outstanding universal value for their natural or cultural features may be nominated and listed under the World Heritage Convention, which also provides for international assistance and cooperation in their protection. This Convention was adopted in 1972 and came into force three years later; by 2003 a total of 172 states had ratified the convention and 754 sites had been designated (Unesco 2003). The Convention is administered and partly funded by Unesco. In addition to possibilities of financial help, world heritage status carries considerable international prestige and should prove of value in ensuring a site’s continued protection. In Australia the nomination of the South West Tasmanian Wilderness Area as a world heritage site enabled the federal government to prevent the building of the controversial Gordon below Franklin River Dam. Another international agreement which encouraged the establishment of protected areas was the ‘Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat’, generally known as the Ramsar Convention after the Iranian city where it was adopted in 1971. This convention requires governments that join it to designate at least one wetland as being of international importance, to take measures to protect these sites and maintain their ecological character. Initially the emphasis was on the value of the sites for waterfowl, but as more developing countries have joined the treaty and as the ecological importance of wetlands is becoming increasingly realized, more emphasis is now being placed other values of wetlands and their ‘wise use’. By 2003 there were 138 contracting parties to the convention and 1313 sites totalling 111 million hectares had been listed (Ramsar Secretariat 2003). Another international category of protected area launched by Unesco in 1970 as part of their Man and the Biosphere programme is biosphere reserves. Their main objectives have been to promote biodiversity conservation, sustainable land use, research and monitoring. The reserves are usually organized into three zones: a core protection area, a buffer zone or zones where activities are supposed to be compatible with conservation in the core zone, and finally what is known as a transition zone for settlements, agriculture and other economic activities. Land in these reserves may be under public, communal or private ownership. The aim of the programme is to have a systematic coverage of representative ecosystems to serve as a basis for research, monitoring and exchange of information. Protected areas have also been regarded as important to achieving the aims of other international agreements such as the Conventions on Biological Diversity and the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (generally referred to as the Bonn Convention). They have also been promoted as part of regional treaties and programmes, such as the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and its 1986 Convention for the

Protected areas


Protection of Natural Resources and Environment in the South Pacific Region. The proliferation of legislation and conservation programmes, their varying objectives and the need to adapt to local circumstances and institutions have resulted in a great diversity in the types of protected area and their management. National differences in nomenclature have also caused some confusion in the comparison or analysis of areas; what is called a national park in one country may be very different to what is understood to be one in another. It was in an effort to provide some international standardization that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), now renamed the World Conservation Union but still often known by its old acronym, attempted a classification based mainly on management objectives. The six categories they finally suggested (IUCN 1994) are (I) strict nature or scientific reserves, (II) national parks, (III) natural monuments, (IV) managed nature reserves or wildlife sanctuaries, (V) protected landscapes, and (VI) managed resource protected areas. The amount of human impact and management intervention ranges from Category I, where the national environment is left in an undisturbed state to Category V, where landscapes reflect the interaction of man and land, as in the case of the English national parks. Classification by management categories does not itself provide any indication of land tenure, who has rights to the resources and who is responsible for the protected area management. I have sought to include these in analyses of protected areas (Eaton 2000) by two methods of classification, each of which can be conceptualized as a continuum. The first is shown in Figure 2.1: at one extreme are parks and reserves on state-owned land administered by government agencies with no local participation; at the other are areas managed by local groups on their own land. In between are various combinations and possibilities. These include land acquired and managed by NGOs, such as the National Trust properties and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserves in Britain. In developing countries debt-fornature swaps have often led to funds becoming available for this type of NGO involvement. There is also private land in protected areas administered by government agencies relying on development land use controls and management agreements as occur in the IUCN Category V areas. Another possibility is private land managed by NGOs on a temporary or permanent

Tenure Management

State NGO Private Communal __________________________________________________ | | | | | | | | Government NGO Government Landowning NGO group Landowner

Figure 2.1 Land tenure and management of protected areas.

22 Introduction Traditional uses Commercial uses | | | | No access Visitor access Sustainable Non-sustainable Sustainable Non-sustainable _________________________________________________________________________________ | | | | | | Low impact High impact

Figure 2.2 Access and resource use in protected areas.

basis, through trusts, covenants, easements or other legal agreements. In addition, there are many examples of voluntary stewardship, with land and wildlife being protected by private landowners, often for altruistic reasons but sometimes with economic motives, as in the case of reserves for hunting or commercial tourism. Degrees of access and resource use are shown in Figure 2.2. At one end of this continuum are the areas where no access is allowed. Visitors are excluded, boundaries may be marked by ‘trespassers will be prosecuted’ signs, in other places by traditional prohibitions and taboos. Elsewhere, access may be allowed and often encouraged by the construction of footpaths and other infrastructure but no type of resource extraction is allowed, the ‘take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints’ regimes of many national parks. When resource extraction, such as hunting, fishing or collecting forest products is allowed, these activities may be restricted to those with traditional use rights in the area and subject to the conditions that they are for subsistence purposes and employ what are regarded as traditional and sustainable methods. When harvesting forest products, and hunting or fishing on a commercial basis or by outsiders are allowed, then different types of management and more formal regulations may prove necessary. Quarrying and mining are generally, but not always, excluded from protected areas because of their environmental impact and unsustainable nature. During the second half of the twentieth century, great changes often occurred in official attitudes towards the land rights and the access to resources of communities living in and around protected areas. There has been increased interest in alternative forms of organization and management, with a shift from state-owned parks and areas with restricted access to those emphasizing local participation and greater access. Partnerships and increased linkages have been developed with different elements of civil society. The implications of these changes for indigenous people and developing countries are discussed in the next section.

Indigenous peoples and protected areas Perceptions of the relationship between indigenous people and protected areas have undergone considerable changes since the colonial governments established national parks and reserves that involved excluding local people

Protected areas


and their subsistence activities (Anderson and Grove 1987). Political changes and increasing population pressure on land have meant that the protectionist attitudes that denied rural communities access to resources and opportunities for development are proving more unrealistic and less acceptable. Although protected areas remain a major means of conservation, there is a growing realization that they cannot be managed in isolation from the people who live around them. Protected area planning is increasingly emphasizing local participation, buffer zone activities, and integrated conservation and development projects. In addition, where introduced technologies and economic institutions have failed to improve rural livelihoods and had adverse impacts on the natural environment, there has been increased appreciation of the value of traditional indigenous knowledge and resource management. Customary tenure and associated conservation practices are no longer being regarded as obstacles to environmental protection and development, but rather as in need of preservation, recording and reinforcement. These changes in attitude are also reflected in the rhetoric of many important conservation policy documents. In 1975 the IUCN General Assembly meeting in Zaire recommended that ‘governments devise means by which indigenous people may bring their lands into conservation areas without relinquishing ownership, use or tenure rights’. Five years later the World Conservation Strategy stressed that ‘a rural community and a protected area may be entirely compatible and the importance of local consultation and involvement’ (IUCN 1980). The Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 emphasized the importance of local communities having a decisive role in resource use in their own areas and advised that ‘the recognition of traditional rights must go hand in hand with measures to protect the local institutions that enforce responsibility in resource use’ (WCED 1987: 114–16). The value of traditional tenure, indigenous knowledge and local participation were important themes in the discussions at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992; they were also emphasized in some of the resulting documents, in particular Agenda 21 and the Convention on Biological Diversity. In practice, the involvement of local people in the establishment and management of protected areas varies considerably between different countries and administrative cultures, but there is increasing evidence of attempts at greater community participation. Partnerships have been developed with different sectors of civil society and linkages are being created with local and regional economies. Protected areas are often no longer planned and managed in isolation but are regarded as parts of systems or networks, with increasing attention being paid to environmental management beyond their boundaries. Indigenous communities are increasingly being legally granted access to resources in protected areas. This often involves the recognition of customary hunting and fishing rights, especially when they are based on what are

24 Introduction regarded as traditional sustainable practices. Farming and grazing animals is allowed in certain cases; for example the Saami of Swedish Lapland are allowed to herd their reindeer in national parks and to fish and hunt all except the larger carnivores such as bear and lynx, which may be also killed if they are attacking the reindeer (IUCN 2000). Rights to collect grass for fodder and thatching are permitted in many parks and reserves in Africa and India. The move towards decentralization and greater empowerment of local communities in many countries has also often led to local communities being given more responsibility and control over their natural resources. Indigenous land titles have been restored and been given increased legal recognition. There are now many examples of customary landowners establishing and managing protected areas (Kempf 1993; Western and Wright 1994). One of these is the Kuna Yala reserve located in the Atlantic coastlands and islands of Panama. The Kuna reacted to threats of encroachment from outsiders by establishing their own biosphere reserve. The management plan for this reserve provides for five distinct zones in which collecting medicinal plants, farming, fishing, and controlled ecotourism are allowed (Archibold and Davey 1993). Elsewhere in Latin America protected areas have been developed where indigenous groups have attempted to preserve their traditional rights and cultural identities. Poole (1993) describes how the Awa Indians living in a remote area of western Ecuador found their land threatened by a proposed road that would bring loggers and settlers from the Pacific coast. With the assistance of an international NGO, Cultural Survival, and a national organization, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the Awa Federation was formed enabling the Indians to claim citizenship, demarcate their territory and establish the Awa Ethnic Forest Reserve. They also strengthened their territorial claims by planting fruit and hardwood trees around the perimeter and in areas most likely to be affected by the road, forestalling any claims by outsiders that this was idle or vacant land. The reserve itself covers an area of 120,000 hectares and contains the largest area of Pacific rain forest surviving in Ecuador. It is also part of an area that escaped glaciation during the Pleistocene and is consequently important as a genetic reserve. In many other parts of South America where indigenous cultures and livelihoods are under threat, protected areas offer the best prospect for survival. The Yanomami reserves that have been established in contiguous parts of Brazil and Venezuela are an attempt to prevent outside intrusions, illegal mining and introduced diseases in a region that is home to what has been described as ‘the largest group of traditional people still living their traditional life-style in the Americas’ (Centeno and Elliot 1993: 95). Earlier efforts to protect Indians in Brazil include the Xingu National Park established in 1961 and the Aripuana Indian Park declared in 1969. Both these parks have faced problems associated with the building of roads and demarcation of boundaries (Poole 1989).

Protected areas


Protection of the territories of indigenous communities does not necessarily mean that traditional conservation practices will be followed, and there may be conflicts with park authorities attempting to enforce environmental protection policies. Isolation cannot be enforced and contact with outside groups increased demand for industrial goods, including firearms. Improved medical services may also lead to increases in population, which place greater pressure on wildlife resources and the clearing of land for agriculture. If indigenous lifestyles and biodiversity are to be preserved in protected areas, a clearly defined and enforced zoning system may often prove necessary. This should provide for a core conservation area as well as areas where hunting and agricultural activities are allowed. Theoretically the type of protected area most suited for this type of multiple land use is the biosphere reserve. South America has a number of biosphere reserves that include strict conservation zones and indigenous territories. For example, the Manu Biosphere Reserve in southeast Peru contains a reserved zone for the Najua and Kugapakori communities, as well as multiple-use and cultural and research zones. Ecotourism and applied scientific research is encouraged in the latter, but access is restricted to the national park area where protection of the area’s rich biodiversity is the prime management objective. The whole reserve covers an area of 1,881,200 hectares and extends from the cold altiplano to the Amazon lowlands, giving it a great range of bird, mammal and plant species (Unesco 2003). Another model is that of joint management, which has been followed in the development of the Kakadu and Uluru–Kata Tjuta parks in the Northern Territory of Australia. Under land rights legislation, the resident aboriginal groups were given formal legal title to land they had formerly occupied, and areas within the parks were then leased back to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency. Management plans were prepared for the parks by a Board of Management that had the majority of its members nominated by the aboriginal landowning groups. This form of joint management has ensured the protection of aboriginal interests, their resources and sacred places. It has also led to the use of traditional aboriginal forms of environmental management into the parks, such as use of controlled burning to maintain biodiversity (De Lacy and Lawson1997).

Integrating conservation and development Communities living in and around protected areas are often among the poorest in their respective countries. By their nature the areas are often inaccessible and undeveloped. Soils are unproductive; transport links are poor; government education and health services are limited; electricity and piped water supply are frequently lacking; and the communities are isolated with few opportunities to participate in the market economy. Development is necessary in order to meet basic human needs; it is also essential if protected areas are not to be perceived as denying people access to their traditional

26 Introduction subsistence resources. Conservation programmes are much more likely to be successful and be supported by local communities if they allow and promote the sustainable use of these resources, create new economic opportunities that will provide income and employment, and facilitate social development through the increased provision of services. Tourism is the economic activity most frequently associated with protected areas, especially in national parks that are often the major attractions for overseas visitors. Governments benefit from tourism through increased revenues and foreign currency earnings. Tour companies, craft shops, hotels, and airlines all make profits from tourists, whose spending often has a multiplier effect through the economy. The only people who do not share in this new source of wealth are often those living nearest the parks, who lack the education, financial acumen and organization to take advantage of the tourist influx. If tourism is to mean an improvement in their quality of life, there is a need to ensure that more of the benefits go to these local people. There are many ways that this can be done. The provision of guest houses or ‘home-stays’ in villages, can provide additional local income and at the same time give overseas tourists more genuine experience of indigenous lifestyles and culture than they would find in the uniformity of one of a chain of international hotels. Greater indigenous involvement and employment in tour companies would bring similar advantages. There are opportunities for employment within the parks as rangers, guides and labourers, work in which local environmental knowledge may be especially valuable. Income can be obtained from the sale of artefacts, often providing a stimulus to local crafts. The supply of fresh foodstuffs from the area to hotels and restaurants, rather than relying on imported goods, should provide income for farmers. The provision of transport for visitors is often a profitable activity, especially in cases where access is by boat. The relationship between tourism and conservation should be a symbiotic one with each gaining benefit from the other. It is important that adverse impacts should be avoided. Too many visitors may lead to overcrowding; not only is there an ecological carrying capacity above which the natural environment may be damaged, there is also a host social capacity above which too many visitors may adversely effect local attitudes, tolerance and cultures (Lindbergh 1991). Two examples frequently cited as being successful in managing to integrate tourism with rural development and environmental protection are the Annapurna Conservation Area in Nepal and the Communal Management Plan for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe. Both projects originated from situations in which tourism was having an adverse environmental impact on a region and bringing few economic advantages to its inhabitants. The Annapurna area contains some of the highest peaks in Nepal, spectacular scenery, and wildlife that includes endangered species such as the snow leopard and red panda. The area is also rich in its cultural diversity;

Protected areas


there are eleven distinct ethnic groups, each with their own language, and there are Buddhist and Hindu temples and shrines (Stevens 1997). The region has attracted a large number of tourists, especially trekkers, and although this brought economic benefits to the area these tended to be limited to those operating the small inns and lodges and were not spread among the community as a whole, especially as many of the workers and staff associated with tourism came from outside the region. There were also adverse environmental impacts, resulting in particular from waste disposal, water pollution and increased cutting of trees for firewood. Initial proposals to establish a national park in the area met considerable local opposition, and agreement on a conservation area was only reached after Nepal’s largest environmental NGO, the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, became involved in the promotion and management of the conservation area. A management plan was approved by government in 1986 and the implementation of pilot projects was begun, although the Conservation Area was not officially gazetted until 1992. The planning and development of the project has involved consultation with local leaders, village meetings and the establishment of local conservation and development committees. Assistance has been given to local schools and medical clinics, tree nurseries have been established, and improvements made to electricity and water supplies. There has also been a strong training and conservation education function, with agricultural extension activities and instruction in forest management, crafts and tourist lodge operation. Lodges have been improved, with better sanitation and waste disposal methods being introduced. Traditional resource management institutions have been revived, and the collection of fees from visitors has helped to provide revenues for development activities. A system of zoning operates within the Conservation Area, based partly on the biosphere approach and also on current land use (Stevens 1997: 249). There is a wilderness zone subject to strict nature protection; this comprises the high mountain areas. Below these, protected forest and seasonal grazing zones form a buffer area that includes much of the common property land. The intensive use zones include the villages and agricultural land, while the areas most affected by tourism are classified as special management zones. The use of firewood by lodges has been banned in some of these areas, and kerosene depots have been organized to ensure alternative fuel supplies. The Annapurna Conservation Area project has been successful in involving local people in its planning from the start, and has helped to minimize some of the adverse effects of tourism and brought development to the area. In this respect it is interesting to compare it with the early stages of the Sagarmatha National Park in the Mount Everest region of Nepal. Here the local Sherpas were initially alienated by the top–down approach adopted towards its planning and their exclusion from forest areas by the military. In addition, the piles of garbage left by walkers and climbers contrasted with the success of clean-up programmes in the Annapurna area. However a more participatory

28 Introduction approach has also now been adopted in Sagarmatha; buffer zones have been established and community based development projects have been promoted, the villagers now receive a larger share of the park revenues and climbing fees. Local institutions, including the Buddhist monasteries, have become more involved in environmental and development programmes. The Communal Management Plan for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) programme began in Zimbabwe in the mid-1980s following a Parks and Wildlife Act that made landholders the ‘appropriate authority’ for wildlife management on their communal lands, areas that are often contiguous parks and nature reserves on state land. Rural district councils were given powers to lease concessions for trophy hunting, especially of the larger animals such as lion, elephant and buffalo, also for wildlife photography and other forms of nature tourism. Revenue from these concessions was used to stimulate development and provide wells, schools, health clinics, fencing, and roads. In addition, a conservation education element in the programme, sustainable harvesting of natural resources, is encouraged and villagers are recruited as game scouts to prevent poaching. The programme has proved popular and has resulted in an increase in household incomes where it has been adopted. It has also provided a motive for local people to conserve wildlife as a source of income, and presented them with opportunities for development. CAMPFIRE has provided a model for new community conservation initiatives in other parts of Africa. These have often resulted in more positive relationships between protected areas and neighbouring communities, and incentives that provide a direct linkage between livelihoods and conservation. Where tourism is involved this should mean a greater spread of the economic benefits. The need to combine development activities with conservation has become increasingly recognized. Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPS) have received considerable funding from international NGOs, donors and aid agencies such as the World Bank, the European Union and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). However, although the arguments for ICDPs remain strong, in practice they have had mixed success, and have not always created the necessary linkages between conservation and community livelihoods. Brown (2002: 9–12) suggests that the ICDP approach has suffered from ‘over-simplified assumptions about four key issues’: the community, participation, empowerment, and sustainability. She points out that communities are rarely homogeneous units but are often socially differentiated and unequal in terms of political and economic power. This in turn affects participation and empowerment, which are often dependent on the ‘wider socio-political context’. She concludes that the sustainability of ICDP approaches is far from assured in either ecological or economic terms. A major problem of integrating conservation and development is that implementation often depends on the support and cooperation of a number of different government departments and other organizations, each with their own agenda and hierarchical structures. An evaluation of ICDPs (Wells et al.

Protected areas


1992) indicated that not all had been successful in meeting their objectives, partly due to external and economic factors, but concluded significantly that “there appear to be no viable alternatives to ICDPs if biological diversity is to be adequately conserved in the tropics” (117). A later World Bank review of ICDPs in Indonesia was more critical of the way they had been planned and implemented, stating that very few could ‘claim that biodiversity conservation has been or is likely to be significantly enhanced as a result of current or planned activities’ (Wells et al. 1999: 2–3). The review was concerned that linkages between the development and conservation components needed to be strengthened, threats to protected areas should be identified, capacity for management and law enforcement should be strengthened, and conservation awareness programmes should be aimed at all levels of society. The case studies later in this book will discuss some of the attempts to link conservation and development in protected areas. They will discuss the means by which these areas may enhance the lives of the people living in and around them, and the role played by traditional tenure and conservation systems.

Part II

The islands of Southeast Asia


Landscapes of change

The natural environment The islands of Southeast Asia provide the geographical setting for much of this book. This great tropical archipelago stretches from Sumatra in the west to New Guinea in the east, forming an area of transition both between the continental land masses of Asia and Australia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Figure 3.1). It includes great islands such as New Guinea and Borneo, the second and third largest in the world, and myriads of islets and atolls. Their diverse relief has been shaped by the convergence of the Eurasian, Australian and Pacific tectonic plates, resulting in zones of instability characterized by volcanic activity and earthquakes (Winchester 2003). Intense folding during the Pliocene era formed mountain ranges, some rising to over 4,000 metres high; more recently, alluvial deposition has resulted in extensive coastal swamps. The surrounding seas include the shallow waters of the Sunda and Sahul continental shelves, and the deep Philippine and Java marine trenches. Regional seas are separated by island chains and peninsulas; the straits that join them remain important for navigation, but historically formed barriers to the migration of fauna, ensuring the region’s biological diversity is as great as that of its geography. The region lies within the tropics, mainly between latitudes 10 degrees north and south, and has a climate characterized by high temperatures and rainfall, with seasonal variations increasing with distance from the equator and the influence of the monsoon winds. The tropical rain forest is also subject to regional variations; dipterocarps are often predominant in Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines, with particular environmental conditions resulting in montane, heath, peat swamp, and mangrove forests. In New Guinea and eastern Indonesia the character of the vegetation gradually changes and gives way to eucalypts and other species associated with the Australian region. Throughout the region the forest has been modified by human activity, in particular by agriculture and forest clearing. The resulting scrub and grassland, often on marginal land with poor soils and periodic drought, has proved poorer in biodiversity, less productive and more prone to environmental hazards such as fire and erosion (Potter 1996).







Sulu Sea



Figure 3.1 The Southeast Asian archipelago.



Indian Ocean


Java Sea






South China Sea








Arafura Sea



Pacific Ocean




Landscapes of change


Table 3.1 Biodiversity in the Southeast Asian archipelago Country


Breeding birds



Freshwater fish


Indonesia Malaysia Philippines PNG

457 300 158 222

1530 508 196 653

514 350 190 280

285 189 92 225

1400 449 230 282

29395 15500 8931 11544

Sources: World Resources Institute 2000; WCMC.

The wildlife of the region reflects its diversity, transitional nature and changes in climate (Table 3.1). During the Pleistocene, sea levels fell and Borneo, Java and Sumatra were all connected by land to one another and to the Asian continent. Many Asian animals, such as monkeys, orangutans, tapirs, pigs, rhinoceros, elephants, and deer migrated across this land bridge to enrich the fauna of the islands. However, further movement eastwards was hindered by the Makassar Straits between Borneo and Sulawesi, and the Lombok Straits to the east of Bali. This divide is generally named the Wallace Line after the nineteenth-century naturalist who first noted the differences in fauna on either sides of the line (Wallace 1869). To the east the larger species are usually no longer found but instead there are more marsupial species and birds of paradise. Here the land links during the Pleistocene were between Australia and New Guinea. Wallace’s line was subsequently modified by Huxley so that it divided Borneo from the Philippines (with the exception of Palawan), and another division to the east of Sulawesi has been suggested by Weber (Oesterzee 1997). The history and biogeography of the islands have resulted in a high degree of endemicity; species are unique to certain areas and islands and found nowhere else. In the Philippines, which has been separated from other land masses by deep marine trenches, 44 per cent of all bird species are endemic, 64 per cent of mammals, and 70 per cent of reptiles (World Resources Institute 2000). Many distinct forms of life have also evolved in Sulawesi, which also has high rates of endemicity, 62 per cent for mammals and 32 per cent for non-migratory birds (ibid.). Animals found only in Sulawesi include the anoa, a dwarf buffalo, and the babirusa or ‘pig deer’, which has huge up-curling tusks.

The people and their history Wallace claimed that his biological division between west and east could also be extended to distinguish the people of the area, whom he classified as Malays to the west and Papuans to the east, groups which he observed ‘differed radically in every physical, mental and moral character’ (Wallace 1869: 15). The distinction that Wallace identified can be seen in the division between Austronesian and Papuan linguistic groups, but it also simplifies a

36 The islands of Southeast Asia cultural diversity that is as great as the biological; within the region over a thousand different languages are spoken. The islands have been peopled by successive migrations moving south and east from the Asian continent. The cultures were influenced by the main religions of the continent: Buddhism, Hinduism and more recently Islam. Socially and politically fragmented into geographically separate communities, early attempts at hegemony were provided by the empires of Sri Vijaya based in southeastern Sumatra during the period from the eighth to the eleventh centuries, and Majapahit in east and central Java in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Following the decline of these empires, the introduction of Islam by Arab traders was to have profound political and economic effects, and a number of Muslim sultanates, such as Aceh, Brunei, Ternate, and Sulu, became increasingly powerful. These sultanates were often in bitter conflict with the Europeans when they voyaged to Southeast Asia in search of the lucrative profits to be gained from the import of spices from the Moluccas. Spain and Portugal, then Holland and Britain, all sought to obtain trading concessions and posts, and ultimately territorial acquisitions that were to shape the political identities of the modern states. Spain eventually assumed control over the islands that became the Philippines, in spite of fierce opposition from the Muslims of Mindanao and the Sulu Islands in the south, where separatist tendencies have continued until the present day. The Spanish brought with them their language and the Christian religion, but they were replaced by the United States as the colonial power following defeat in the Spanish–American War in 1898. The Portuguese were originally the dominant European trading power of the region, controlling the strategic ports of Malacca, Bantam and Ambon, but their influence declined in the seventeenth century and their only colonial territory that remained was the eastern part of the island of Timor. Their place was taken by Dutch and British merchants, each country attempting to consolidate and extend its power through the formation of monopolistic trading companies, the British East India Company and its Dutch equivalent the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC.). In the Southeast Asian archipelago it was the VOC that was to be more successful, although the Dutch suffered temporary losses of control following defeats in European wars. The company was dissolved in 1800 and its administrative role was transferred to the Dutch government, who at the end of the nineteenth century administered the region that became known as the Netherlands East Indies (Hall 1964). By this time, British interests in the area were restricted to the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore, with varying degrees of control over the states of the Malayan peninsula. In addition, the decline in the power of the Brunei sultanate in northwestern Borneo resulted in the cession of much of its territory to the Brooke dynasty in Sarawak and to the British North Borneo Company. Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei eventually became protectorates of Britain, which also established a colony on the offshore island of Labuan.

Landscapes of change


Table 3.2 States of the Southeast Asian archipelago State

Area (km2)

Population (est. 2000)

Indonesia Philippines Papua New Guinea Brunei Singapore East Timor East Malaysia: Sarawak Sabah

1,815,700 298,170 452,860 5,765 610 15,000 124,441 73,711

212,107,000 75,967,000 4,807,000 328,000 3,567,000 800,000 2,012,616 2,449,389

Sources: World Resources Institute (2000); Malaysian Population Census 2000.

Contact with Europeans generally came later in New Guinea. Germany attempted to colonize the northeastern part as a protectorate, which was administered initially by the Neu Guinea Kompagnie from 1885 to 1899 and then directly by the imperial government. When the First World War broke out in 1914, control was taken over by Australia, which in 1906 had also assumed responsibility for the colony of Papua established by Britain in southeastern New Guinea in 1888. The German and British annexations in the eastern part of the island seemed to have pressured the Dutch into taking action on their claims to western New Guinea which in 1898 came under the Netherlands East Indies colonial administration. However, for much of the first half of the twentieth century the respective colonial governments in New Guinea were to have little contact with the people of the largely unexplored mountainous interior of the island. During the Second World War Japanese armed forces occupied all of the region except for southern New Guinea. Their defeat in 1945 marked the beginning of an era in which all the countries were eventually to acquire independence and the present political identities of the islands were established: Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak as states in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and most recently East Timor (Table 3.2). The colonial period not only shaped the political boundaries of the Southeast Asian archipelago, it also caused profound changes in methods of production, land use and land tenure. Traditional agriculture had been based on the growing of food crops, in particular rice, although in New Guinea sweet potatoes and yams were more important, and in some other areas maize, tapioca and sago. Fruit trees and vegetables were grown in gardens near the villages, especially in Java. In the sparsely populated mountainous interiors, much of the rice was grown by shifting or swidden cultivation, a system known as humah in Java and caingin in the Philippines. Ownership of land was generally communal, with families allocated temporary rights to cultivate land or acquiring rights through clearing the forest. The landscape of shifting cultivation was essentially one of hills and forest with scattered

38 The islands of Southeast Asia temporary clearings mainly located on the upland spurs, which after a period of usually one to two years cultivation, were reclaimed by the forest. Elsewhere sawah cultivation predominated; wet rice was grown on a more sedentary and intensive basis using buffaloes and ploughs, with systems of irrigation, bunds and terracing that had a more permanent effect on the landscape. Although organization of work remained communal, proprietary rights were acquired by using the land, known as tanah hidup (living land) in many Malay societies (Maxwell 1884). Once production ceased, rights lapsed and it became tanah mati (dead land); it could then be reallocated by village headmen or chiefs. Land rights could also be transferred and inherited, depending upon local customary law or adat; some societies practised matrilineal inheritance, notably the Menangkabau of western Sumatra. In the Philippines, Java, Brunei, and other Malay sultanates, land tenure systems were often a mixture of the communal and hierarchical, with landless peasants working as labourers or sharecroppers. Control over the allocation of rights to land often lay with village headmen, chiefs or rajahs, who received rents or taxes, a share of profits, or other services from the people in their territories. It was a system in which the control of rights to labour, products and income was often more significant than those to the land itself. Initial interest in trade in spices resulted in the establishment of plantations to ensure a larger and more regular supply of tropical products for the European markets. The growing of these export crops often meant not only a difference in the scale of production, but also new systems for the organization of landholdings and labour. Not only was labour divorced from landownership; it often came from outside the area altogether. For example, Javanese moved to work on foreign-owned plantations in Sumatra, and Chinese and Indian indentured labourers were brought in from outside the region. Cash crops were also increasingly grown on smallholdings, and in nineteenth century Java the Dutch imposed the Culture System, which forced indigenous farmers to supply a quota of export crops to the government (Hall 1964: 516–20). The systems of land tenure introduced by the colonial powers were very different from the traditional adat, the customary systems that in different forms existed through much of the archipelago. The principle of eminent domain vested all ultimate rights to land in the Crown, giving it powers to make any acquisitions needed for public use. It was exemplified by the Regalian System introduced by Spain into the Philippines and was a major element in the codification of land law that was attempted by most colonial administrations. The new legislation also gave governments powers of compulsory acquisition of land, especially if it could be claimed the acquisition was for public purposes and in the national interest. In addition, land that was uncultivated was regarded as ‘waste and vacant’ and therefore state territory, and in turn might be leased or granted to outsiders. Boundaries were surveyed and rights to land were registered, often using a version of the Torrens System first introduced in South Australia. Rights of sedentary

Landscapes of change


cultivators were recorded, but the process was far more difficult to apply to shifting cultivators and communal land, so a dual system of tenure often evolved, one based on introduced law, the other on custom. The existence of multiple legal systems within a single political entity has been defined as legal pluralism (Peluso and Vandergeest 2001: 765). This has frequently been a source of confusion and controversy, especially in the determination of the boundaries between village and state territories. In countries such as Papua New Guinea it often resulted in a dual economy, one sector being part of a global market economy where land became commoditized, in the other land remained unalienable and under communal ownership, providing the basis for subsistence activities. Within the region, customary systems of tenure show a great deal of variety. The balance between individual ownership and communal controls varies, with the latter often stronger in the eastern part of the archipelago. Customary systems have often shown a great deal of flexibility when new forms of agriculture have been introduced; perennial tree crops frequently meant changes to more permanent and individualized forms of tenure. There is a distinction between individual rights to village land used for agriculture, and the more communal hunting and collecting rights in the forests beyond. Rights to valuable non-timber forest products are often jealously guarded and are regarded as distinct from the common property regimes elsewhere in the forest. Nomadic groups have a very distinct concept of territory; for the Penans in central Borneo it may not involve permanent settlement or cultivation but rather ‘a dense intricate network of economically and culturally significant places, linking past and present generations’ (Brosius 1986: 179). The differences in customary tenure made it difficult to codify on a general basis or to incorporate it into any of the land legislation being introduced by colonial governments. In the case of marine tenure, local fishing rights and communal controls are safeguarded in Maluku and many of the smaller islands, but elsewhere these forms of traditional management no longer exist and have been replaced by state regulations. In addition to agriculture, other economic activities have had an impact on the environment and on livelihoods. Mining has been historically important, with early attention focused on precious metals, especially gold in Sumatra, Borneo, New Guinea and the Philippines. In the twentieth century tin and copper became major sources of export earnings for Indonesia and the Philippines, and copper and gold for Papua New Guinea. Rich reservoirs of oil and gas have been found and developed in coastal and offshore areas, bringing considerable wealth to some parts of the region. Although production, transport and processing have often been carried out by large trans-national corporations, production-sharing and concession agreements have ensured that large proportions of the revenues have gone to state companies and national governments. In the extreme case of the small sultanate of Brunei, oil wealth has enabled high levels of public expenditure by the state government and of private consumption by the ruling royal

40 The islands of Southeast Asia family. The neighbouring states of Sarawak and Sabah have been less fortunate in that under the terms of the Malaysian constitution, oil revenues go to the federal government rather than the states. However, this has been partly compensated by the states’ incomes from commercial logging, the effects of which for the region will be considered in the following section.

Disappearing forests For many people of the region, the forests have traditionally provided products for the local subsistence economies and been a source of goods for trade. In rural areas wood has been the main material used in construction and in making boats, tools and artefacts, while non-timber products have provided medicines, food, resins, containers, and shelter. Valuable timbers, such as camphor and sandalwood, and rattans were early exports, as were wildlife products such as birds’ nests, beeswax and gallstones. During the colonial period some of the more valuable and accessible forest resources were over-exploited, in particular much of the teak forest in Java, but the great increase in commercial logging occurred in the second half of the twentieth century, a period when tropical hardwoods were in great demand by the industrial countries. The newly independent nations found the export of timber to be a lucrative source of government revenues and individual fortunes (Richards and Tucker 1988). Large areas of forest, often including those designated as reserves, were allocated by governments to concessionaires and profits were high. The resource rent, income once costs or the returns to labour and capital had been met, was supposed to be recoverable by the state in the form of fees, royalties and taxes, but in practice rates of rent recovery or capture have been poor (Repetto and Gillis 1998; Vincent 1990). This is partly because royalty rates and other charges have often been too low, but also because of difficulties in monitoring and regulating the extraction and export of timber. There is a great deal of illegal logging and corruption both in the allocation of concessions and in the supervision of logging operations (Barnett 1989). The people who live in or near the forests receive few of the benefits from logging and suffer many of the disadvantages, such as polluted water supplies and loss of traditional food supplies. What were once common property resources have first been acquired by the state and then allocated to outsiders, a tropical forest version of the enclosure of the commons. Commercial timber extraction has been one of the major causes of deforestation, although the countries of the region now all claim to be practising sustainable logging that should allow natural regeneration of the forest. Selective logging regulations limit the proportion of trees that may be felled in a given area, and also sets minimum sizes, usually measured in terms of stem diameters at breast height and often fixed at 50 to 60 centimetres. This is the theory, but the practice is often different, and in addition to the trees selected for felling, many others will be destroyed or damaged in the process of logging and extraction of the logs; studies in Malaysia and Indonesia have

Landscapes of change


indicated that up to 70 per cent of the trees in a selective felling area may be affected in this way (Caufield 1985: 163). Another factor mitigating against sustainable forestry has been the relatively short period for which concessions have been allocated; a typical period of twenty years or less does not provide much incentive for conserving forest resources for the future. The consequences of commercial logging have varied. In some cases regeneration has taken place and a secondary forest has resulted, a type of forest referred to in Malay as belukar. The quality of this forest varies: it may share many of the characteristics of the old growth or there may be considerable degeneration, with scrub and grassland, known as alang alang, eventually resulting. Often the building of logging roads will have made the areas more accessible and enabled squatters to move in and clear the land for agriculture. Sometimes the original forest will be replaced by forest plantations and new exotic tree species are introduced, often the fast-growing acacia, eucalyptus and pines. Responsibility for reafforestation has often been devolved from government forest departments to state forest corporations, such as the Sabah Forest Development Authority (SAFODA). Logging and timber-processing companies have also become involved in the establishment of industrial timber estates to meet the demands of foreign and domestic markets. Logging changes the quality of the forest, and may also lead to its clearance for settlement and agriculture. This occurs when logging roads make areas more accessible to squatters or it can be part of official development planning, as in the conversion forest in Indonesia when clear felling is followed by other forms of land use. This may be smallholder agriculture but more often it has been for agricultural estates, most recently oil palm. Forest has also been cleared for infrastructure projects such as roads and dams, and increasingly to provide land for industry and the expanding urban centres of the region. The extent to which shifting cultivation is responsible for forest destruction and fragmentation remains contentious. Its opponents, usually in government or the timber industry (the two are often linked), identify it as the main cause of forest fires and the loss of forest resources. The defenders of the system claim it is the only means of cultivating marginal land and that it has a minimal impact on the forest environment. In practice it would seem to be that it is a matter of demography. Low population densities and a plentiful supply of land allow long cycles between clearing and cultivation that enable soil fertility and the forest to be restored. As population increases and demands for land increase, the cycle gets shorter; land is cultivated more frequently and loses fertility, the forest is replaced by scrub and grassland. This situation may lead to the sequence of land use changes suggested by Boserup (1965): forest fallow, bush fallow, short fallow (one to two years), annual cropping, and finally multiple cropping. In many areas change from shifting to more settled agriculture has occurred in association with the adoption of tree crops, land settlement schemes and a transition from hill to swamp padi, all processes encouraged by government programmes.

42 The islands of Southeast Asia Table 3.3 Change in forest cover, 1990–2000 (percentage of total land area) Country

1990 %

2000 %

Indonesia Philippines Malaysia Papua New Guinea East Timor Brunei Singapore

65.2 22.4 65.9 70.1 36.6 85.8 3.3

58 19.4 58.7 67.6 34.3 83.9 3.3

Source: FAO (2003).

An indication of the extent of deforestation in the countries in the region is provided in Table 3.3. These statistics do not reveal the full extent of the changes in the vegetation cover that have occurred. In many areas primary forest is fragmented and remains only on the least accessible and more mountainous terrain. Some of these forests are preserved in designated national parks, reserves and protection forest, but even in these there has been illegal logging and clearing. There are extensive areas of secondary and degraded forest, bush and grassland. A feature of the landscape are the rectangular blocks of agricultural land where the forest has been cleared to make way for oil palm estates and land settlement schemes. Deforestation has also been associated with the loss of many of the important wetlands, especially the mangrove and peat swamp forests. These have been cleared, drained and converted to other forms of land use, often with disappointing economic returns and devastating ecological results. Mangroves have been cleared for aquaculture, but their clearance means that inshore fisheries have suffered from the loss of breeding grounds and nurseries for fish and crustaceans. Coastal swamplands have been reclaimed for transmigration schemes, but the settlers have been unable to adapt their farming methods to the incursion of tidal saltwaters and acid sulphate soils. Disappearance of wetlands means the loss of valuable timber resources and other products important to local economies; it also results in a loss of many of the environmental functions of wetlands, such as water retention and flood control, protection from erosion, nutrient retention and pollution reduction. Wetlands are rich in biodiversity and, as in the case of the forests, their reduction means a loss of habitat for many wildlife species.

Land settlement Land settlement has been a significant agent in transforming the landscape of many parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago. Much of this settlement has been of a spontaneous and unplanned nature, involving the migration of people from densely populated regions to areas where more land was

Landscapes of change


available, for example the movement from central Luzon to Mindanao in the Philippines, or to enclaves of development where there were opportunities for paid employment. These include mining areas and oilfields, and also the areas where plantations had been developed, such as northeastern Sumatra and coastal New Guinea. Other forms of migration have been government-sponsored, with varying degrees of assistance and official planning. This may involve allocation of land to the settlers and help with relocation and travelling expenses, but in fully integrated schemes there may be provision of housing, clearing of land, planting cash crops, providing infrastructure, tools, fertilizers, and extension services. Loans are provided to cover these initial costs and the settlers, who often receive help with marketing and processing, are supposed to repay these when the cash crops are harvested. The type of scheme depends very much on government priorities, planning and the funds available. Low-cost schemes may encourage self-reliance, but the integrated schemes with more assistance and supervision have often been more successful, as in the case of the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) schemes in Malaysia (Bahrin and Lee 1988). The largest of the government-sponsored resettlement schemes in the region has been the Indonesian transmigration programme. The principal aim of transmigration has been to relieve population pressures in the central islands of Java, Madura and Bali by encouraging migration to the lessdeveloped outer islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and New Guinea. This policy originated during the period of Dutch rule when it is estimated that 2,000 migrants (Hardjono 1977: 19) were moved to colonization settlements, mainly in Sumatra. After independence the policy was continued and its aims broadened. Not only were the objectives claimed to be more balanced population distribution; they also concerned regional development, the fuller utilization of human and natural resources, the improvement of living standards, and the promotion of national unity and integration. Shortage of land and lack of employment opportunities in the areas of origin were the main motives for migration, but political and strategic considerations also influenced government promotion of schemes settling Javanese in frontier areas such as western New Guinea. Some migrants were also forced to leave their homes because of natural disasters, such as the volcanic eruptions of Gunung Merapi in Java and Gunung Agung in Bali. Government support for the transmigration programmes has varied, with the largest number of settlers being sponsored during the third five-year development plan (Repelita III) from 1979 to 1984. Assistance was provided for the costs of relocation, housing and site preparation. The area of land was generally between one and five hectares, depending on local circumstances and the type of farming. In the early stages the emphasis was on the growing of rice and other food crops such as maize and cassava, but later the growing of cash crops especially rubber and oil palm was encouraged. The early transmigration settlements were laid out in linear form along roads with the

44 The islands of Southeast Asia cultivated areas around the individual houses, but later settlement were often more nucleated to facilitate social cohesion and the provision of services. The availability of suitable land was one of the major constraints on the development of transmigration projects. Land acquired was frequently subject to existing and competing claims from indigenous rights holders, who often complained of inadequate compensation, especially for the loss of economically valuable trees (Hardjono (1977, 39–41). Surveys of existing land use were generally inadequate (Kristanto et al. 1989, 581) and added to the uncertainty over landownership. Lack of planning and difficulties in acquiring land resulted in many transmigration projects being sited in marginal areas unsuitable for agriculture, especially of the type the settlers were accustomed to in their home areas. In Kalimantan and southern Sumatra settlement schemes were often located in coastal swamplands. Hanson (1979) has identified some of the problems in draining and farming these areas. These included soil toxification, greater acidification, deterioration in water quality, land subsidence, saltwater intrusion, flooding, and drought. When crops did appear they were attacked by hosts of pests, including monkeys, rats, wild boar, rice stem borers, and grasshoppers. Poor site selection also led to environmental degeneration. Soils deteriorated, erosion accelerated, and where land was abandoned it was often invaded by imperata grassland. Much of the initial land clearing was not in compliance with project guidelines (World Bank 1994); slopes steeper than the maximum 8 per cent were cleared, trees were bulldozed into waterways, and no attempt was made to recover commercial timber and non-timber resources. In addition, crop failures and population pressure often caused settlers to clear more forest using slash and burn methods that lacked the environmental safeguards and longer fallow periods of traditional shifting cultivation (Secrett 1986). The World Bank (1988) suggests that about half the land used for settlement during the period of Repelita III, 1979–84, was initially covered by forest; much of this was conversion forest designated for agriculture, but there was also a great deal of additional clearing and illegal felling of protected forest. In addition to deforestation and associated erosion, river silting and floods, other environmental impacts have been water pollution related to the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and the loss of important wetlands. The success of transmigration in achieving its aims of raising living standards has varied, and has often depended on the amount of assistance provided and on the care that went into site selection and preparation. Many families suffered hardships in the early stages of the programme; accounts of settlements (Meyer and MacAndrew 1982) describe crop failures, marketing problems, disease, and malnutrition. Surveys carried out in the mid-1980s (World Bank 1988) indicated that average household incomes of transmigrants were slightly less than that of the populations in both the rural sending and receiving areas, but these differences were attributed partly to the initial poverty of the migrants and the short span of some of the settlements

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covered. The majority of the settlers interviewed in these surveys said they considered themselves better off than they had been in their home areas. Similar sentiments were expressed in responses to another study ten years later; this evaluation of five World Bank financed projects (World Bank 1994) specifically identified the provision of housing and better medical and educational services as important factors contributing to the settlers’ welfare. This survey also showed that two projects growing rubber provided good yields and incomes well above the national poverty level, but that other projects growing mainly food crops and coconuts were less successful. The effects of transmigration on the local people in the areas affected often depended on the extent to which they were able to benefit from the services and infrastructure provided. A proportion of the land on some transmigration schemes was reserved for local settlers, 10 per cent during Repelita III and 25 per cent in Irian Jaya, but not all took advantage of these opportunities (Manning and Rumbiak 1989), often neglecting land on the projects or selling it to other settlers (World Bank 1988). In other cases, disputes resulted from land tenure problems associated with the acquisition of land and the destruction of wildlife habitat and non-timber forest products. Conflicts between local people and migrants have often been exacerbated by religious and ethnic differences; migrants, with the exception the Hindu Balinese, were generally Muslims while local people tended to be Christians or animists. They also often occur in areas with separatist aspirations, such as Acheh and West Papua, where transmigration is often perceived as a vehicle for Javanese political and cultural domination. In Kalimantan, Dayak resentment of migrants from Madura has several times resulted in outbreaks of violence, with some of the worst occurring in West Kalimantan in 1968, 1979, 1996–7 and 1999, and then in 2001 in Central Kalimantan. The most recent of these outbreaks resulted in massacres of Madurese, which prompted large-scale evacuation of the migrants from the transmigration areas. Communal tensions and civil disorder have been factors in reducing, and sometime reversing, transmigration. In addition to Kalimantan, settlers are among the refugees who have returned from Maluku, East Timor and Aceh (Adhiati and Bobsien 2001). The numbers of officially sponsored migrants has also declined due the fall in public funds, especially after the financial crises of 1997. Legislation introduced during President Habibie’s interim regime, the Local Government Act No. 22/1999 and the Revenues Allocation Act No. 25/1999, resulted in greater decentralization of power and disbursement of funds to local provincial and district governments, and consequently less support for the transmigration schemes promoted by the central government. In addition, there has been a fall in financial assistance for the programme from its main international donors, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. There has, however, been encouragement for other types of migration with greater emphasis on local schemes (trans-lok) and supplying labour for employment on large-scale commercial enterprises, such as oil palm under nucleus estates and smallholder schemes and

46 The islands of Southeast Asia forest plantations. Support has also been given for the rehabilitation and upgrading of early unsuccessful schemes; from 1994 to 2000 the World Bank provided funds for an Integrated Swamp Development Project, with the aim of improving the agricultural potential of twenty existing swamp settlement schemes in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Although transmigration has now been discredited through its association with President Soeharto’s authoritarian regime and because of the social and environmental problems that have resulted, it has featured as an important aspect of development planning and as a means of improving the livelihoods of the poorest sectors of the rural population. It has resulted in changes in land use and has been a major factor in the transformation of the landscape. It is interesting to compare transmigration with the land settlement schemes in Malaysia organized by the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA). These were not concerned with population redistribution but rather with raising the living standards of the rural Malay population (Bahrin and Lee 1988). The FELDA schemes were successful in meeting their objectives of increasing productivity and incomes, but changed in character from projects where individual smallholders worked their own blocks of land to large estates employing paid labourers with the original settlers deriving an income from shares in these enterprises (Salleh 1991). These estates are mainly devoted to oil palm, as has been the case with much of the more recent land development in Indonesia.

Forest fires and haze Shifting cultivation, settlement schemes, oil palm estates, and logging have all contributed to deforestation and landscape change in Southeast Asia, but the principal agent in forest destruction has been fire. Fire has been traditionally used for land clearing, waste disposal and in some areas for hunting, but has been at its most uncontrolled and destructive when it occurs during times of drought. These dry periods often correspond with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), caused by the warming of surface waters in the equatorial region of the eastern Pacific and consequent changes in atmospheric pressure, trade wind patterns, ocean currents, and temperatures that result in severe droughts in parts of Southeast Asia. Droughts and fires are not a new phenomenon. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal in the soils provides evidence of large forest fires in Borneo dating back at least 20,000 years (Goldammer and Siebert 1989), and early Portuguese and Dutch explorers reported extensive fires, smoke and haze (Dennis 1999, 5). More recent records from the nineteenth century show the close correspondence of the droughts and fires with extreme ENSO conditions, as occurred in the Philippines, Sulawesi, Maluku and Borneo from 1877 to 1888 (Potter 2001). These dry periods continued throughout the twentieth century, with particularly widespread and destructive fires occurring in 1982–3 and 1997–8.

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During 1997 the most widespread fires occurred in the Indonesian provinces of South Sumatra, Riau, Jambi and Lampung, and Central, South and West Kalimantan, while in 1998 East Kalimantan, Sabah, Brunei, and northern Sarawak were most affected. Droughts and fires also occurred in New Guinea, Sulawesi, Palawan, and Thailand. Satellite images monitored by the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) in Singapore indicated that the 1997 fires covered a total area of 2.08 million hectares in Sumatra and 3.58 million hectares in Kalimantan, while in 1998 2.51 million hectares were affected in East Kalimantan, and 620 thousand hectares in Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei (Liew et al. 2001). Other estimates (Rowell and Moore 2000) for the whole of Indonesia suggest that the fires covered 9.5 million hectares, of which 49 per cent was forested; the ADB (1999) suggests a total of 9.75 million hectares between May 1997 and March 1998. Although some forest fires are caused by lightning, most of the fires were anthropogenic and the satellite images provided evidence that many were linked to prevailing land use practices, in particular the use of fire in clearing land for oil palm estates and forest plantations (Straits Times, 1 October 1997). Wildfires also occurred in areas of forest that had been logged, where waste wood and litter provided large amounts of combustible material. In disturbed or degraded forest there is generally more fire risk because shade is reduced, sunlight penetrates to the forest floor, there is greater wind circulation, and humidity is lower. A European Union Fire Response Group Report (1998: 22) found that ‘the density of fires within areas designated as logging concessions was significantly higher than outside such areas’ and that only a small proportion of fires were in undisturbed primary forest. Peatlands are especially vulnerable to fire; the high organic content of the soil often results in sub-surface fires that are very difficult to extinguish. Areas that are being cleared and drained with consequent lowering of the water table and drying out of the soil are especially vulnerable. Some of the worst fires in 1997 were caused by the One Million Hectare Development Project in Central Kalimantan, where unsuccessful efforts were made to transform peat swamp forest into rice-fields. Land tenure disputes and uncertainty over land boundaries may both be causes of fires and impediments to their control. If the land and resource rights of local communities are defined and recognized, they are more likely to be responsible in their attitudes to fire prevention than in situations where they feel these rights have been alienated. An FAO report stated that one of the major factors that increase fire risk . . . is the lack of a transparent and effective mechanism for assigning land rights that can be accepted by all segments of society. This can lead to open access situations in which no one feels responsible about fire control, or to conflicts that are some times settled by intentional burning of crops or

48 The islands of Southeast Asia forests. Even if tenure is clear, accurate land ownership maps are needed in order to enforce burning regulations. (FAO 1999: 24) Cases of deliberate arson have proved difficult to prove, although many fires have occurred in areas where local communities have been in dispute with oil palm estate companies, as has been the case in South Sumatra (Bowen et al. 2001). Natural rehabilitation after the fires depended on the intensity of the fires, soil erosion and nutrient loss, the destruction of seeds and seedlings, and the degree of invasion by pioneer or exotic plant species that might inhibit regeneration. The fires caused considerable biodiversity loss due mainly to the fragmentation and reduction of the forests. Many smaller and slower-moving animals and insects were killed outright by the fires; others suffered from the destruction of their habitat and sources of food, while species with particular ecological needs were especially vulnerable. In particular, the fires have accelerated the decline in the number of orangutans; many were burnt to death and others were killed when they left the forests in search of food and water. Other species that suffered from loss of habitat and forced displacement included the sun bear and proboscis monkey. Many of the protected areas that had helped to preserve biodiversity and conserve endangered species were badly damaged by the fires; at least 90,000 hectares of forest in nineteen parks and reserves in Indonesia were reported to have been destroyed by fires during 1997 and 1998 (FAO 1999). The fires affected the livelihoods of people at the local level through the destruction of crops and forest resources, but they had much more widespread effects through the smoke haze that was generated. This spread from Indonesia through much of Southeast Asia including Thailand and the Philippines, creating a thick grey pall of smoke, particles, hydrocarbons, and polluting gases such nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. The resulting reduced visibility was responsible for a series of tragic accidents: a plane crash near Medan, collisions of ships in the Straits of Malacca, and the sinking of river boats in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Airports were closed and flights were cancelled. The regional economies all suffered from declines in foreign investment and tourism, factory closures, and falls in the productivity in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors. There were also serious short- and long-term implications for health. There was an increase in haze-related illnesses, with the young, old and infirm especially at risk; it was estimated that at least 20 million people living within the region were affected, in particular those suffering from respiratory disease, asthma and eye infections (Eaton and Radojevic 2001). The fires and haze should also be considered in the context of global climate change. It has been suggested (NOAA 1998) that El Niño episodes are becoming warmer and more frequent, possibly as a result of the accumulation of greenhouse gases. The increase in these gases, in particular carbon dioxide,

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Table 3.4 Economic valuation of fire and haze damage from the 1997 Indonesian fires Type of loss Fires Timber Agriculture Direct forest benefits Indirect forest benefits Fire fighting costs Carbon release Haze Short-term health damage Industrial production Tourism Airline and airport losses Fishing decline Cloud seeding costs Total estimated costs

US$ millions 493.7 470.4 705.0 1,107.1 25.1 272.1 940.8 157.4 256.2 24.7 16.2 0.8 4,4695

Source: Glover and Jessup 1999.

has in turn been greatly aggravated by the fires; UNEP estimated that the forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan were responsible for the release of 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, a figure that largely negates any annual reductions of industrial emissions that may result from the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Various attempts have been made to estimate the total economic costs of the fires and the haze. One of the earliest and most publicized was a study carried out by the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) and WWF of the damage caused by the 1997 fires; this assessed the damage and costs at approximately US$4.47 billion (Glover and Jessup 1999). More recent estimates for the two-year period have included that of the Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI), which calculated a total cost of US$8.8 billion (Jakarta Post, 7 August 1999) and the Asian Development Bank (1999) which estimated the losses between US$8.5 billion and US$9.4 billion (Table 3.4). In spite of the scale of the disaster, governments in the region were often slow to respond and at times proved reluctant to provide public information concerning the extent of the air pollution. In Malaysia, the government forbade university lecturers from making public statements on the haze for fear of deterring tourism. It was often the media and newspapers that proved effective in raising public awareness and stimulating government action. When pollution standard index (PSI) (known as Air Pollution Index (API) in Malaysia) figures were eventually published, they did serve as guidelines for the public and governments on health precautions to be taken. People were encouraged to refrain from outdoor exercise and to remain indoors, schools

50 The islands of Southeast Asia were closed and, as conditions became worse, other workplaces. Face masks were issued, at first to schoolchildren, later more widely throughout the population. The different countries of the region formed national committees or task forces on haze to coordinate the activities of different government departments and drew up National Haze Action Plans. Attempts were made to reduce further air pollution by stricter regulation of open burning, introducing or amending legislation to provide for strict penalties. In Indonesia, the Basic Environmental Law No. 23 provided for imprisonment of up to ten years for those found guilty of lighting fires. In spite of the fact that high-resolution remote sensing made it easier to identify those responsible they were rarely prosecuted, although NGOs such as WAHLI had some success in bringing civil suits against offending concession holders. Lists of companies proved to have been involved in burning were published the government, and by mid-1998 the operating licences of 154 of these companies had been cancelled, although in some cases only temporarily. A policy of ‘zero burning’ was advocated by some NGOs, then taken up by the ASEAN Committee of Environment Ministers and announced by President Habibie of Indonesia on World Environment Day in 1999 (Rowell and Moore 2000, 32). Later, in 2001, Indonesia introduced further legislation forbidding vegetation fires and making landowners responsible for their suppression. In practice, the implementation of a zero burning policy would involve chipping felled trees into small pieces, and composting or removal of all waste. It is generally regarded by landowners as an expensive alternative to burning, and its enforcement would require strict supervision or more economic incentives to use the waste. It is doubtful whether zero burning policies are realistic in all conditions, but there is a need for their implementation in periods and areas of extreme fire risk. In Indonesia the policy of stricter legislation and harsher sanctions has been difficult to implement because of lack of enforcement and compliance at local level. The rigid hierarchical sectoral structure of the administrative system under President Soeharto was unsuitable for dealing with environmental problems where cooperation and rapid responses were necessary. In 1997 Sarwono, the Environment Minister, complained that his department was ‘fighting a lone battle’ in combating the fires and haze; he spoke of a ‘late and passive’ response from government agencies, poor coordination between ministries and departments, and ‘very minimal support’ from government and military officials (Straits Times 24 September 1997). Since the fall of Soeharto, legislation has been introduced giving provincial and district governments more control over resource policies and revenues. Although this has provided much-needed decentralization of powers, it has had only limited effect on fire prevention, and local governments’ efforts to raise money have led to the granting of more logging and estate concessions, often aggravating the situation. During times of drought, satellite images of Sumatra and Kalimantan continue to show the ‘hot spots’ that indicate fires, and for much of Southeast Asia the periods of haze have become regular phenomena. If

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this is to be changed and Indonesia’s forests are to be saved from complete destruction, there is a need for policies to address the wider issues of property rights and land use. The policies of forest exploitation and plantations, transmigration and promotion of large oil palm estates have often resulted in the marginalization of indigenous groups, whose customary rights to land and forest products have often been ignored. They are left with few incentives to protect the forest and a resentment of the extraction of their traditional resources by outsiders. Only if their property rights are identified, restored and reinforced are local communities likely to feel again responsible for the sustainable utilization of the land, and for the detection, prevention and suppression of fires.

Threats to biodiversity The previous sections discussed how changes in land use, logging and fires have resulted in the destruction and fragmentation of the forests that serve as the habitat for wildlife. This has been the major reason why wildlife numbers are declining and why many species are in danger of extinction, but there are also other threats. Much hunting, fishing and collection of products is no longer sustainable. There is increased demand for food, both for subsistence and commercial purposes. The trade in animals and their parts for use in traditional medicines continues to spread, exacerbated by the demands of an ageing male population for remedies for their declining virility. Many animals are in demand as household pets and for zoos; their collection often involves killing the parents and high mortality rates during transport of the young. Tourism and desires for affluent display have created a market for souvenirs and decorations that have put some of the most attractive and unique forms of wildlife at risk. Much of the trade in wildlife is forbidden by national legislation and in contravention of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but it continues as a result of greed, ignorance and official indifference. Over-exploitation of wildlife has been partly due to increases in demand, but it is also associated with the adoption of new technologies and methods that make hunting, collecting and fishing more effective and indiscriminate, as in the case of the increased use of firearms and nylon nets. The settlement of new areas and the construction of roads have also made wildlife more vulnerable and accessible. Another threat to biodiversity is the on-going process of climate change. In Southeast Asia, as well as the rise in temperatures associated with the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, weather conditions are expected to become more erratic; natural disasters such as storms, floods, droughts, and fires are likely to become more frequent and of greater intensity. Hotter temperatures will affect mountain ecosystems, causing them to retreat to higher altitudes with consequent decreases in area and biodiversity. Warming of the seas has already caused the bleaching and destruction of coral reefs in

52 The islands of Southeast Asia the region; predicted rises in sea level will affect mangrove swamps and other low-lying coastal areas. Different forms of pollution are increasingly permeating many natural ecosystems and endangering the life support systems of both human and wildlife populations. Rivers and coastal seas suffer from being used for the discharge of sewage, and the disposal of increased amounts of domestic and industrial waste. Water quality in rivers change as their load of organic waste, often swollen by the waste from palm oil mills and food processing, provides food for the growth of algae, which leaves little oxygen for other forms of aquatic life. Run-off from new types of agriculture adds to the biochemical oxygen demand, while pesticides and fertilizers add to the toxic materials that seep into the rivers. Increased sedimentation has also resulted from the soil erosion that follows forest clearing. Mining is a major cause of pollution, with tailings from gold and copper mines often leaching into the river systems and mercury from illegal gold mining poisoning water supplies and aquatic life. Oil spills from offshore drilling and accidents to tankers in busy shopping lanes are continuing hazards (Cleary and Goh 2000). The changes that are occurring in both terrestrial and marine environments all pose threats to the rich biodiversity of the Southeast Asian islands. Table 3.1 (p. 35) shows the extent of this biodiversity and the variety of forms of life that exist, many of which are endemic to the region, with some being found only on particular islands. Individual states have been defined as ‘megadiversity countries’ (Mittermeier 1988), and much of the region has been identified as tropical forest ‘hotspot’ areas (Myers 1988) and as having world priority for research and conservation (NAS 1980). The fact that many species in the region are becoming scarcer and some are in danger of extinction is a matter for both global and local concern. Because our knowledge of the full range of species is incomplete, it is probable that many existing in the forests and waters of the region will disappear before they have been scientifically identified or we even know that they are there. The result of potential losses to society of genetic materials for agriculture, industry and agriculture is well illustrated by the account, possibly apocryphal, of the discovery of a tree in the forests of Sarawak, a type of bintangor (Calophylum sp.), that was found to provide a cure for AIDS; unfortunately when the researchers returned to the area they were never able to find the tree again as the whole area had been logged. The possibility of the destruction of undiscovered riches provides a strong argument for a far more precautionary approach to the management of natural resources. Of the known species there are a large number threatened with extinction, as shown by the data in the Red List of Threatened Animals (IUCN 1996), which for Indonesia alone describes 128 mammal species, 29 per cent of the total, as being endangered. Among these the fate of some of the larger animals has attracted particular attention. For example, there were once sub-species of the tiger in Java, Bali and Sumatra but now only the Sumatran

Landscapes of change


tiger remains, with its numbers drastically reduced due to habitat destruction and poaching resulting from the demand for their skins for expensive decorations and the organs for supposed value in medicines. The rhinoceros has also been a victim of poaching and the illegal trade in its horn. Small numbers of the two-horned Sumatran rhinoceros survive in Borneo and Sumatra, while the Javanese rhinoceros is now found only in the Ujong Kulon national park in western Java; not surprisingly these species are rarely seen and their presence is often indicated only by their footprints. Primates have also proved vulnerable to habitat change, illegal hunting and smuggling. In particular, orangutan numbers have declined rapidly, with recent populations estimated at between 15000 and 25000 (EIA 1998); as indicated they have been victims of the forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra that have often destroyed their habitat and sources of food, forcing them into conflict with villagers who slaughtered them when they strayed into cultivated areas in search of something to eat. There is also an illegal domestic and international pet trade in young orangutans, which often involves the killing of their mothers. One bizarre aspect of this trade is that there have been cases, especially in Taiwan, of demand being stimulated by the showing of films featuring tame orangutans. Tiger, rhinoceros and orangutan are all keystone species whose near extinction provides an indication of how a changing environment and human activities are threatening biodiversity. In addition there are many other forms of life at risk. Not only are forest ecosystems and the terrestrial environment subject to alteration and degradation, but many marine species are also suffering from over-exploitation, pollution and changes to coastal areas. Commercial fishing, often involving vessels from outside the region, is depleting stocks, illegal use of explosives is destroying coral reefs, and marine turtles are at risk from disturbance of their breeding beaches. Many forms of human activity and resource use are no longer sustainable; they are not only putting the existence of other forms of life at risk, they are also endangering the livelihoods of the human populations and future generations.


Conservation policies

In the past, traditional resource management has been effective when population densities were low and exploitation of wildlife was mainly for subsistence purposes. It was also dependent on a community having exclusive rights to an area and powers to control access to its natural resources. Incentives to manage and conserve these resources came from the group’s possession of these rights and the confidence that these rights could not be alienated and so would be inherited by their descendants. The close association of a group with their natural environment, and their knowledge of and dependence on its resources, meant their territory was both defended against outsiders and also protected by internal controls. Waste was avoided and often there were bans on over-hunting and controls on fishing, together with rules on the sharing of the catch among the community. In addition, a complex system of taboos and animistic beliefs helped to protect and safeguard certain species and areas. Although the religions introduced into Southeast Asia did not formally subscribe to these taboos, they have often persisted in what became a dual system of beliefs and practices. The new religions often had their own conservation ethic; Buddhism and Hinduism preached reincarnation and the sanctity of different forms of life, while Islam imposes prohibitions on eating many forms of food considered unclean, in particular wild pig, monkeys and lizards. Many customary controls persist today, but others have been weakened by the decline in traditional authority as societies and institutions have changed. Communal control over resources has frequently been transferred to governments and then allocated to commercial interests. In addition, the scale and global nature of threats to biodiversity has meant that the functions of local communities as guardians of nature have had to be augmented by new policies and institutions resulting from both national initiatives and international cooperation. Some of those affecting the Southeast Asian archipelago are considered in this chapter. Historically, government intervention was often earliest in forest protection and management, which in turn was associated with measures for game preservation and the conservation of endangered species. These have led to the development of national systems of national parks and other protected areas. Government roles in initiating

Conservation policies


and implementing these policies have also increasingly been supplemented by civil society, especially a wide range of NGOs. Linkages have been developed with local communities, universities and business organizations, while at the international level, assistance has been given by aid agencies, bilateral agreements and international NGOs to conservation initiatives and regional cooperation. This chapter describes policies aimed at forest protection and wildlife preservation, examines the establishment of protected area systems in the different countries of the region, assesses the role of environmental impact assessment, discusses the role of NGOs, and finally considers the part played by international agreements and cooperation.

Forest legislation Colonial forest legislation often continued in use after countries became independent, although in many cases these laws were eventually amended or replaced. For example, the Forest Acts of Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah were originally very similar, reflecting their common history of British administration. All contained provisions for the establishment of reserves where no unauthorized felling or clearing of the forest was allowed. Extracts from Section 19 of the Brunei Forest Act of 1934 demonstrated clearly how local communities were excluded from the forest in these reserves. It stated that: ‘no person shall (a) graze cattle; (b) fell any tree or injure by fire; . . . (d) collect any forest produce or minerals; (e) clear any land for cultivation; (f) hunt, shoot, fish or set traps or snares’, and finally, in case there should be any doubt, ‘trespass in any manner not in this section prohibited’. The main aim of the forest legislation was to safeguard valuable timber resources for commercial logging, which could then be allowed under licence or permit. However, with greater appreciation of the multiple use value of the forests, amendments were made that classified the reserves for different purposes. In Sabah, where reserves occupy 45 per cent of the total land area, under amendments to the legislation in 1984 two-thirds of the reserves were classified as commercial forest but the rest were designated as protection, domestic (for local subsistence purposes), amenity, mangrove, virgin jungle (for research), and wildlife reserves, where no commercial logging was allowed. In Sarawak, reserves comprise 37 per cent of the state, with most of this area classified as protection forest – which does not prevent it from being used for commercial logging. In Brunei, reserves occupy approximately 40 per cent of the state and over half their area is designated for conservation, protection and recreational purposes. In all three states the area of reserves plus national parks forms part of the national forest estate administered by the government. In the Philippines, powers to reserve forest areas were provided for in Forest Administrative Orders during the period of American rule. Following independence, the 1946 Constitution stated that all forests belonged to the state. More recently, the 1987 Constitution reiterated this principle of state

56 The islands of Southeast Asia ownership of natural resources, but also included concessions that recognized the rights of indigenous communities to their ancestral lands. The Revised Forestry Code of 1985 provided for reserves and areas of permanent forest, and prohibited alienation or development on forest ridges and slopes steeper than 50 degrees. In the Netherlands East Indies state control over forest resources or the creation of what Peluso and Vandergeest (2001) describe as ‘political forest’ was first established in the rich teak forests of Java, but in the outer islands the government forest agencies often lacked the capacity to demarcate large areas of reserves (ibid.). However, the principle of state sovereignty over forests and other natural resources was to be reaffirmed when Indonesia became independent: the national constitution stated that ‘land and water resources and the natural riches therein shall be controlled by the state and be made use of for the greatest welfare of the people’. Subsequent legislation, such as the Basic Forestry Law of 1967, further strengthened central government control over the forests. Only after the fall of Soeharto in 1998 was legislation introduced to decentralize powers over forest management and revenues to the districts. Land use planning in relation to the forest also uses a classification in which timber concessions, Hak Pengusahaan Hutan, can be allocated in what has been designated as production and limited production forest, where logging is supposed to be on a sustainable basis following selective felling and replanting procedures. Another category is conversion forest, where clear felling is allowed in areas designated for agriculture and other forms of development. Only in protection forest (hutan lindung), parks and reserves is logging prohibited. In 1985 Indonesia imposed a ban on the export of logs, in what seems to have been an attempt to protect local sawmills, plywood and pulp manufacturing; in 1998 these restrictions on exports were removed. In 1999 the central government attempted to ban the issue of new forest concession licences to allow forest rehabilitation, but since the granting of greater autonomy to provinces and regencies the ban has been ignored by local administrations anxious to increase their revenues. In 2003 the Ministry of Forestry estimated that 2 million hectares of forest had been subjected to what they regarded as ‘illegal’ concessions (Jakarta Post, 27 January 2003). Papua New Guinea is different in that most of the forest areas are under customary communal ownership and a system of state forest reserves was never developed. Under the 1973 Forestry Act an indirect system operated, in which the government purchased timber rights from the landowners and then granted concessions to the commercial companies. The agreements with the companies contained environmental safeguards against slope erosion and logging near the banks of rivers. The interests of the landowners were protected in different ways. They retained rights of access and were allowed to cultivate the land; fruit trees and other economically important plant were excluded from the agreement, and landowners were still able to gather wood for fuel, fences, houses and canoes. Logging was not supposed to occur near

Conservation policies


villages or in cemeteries and other sacred areas. This system of safeguarding indigenous interests worked effectively during the period of colonial administration, but in 1974 the Forest (Private Dealings) Act was introduced, which allowed some direct dealings between landowners and companies. This became one of the sources of corruption revealed in an inquiry in 1988 (Barnett 1989). This inquiry led to attempts at stricter regulation of licensing, a new Forest Act in 1991, and the establishment of the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority.

Wildlife protection Where forest reserves have been established and logging is restricted, wildlife benefit from the protection of their habitat. In addition, the legislation may include prohibitions on hunting and some reserves may be designated specially for wildlife protection, as in the case of the nature and game reserves (cagar alam and sukar margasatwa) in Indonesia. All the states of the region also have legislation protecting species that are considered endangered by forbidding their hunting, killing, consumption, and trade. The laws also often contain provisions for game sanctuaries or reserves for the protection of fauna, but not always flora. The laws may further regulate methods and purposes of hunting. The Sabah legislation prohibits weapons and methods that may endanger humans; these include spring traps, set-guns, sharpened stakes, and game pits. In Papua New Guinea, the Fauna (Protection and Control) Act states that animals listed as protected may still be hunted by the indigenous people if it is for customary non-commercial purposes and if they use traditional methods, thus allowing hunting for food and ceremonial uses, and using bows and arrows, traps and spears but not firearms. In Sarawak, a new Wildlife Protection Ordinance in 1998 prohibited the sale of all types of wildlife in the state but continued to allow hunting of non-protected species for subsistence purposes. Certain valuable wildlife resources have often been subject to special institutional arrangements for their exploitation. The nests of swiftlets from limestone cave are in great demand as a delicacy in Chinese cooking. Efforts have been made to ensure that their collection is on a sustained yield basis and that the traditional rights of local landowners are recognized in the issue of licences. Nevertheless, this scarce resource continues to be threatened by illegal over-collection by outsiders; in the case of the Niah Caves in Sarawak this has led to violent disputes and temporary bans on collection (Borneo Bulletin, 8 April 1989). Other examples of special institutional arrangements for the management of a highly prized resource have been efforts to manage the collection of marine turtle eggs. In the case of Sarawak this was traditionally done by a Turtle Trust Board, which ensured that approximately half the eggs were transferred to nearby hatcheries and then released, while the remainder were sold and the revenue from the sales donated to funds for the mosque and other

58 The islands of Southeast Asia charities. In Bali there were turtle farms where the animals themselves were reared for food. The meat was regarded as a significant element in Balinese Hindu rituals; a 1990 provincial government decree also allowed a quota of 5,000 green turtles to be traded. However, as turtles have become increasingly scarce, governments, often influenced by NGOs, have adopted much more comprehensive protectionist policies preventing all egg collection and turtle farming. In Indonesia, national conservation legislation in 1999 provided protection for all turtles and made exploitation of the animals and their eggs a punishable offence. This forced the Balinese governor to rescind the earlier decree allowing a quota and created considerable local unrest, culminating in an attack on the office of WWF who were believed to have been responsible for influencing the change (Jakarta Post, 9 November 2000). Enforcement of and compliance with wildlife conservation legislation is inconsistent throughout the region. This is often due to indifference, ignorance and uncertainty over the laws and the species protected, both among the general population and the officials in government agencies with statutory responsibilities for implementing the laws. Attempts have been made to remedy this through environmental education and awareness campaigns, which often involve the display of charts of the protected wildlife and community conservation projects. Efforts have also been made to increase participation by local people. In the Philippines, Section 30 of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 gives the government powers to deputize wildlife enforcement officers from NGOs, citizens’ groups and community organizations, while Article 37 of the Indonesian Act on Conservation of Living Resources and their Ecosystems states: ‘The government will lead and mobilize its citizens to participate in conservation of living resources and their ecosystems’ and ‘encourage and develop conservation awareness . . . through education and extension programs’ (Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia 1990). The 1998 Wildlife Protection Ordinance in Sarawak included provisions for community leaders to be honorary wildlife rangers. These have even included logging camp managers; given that their employees have often been involved in illegal hunting, this seems a good example of poachers turned gamekeepers.

Protected areas Historically, forest departments have been the government agencies responsible for establishing not only forest reserves but also other types of protected areas, including national parks (Table 4.1). In Indonesia, Sarawak and Brunei, national parks and nature reserves are still administered by special units within the respective Ministries of Forests, but in Sabah the parks are controlled by a semi-independent board. In the Philippines, the position is somewhat convoluted after a succession of reorganizations; the IUCN (1991: 114) reported as many as ten different bodies with administrative responsibility for national parks, although the Department of

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Table 4.1 Protected area coverage in the Southeast Asian archipelago State

Indonesia Philippines Brunei Sarawak Sabah Singapore Papua New Guinea Total

Protected areas Area (000 ha)

Percentage of land area

22,285 1,454 115 290 336 3 941 25,424

11.5 4.8 20.0 2.3 4.5 4.7 2.0 9.1

Source: WCMC 2000.

Table 4.2 Protected areas in Indonesia (1999) Type Nature reserve Wildlife reserve National park Grand forest park Nature recreational park Hunting park Total

Number 175 48 39 12 91 14 379

Area (ha) 2,673,386 3,584,889 14,653,176 238,495 895,845 239,393 22,285,184

Source: Sunaryo 2000.

Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has now become the main supervisory agency. In Papua New Guinea there is a separate Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), which originated as an Office in the Department of Lands, Surveys and Mines. The DEC now has its own Ministry and in addition to national parks is also responsible for wildlife management areas. In Indonesia, after a departmental re-organization in 1999 the agency directly responsible for the supervision and management of protected areas became known as the Directorate of Conservation Areas. This in turn is part of the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, which is also concerned with species conservation, forests and, rather incongruously, estate crops. The first nature and wildlife reserves were established by the Dutch during the colonial period, and at the time of independence there were 113 reserves covering a total area of 2.2 million hectares (Sunaryo 2000). By 1982, the year Indonesia hosted the Third World National Parks Congress and announced the country’s first ten national parks, the number of protected areas had increased to 299. The number and types of protected areas at the end of the twentieth century is shown in Table 4.2. This shows 39 national parks, multi-purpose conservation

60 The islands of Southeast Asia areas that can be classified under the IUCN management category 2; these form the largest and most significant areas and are distributed throughout Indonesia. In nature reserves (cagar alam), all plants and animals are strictly protected and only research is allowed; these correspond to IUCN category 1. Wildlife or game reserves (suaka margastawa) differ in that some access and economic activities are allowed. There are also hunting and recreation parks managed for specific purposes, and another category of grand forest park, which may include introduced flora and fauna. Individual protected areas are subject to reclassification and many national parks have evolved from reserves. Over 10 per cent of the land area of Indonesia is now officially protected. Unfortunately, this protection is often only nominal; illegal logging, poaching and encroachment by squatters are often common within the parks and reserves. There is often ignorance of or indifference to boundaries and by-laws, while enforcement is difficult because of the sparse distribution of field staff; the police, army and local officials are often either indifferent or themselves involved in the illegal activities. A report by the State Ministry of Environment in 2003 in a discussion of illegal logging admitted that ‘instead of contributing towards solving the problem, the police, military, prosecutors, customs and excise officials and regional administrations have only added to it’ (Jakarta Post, 3 November 2003). Population pressure and poverty mean that local communities look for resources and income within the protected areas and are resentful of outside controls. Permanent damage for short-term economic advantages has occurred in many areas; Tanjung Puting in Kalimantan (Shapiro 2000) and Gunung Leuser in Sumatra (Monk and Purba 2000) are two examples of parks once rich in biodiversity that have suffered widespread environmental degradation in spite of receiving considerable international attention and assistance. To a large extent, difficulties of environmental management and policy implementation inside the protected areas are a reflection of the problems outside their borders. In Indonesia as elsewhere, conservation areas cannot exist in isolation and their effectiveness is dependent on meaningful integration into local and regional development policies and aspirations. Protected areas in the Philippines face many similar problems to those in Indonesia. In her country report to a regional forum, Angelita Meniado, a senior officer in DENR, stated: ‘Humans pose a great threat to protected areas in the Philippines because a number of sites harbour human settlements. Although a proportion of settlers are indigenous people who adhere to conservation principles in their use of resources, a significant number are also ‘mainstream’ settlers who are profit-oriented and whose practices are not supportive of conservation’ (Meniado 2000: 78). She went on to describe threats such as illegal logging, mining, fishing, and fake land titles within the protected areas; as in Indonesia, demarcation of boundaries, corruption, political strife, and conflicts between national and local authorities were other problems listed.

Conservation policies


In the Philippines the division of powers between central and provincial governments has often led to overlapping legislation and inconsistent policies. During the period of American administration and in the early years of independence, parks and reserves were established by a variety of acts, administrative orders and presidential decrees. Protected areas included national parks, marine parks and reserves, wilderness areas, watershed forest reserves, mangrove swamp reserves, game refuges, and bird sanctuaries. The passing of the National Integrated Protected Areas (NIPAS) law in 1992 was an attempt to rationalize the system and provide a more comprehensive coverage for the whole country, although site-specific legislation was still required for the establishment of new parks and reserves. A new system of classification of protected areas under NIPAS followed closely that of IUCN: strict nature reserves, national parks, natural monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, protected landscapes and seascapes, and resource reserves; in addition there were also natural biotic areas. The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak each have their own protected areas legislation, and have developed their own systems of parks, reserves and sanctuaries. In Sabah the 1984 Parks Act delegated management of the state parks to the Sabah Parks Board, while wildlife sanctuaries and reserves are administered by the Wildlife Department under the 1997 Wildlife Conservation Act. There are six state parks, two reserves and two bird sanctuaries in Sabah; in addition there are two conservation areas, the Danum Valley and the Maliau Basin, in designated forest reserves that are managed by semi-independent statutory body, the Sabah Foundation. In Sarawak, there are eleven national parks and two wildlife sanctuaries that are administered by the National Parks and Wildlife division of the Ministry of Forests. New legislation, the Sarawak National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance, was introduced in 1998; this provided for a greater degree of local participation by local people in management by their representation on special committees. It also contained provision for some of the financial benefits from tourism, such as park entry and accommodation fees, to be shared with local communities on a case-by-case basis. Although customary land rights are generally rescinded after a park is declared, the process does allow for claims through native community headmen, which can lead to compensation or realignment of boundaries. The legal declaration and gazettal may also make special exceptions that allow indigenous people to retain hunting, fishing and collecting rights, as in the case of the Berawan and Penans who live around the Gunung Mulu national park. Brunei does not yet have specific national park legislation, but has established the Ulu Temburong national park on the legal basis of the provision for reserves in the Forest Act. The park consists of pristine forest and has no permanent population, but Ibans from longhouses downriver are employed in tourist and research activities. A second national park, the Merimbun Heritage Park, a wetland area, is managed by the Brunei Museum. This has one Dusun village whose inhabitants have been actively involved in

62 The islands of Southeast Asia the developing an infrastructure of paths, walkways and picnic places. The establishment of this park has also encouraged the villagers to revive local craftwork for demonstration and sale to visitors (Eaton 2000b). Singapore is highly urbanized but has retained an area of forest in the centre of the island around Bukit Timah. This nature reserve covers 2,715 hectares and has been protected mainly as a water catchment area, but it also has conservation and recreational value. A number of coastal areas are protected to preserve their remaining mangrove swamps and provide sanctuaries for migratory birds (Briffett 1994). In Papua New Guinea the National Parks Act replaced earlier preindependence legislation in 1966 and 1971. It gave the government powers to establish parks on land owned or acquired by the state. The McAdam and Varirata parks and four smaller areas were declared under the Australian colonial administration, but since independence land tenure problems have limited expansion of the parks. Wildlife management areas, established on customary land, have proved more successful; these are described in more detail in Chapter 9.

Environmental impact assessment Environmental impact assessment (EIA) has now been adopted by the countries of the region as a policy instrument or planning tool for integrating environmental protection and development. Types and methods of assessment have varied widely; as Ahmad and Sammy (1985: 9) reported, there has been a lack of consensus on the ‘best’ approach to EIA. However, most forms of EIA share certain features: they seek to identify and predict impacts, positive and negative, of different components of both construction and operational stages of development projects on elements of the natural and social environment. Attempts are made to specify and, where possible measure, the significance of these impacts, and to examine alternative methods for the prevention and mitigation of the harmful effects of development activities. Environmental assessment should determine decisions on whether development is approved by government and for this reason should be included at all stages in the planning process. In recommending proposals for the mitigation of negative impacts, it may suggest the establishment of protected areas, reforestation and adequate measures to compensate and resettle communities displaced by development. EIA legislation and procedures were introduced into the Philippines in 1977 when a National Environmental Protection Council was given responsibility for the development of an EIA system, which was established by presidential decree. In Papua New Guinea the Environmental Planning Act was introduced in 1978 and came into force two years later. Indonesia made provisions for EIA in Article 16 of its 1982 Act on Basic Provisions for the Living Environment; subsequently regulations and procedures were developed and the Environmental Impact Management Agency (BAPEDAL)

Conservation policies


was given responsibility for their implementation. In Malaysia the Environmental Quality Act was amended in 1984 to make EIA mandatory in the case of prescribed activities, and the relevant regulations were drawn up in 1988. Neither Singapore nor Brunei has specific EIA legislation, although development control procedures assess the impacts of all new projects. All the countries that do have legislation list the type of projects that should be assessed; these include large-scale transport infrastructure, mines, industries, agricultural schemes, dams, and tourist resorts. In Papua New Guinea, for example, EIA has been applied to logging proposals, oil palm estates, and gold and copper mines (Eaton 1987). EIA has also become mandatory for all large projects funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank; the latter have included agricultural and flood prevention schemes in Indonesia. Unfortunately, EIAs in Southeast Asia have not always been successful in meeting their objectives. In the Philippines a DENR report in 1990 stated that the EIA system had frequently failed to prevent resource depletion, environmental degradation and pollution accidents (Gilpin 1995: 114). The Indonesian experience was similar and Boyle (1998: 105–7) cites the water pollution resulting from the Indorayon pulp/rayon factory in Sumatra and the resettlement problems of the Kedung Ombo dam in Java as examples of the failure of the EIA process to deal with negative social and environmental impacts. Too often, the EIA is carried out in the planning process after political and investment decisions have been made, too late for any consideration of alternatives or for effective public consultation. The Bakun Dam in Sarawak, to be described in Chapter 6, is an example of a project begun and officially opened before its EIA was submitted to public scrutiny or officially approved. The collusion between politics and business that has been a feature of so many development projects in Southeast Asia has meant that many such projects either escaped environmental assessment or that many of the evaluations were neither independent nor objective. In a study of EIA effectiveness in development planning in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, Boyle (1998) identified cultural characteristics in their societies, such as their hierarchical nature, the paternalism of their leaders, the prevalence of patron–client relationships, the avoidance of conflict, and the preservation of face, which he claims all weaken support for EIA by the leaders in these countries. Nevertheless, the existence of a legislative mandate for EIA means that it retains a potential for preventing development that may be harmful to local communities and to the natural environment. Moves towards greater democracy, more transparency in planning and the gradual increase in environmental awareness should all help the realization of this potential. In particular, NGOs have been active as advocates of EIA and of greater public involvement in its processes. They have often exerted pressure on governments to implement their own policies and legislation, and ensured through the media that environmental issues are brought to public attention.

64 The islands of Southeast Asia The growing importance of their activities is described in the next section of this chapter.

NGOs and conservation NGOs are playing an increasingly significant role in wildlife conservation policy and implementation. Their activities have often complemented those of national government agencies and provided much needed links with people at village level. In the Philippines alone it has been estimated that there are more than 18,000 registered NGOs of all types (Constantino-David 1992: 136), of which development and conservation groups form a significant number. The expansion of NGO numbers and activities is partly a result of greater liberalization of governments, as in the case of the Philippines and Indonesia. It is also associated with the spread of education; many of the members are associated with or are graduates of the universities of the region. The development of computer technology has also increased the possibilities of networking and improved communication between members and other organizations. Many NGOs have benefited from an increase in funding from international agencies, who have often found them more enthusiastic and cost-effective proponents of projects and policies than the government bureaucracies. They have proved useful conduits for both bilateral and government funding, and also aid from multilateral agencies, such as those for preserving biodiversity through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). In the Philippines, seven of the leading environmental NGOs have been accredited by the GEF. One of these, Haribon, has also been involved in debtfor-nature swaps, while in a similar deal in 2002, the United States Treasury cancelled $5.5 million of Philippine debt so that the money could be made available to NGOs for conservation activities. Some of the earliest NGOs concerned with conservation were nature societies, concerned especially with education and research. The Malaysian Nature Society is an example of this type but it has expanded its functions and is now involved in consultancy, planning and protected areas. In Sabah the Nature Club is the largest environmental NGO in Malaysia with a membership of 10,000 school students and youth groups (IUCN 2000). In Brunei two nature societies are the only environmental NGOs that are permitted; the more conservative Southeast Asian governments have traditionally been more tolerant of the nature society model devoted to education and research, as distinct from campaigning and lobbying organizations or those with affiliations outside their own countries. Although NGOs are increasingly working with governments, the relationship has often been a suspicious and confrontational one. The Malaysian Friends of the Earth (Sahabat Alam Malaysia) were active in supporting the Penans and other indigenous groups in their conflicts with the logging companies and the state government (Sahabat Alam Malaysia, 1989). In Indonesia, NGOs such as WALHI (the Indonesian Forum for the

Conservation policies


Environment), LATIN (the Indonesian Institute for Tropical Forests) and Forest Watch have been very critical of government forest policies and their implementation, while Sawit Watch has documented the effects on local communities and the environment of the spread of oil palm estates. Some NGOs are organized on a national basis. WALHI is an umbrella organization for over 500 different groups and networks; others are concerned with a particular area such as the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation in the Philippines and the Information Centre for Conservation (WARSIH) in Sumatra. In addition to these national and local organizations, international NGOs such as WWF, IUCN and Conservation International have been important as sources of funding, education and training, research, and the planning of conservation projects. Most have had to be careful of the sensitivities of national governments on environmental issues; the NGOs mainly employ nationals of the countries where they work and have also taken on national identities (for example WWF Indonesia). A few NGOs such as Greenpeace Pacific in Papua New Guinea and the Environmental Investigation Agency operating in Indonesia have adopted more critical and lobbying roles. Generally, both international and national NGOs have proved most effective in initiating, influencing and implementing conservation policy when they work with governments while maintaining contact with local communities and other sectors of civil society.

International and regional cooperation Countries in the region are party to a number of international treaties designed to protect wildlife and preserve biodiversity. These generally have the advantage of facilitating international cooperation, mutual assistance and the exchange of information. They may also exert pressure on member countries not only to conform to international regimes, but also to take action at national level, thus acting as a catalyst for conservation policies. Most treaties have a reporting system for members and this requirement both provides data and helps ensure that countries attempt to follow promised courses of action. All countries in the region are party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This seeks to limit and regulate trade in wildlife and wildlife products of all species threatened with extinction or that may be in the near future. These are listed in Appendices 1 and 2 of the convention and may be traded only under particular circumstances, require permits for their export and in the case of those in Appendix 1, also for their import. Animals protected under CITES include all primates, the larger cats, bears, rhinoceroses, and marine turtles. The fact that the convention has been adopted by all countries in the region and its major trading partners helps to provide control over one of the major threats to biodiversity. Unfortunately, enforcement is often difficult; officials frequently find it hard to identify the relevant animal and plant species, and

66 The islands of Southeast Asia there is a great deal of smuggling attracted by lucrative markets in other pats of Asia. The Ramsar Convention defines wetlands as being ‘areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres’ (Ramsar Convention 1971). This definition is a rather broad one but it does include many different ecosystems in the region, a large number of which are in need of protection. Parties to the Ramsar Convention have to designate at least one wetland as being of international importance and make provisions for its conservation. Indonesia has designated two sites: Berbak, consisting mainly of peat and freshwater swamps in Jambi in eastern Sumatra; and Danau Sentarum, an area of lakes, freshwater swamps and forest in West Kalimantan. The Philippines has four sites: Agusan Marsh in Mindanao, Naujan Lake in Minoro, Tubbataha Reef, and Olango Island. Papua New Guinea has two sites: Lake Kutubu, a karst lake, and the Tonda wildlife management area. At present, Malaysia has one site: Tasek Bera in peninsular Malaysia. Although the Ramsar list identifies flagship areas of special significance, it should be emphasized that there are many other important wetlands in the region, only some of which have conservation status. Many of these are recorded in Scott’s A Directory of Asian Wetlands (1989), which includes a total of 49 areas in the island of Borneo alone. In addition to protecting the areas on the international list, signatories to the treaty are also supposed to establish nature reserves elsewhere and are committed to the ‘wise’ or sustainable use of all wetlands. The World Heritage Convention aims to conserve sites of cultural and natural importance. Cultural sites include monuments, group of buildings, and places of historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value. Natural heritage sites are outstanding physical, biological and geological features, habitats of threatened plants or animal species, and areas of value on scientific or aesthetic grounds or from the point of view of conservation. It is also possible for sites to combine both cultural and natural values. UNESCO is the international organization responsible for the convention; countries that are parties nominate sites to be evaluated before a decision on approval is made. In the case of natural heritage sites, many are already protected areas, usually national parks. Their international treaty status also helps to provide additional protection and support. A list of threatened sites is published periodically; it serves to draw attention to problems and may prompt remedial action. The need to meet the criteria for approval can also lead to improvements in management and an increase in the area protected. All the larger countries of the region are parties to the World Heritage Convention, although Papua New Guinea has not yet had any sites inscribed. Indonesia has three natural heritage sites: the Ujung Kulon, Komodo and

Conservation policies


Lorentz national parks, while the Borobodur and Prambanan temples plus the Sangiran early man site have been declared cultural heritage areas. Malaysia has natural heritage sites at Kinabalu in Sabah and Gunung Mulu in Sarawak. The Philippines has two natural heritage sites, at the Tubbataha marine park and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River national park; cultural sites that have been listed are the historical town of Vigas, baroque churches and the rice terraces of the Philippines Cordillera. In 2001, the Banaue and Ifugao terraces were listed as being endangered as over a quarter had been abandoned and their walls damaged; more government support and international assistance was requested for the maintenance of these resources. Indonesia and the Philippines have biosphere reserves; these are significant in that provision is made for indigenous tenure and practices, and also for innovation, learning and experiment. In Indonesia, Cibodas, Tanjung Puting, Komodo, Lore Lindu, Gunung Leuser, and Siberut have all been listed as biosphere reserves, but external pressures and lack of resources have meant that implementation has been difficult. The Philippines has two areas listed as biosphere reserves, Puerto Galere and the island of Palawan, but again neither would seem sustainable as they contain many forms of land use incompatible with the biosphere concept. Biosphere reserves would seem to be most appropriate in Southeast Asia where indigenous groups, their land and livelihoods are threatened, as in the case of Siberut; they have also been proposed (Cleary and Eaton 1992) for the Penan in Sarawak. All countries in the region, apart from Brunei and East Timor, have signed and then ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which with the Framework Convention on Climate Change was one of the two important international agreements to result from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992. The CBD requires the parties to draw up ‘national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity’ (Article 6). Indonesia and the Philippines have produced National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, while Malaysia officially launched a National Policy on Biological Diversity in 1998. Both the CBD and the national strategies emphasize the importance of in situ conservation, establishing a system of protected areas, and the promotion of environmentally sound and sustainable development in land adjacent to them. In addition, it calls on states to ‘respect, preserve and maintain knowledges, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities’ (Article 8). Countries in Southeast Asia and in other parts of the developing world had been concerned with outside exploitation of their genetic resources and interference in their national policies. In attempting to address these concerns the Convention reaffirmed the principle that states had sovereign rights over their own biological resources and that there should be a fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of genetic resources. The CBD is very much a framework agreement: it serves as an agreement on certain principles and guidelines for courses of action, but it remains to be seen to what extent the subsequent protocols and programmes

68 The islands of Southeast Asia drawn up at the conferences of the parties will serve to preserve the rich biodiversity of the region. In addition to the global conventions, there have been a number of regional agreements involving all the ASEAN countries. These have usually resulted from the regular meetings of the senior environment officials and ministers. In 1984 the second ministerial meeting resulted in the Declaration on ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserves. The areas designated by Indonesia were the Leuser and Kerinci national parks in Sumatra, and what was then the Lorentz reserve in Irian Jaya. Malaysia designated the Kinabalu, Mulu and Taman Negara national parks; the Philippines the Mount Apo and Iglit-Baco national parks. The Brunei ministerial representative was in a somewhat embarrassing position as the country had no national parks, but he nominated Tasek Merimbun, a wetlands area of scientific and cultural value. Six years later the area was officially opened as the Merimbun Heritage Park, an example of positive achievements from regional pressures. Within ASEAN there has also been an interest in promoting international cooperation through trans-boundary national parks and reserves. This is possible where there are contiguous protected areas on either side of international frontiers, making collaborative management possible between the two national authorities. Trans-boundary linkages create a larger area for conservation, which is especially valuable for migratory wildlife species and those requiring large home ranges. They also facilitates cooperation in controlling poaching, illegal logging, smuggling, and forest fires. In addition, trans-boundary parks provide a structure for international collaboration in research, sharing information, training programmes, and exchanges of staff. Certain costs can be shared, for example transport for joint patrols. There are also benefits for tourism in terms of marketing, access and infrastructure. The indigenous people living on either side of the frontiers often have close relationships with each other; the trans-boundary reserves may assist their movements between countries, and encourage cultural events and exchanges. In addition to these practical advantages at the local level, national governments like the parks as a symbol of good relations and peaceful cooperation. It has also been suggested (Sandwith et al. 2001: 8) that transboundary activities may attract more support from both donor agencies and carry more weight with national authorities, who are more likely to honour commitments if another country is involved. In Borneo the first trans-boundary linkage was formalized in 1994 when the Sarawak Chief Minister and the Indonesian Minister for Forests jointly launched the Lanjak Entimau/Betung Kerihun Trans-Boundary Biodiversity Conservation Area (TBCA) (Borneo Bulletin, 30 September 1994). Lanjak Entimau is located in an upland area in the interior of Sarawak and takes its name from two of the mountains in the region; it had been established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1983 with the aim of protecting orangutan and other primates. The total area of the sanctuary is 168,758 hectares and it is bordered in the south by the 24,000 hectare Batang Ai national park, which it is planned

Conservation policies


to integrate into the TBCA (Chai and Soewartono 2000). On the Indonesian side of the frontier, the Betung Kerihun national park occupies an area of 800,000 hectares in the upper basin of the Kapuas River in the province of West Kalimantan. The combined CBDA provides a large area of mainly pristine forest that hosts a great variety of wildlife. In particular, orangutan and hornbills, which frequently move across the international frontier in search of their scattered sources of food, have benefited from increased habitat protection. The CBDA has also received financial support from the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), a body which represents both timber exporting and importing countries and which aims to promote sustainable forest management. ITTO funded a joint scientific expedition to the area, then promoted programmes to establish a totally protected area in Lanjak Entimau and develop Betung Kerihun as a national park. Zoning systems have been created in both areas. The Iban and Tamamabloh Dayak living around the CBDA have shown interest in having their customary land included in the buffer zones, as they see this as a way of protecting the forest resources against logging. Subsistence hunting of deer and wild pig is allowed in these zones and assistance is being given with agroforestry; special wildlife committees have been formed, and it is hoped to involve the local people in ecotourism. There are a number of other areas in central Borneo with potential for the development of trans-boundary parks. Further northeast in Indonesia is the large Kayan Mentarang national park, across the border on the Malaysian side is the proposed Pulong Tau park in Sarawak and a suggested reserve in Ulu Padas in Sabah (Vaz 2000). If linkages could be created, there would be the possibility of creating a unique international conservation area protecting much of the interior of Borneo, enhancing and preserving cultural values and safeguarding customary rights (Eaton 2000a). The second trans-boundary reserve to have been officially approved is the Sabah–Philippines Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area (TIHPA). This consists of nine islands in the Sulu Sea off the northern coast of Sabah that are important breeding sites for green and hawksbill turtles. The three islands that lie within Sabah’s territorial waters were declared a national park in 1977. There is accommodation for visitors and park staff on the largest of the islands, Selingaan. All three islands are patrolled to prevent the illegal killing and collection of the eggs of the turtles when they come to the beaches to breed. As the eggs and the young turtles are very vulnerable to predators, eggs are collected and transferred to a hatchery, from which the small turtles can be transferred directly to the sea, avoiding at least the perils of the journey down the beach if not the threats that wait in the sea. These operations are popular with tourists and in the late 1990s more than 5,000 people visited the park each year (Basintal and Ali 2000). Research activities have involved tagging the turtles, monitoring of their numbers and comparisons of in situ and hatchery incubation of the turtles.

70 The islands of Southeast Asia The southern Philippines have not proved the easiest of neighbours. Not only do they have a tenuous historical claim to Sabah, but there is widespread illegal fishing, smuggling and piracy. There is also commercial collection of turtle eggs from some of the islands in the Sulu Sea, giving rise to the islanders’ opposition to a ban on egg harvesting as occurs in the Sabah park (ibid.). The aims of the TIHPA are to provide linkages with six of the Philippines islands that are being established as a marine park, and to develop a joint management programme that will improve communications and cooperation. Objectives of the programme will include protection of the beaches used for nesting, preventing pollution, protecting adult turtles, and prohibiting fishing gear that harms them. The TIHPA also has an ambitious research programme, hopes to encourage ecotourism and to raise awareness of the need for the conservation of turtles and other marine resources in the region. Other areas in Borneo where there are possibilities for trans-boundary protected area linkages are in the extreme west, where the Tanjung Datu national park and the Samunsam wildlife sanctuary in Sarawak are adjacent to Indonesian areas where there have been proposals for a nature reserve in Hutan Sambas, and between the Sungei Ingei conservation forest reserve in Brunei and the Gunung Mulu national park in Sarawak. In New Guinea there are possible linkages between the Wasur national park in Indonesia and the Tonda wildlife management area in Papua New Guinea.

Part III

Case studies



Introduction Kalimantan is Indonesian Borneo. With an area of 540,000 square kilometres and occupying two thirds of the whole island, it is divided into four provinces: West, Central, South, and East Kalimantan. At the time of the national census in 2000 their total population was just over 11 million. The coastal areas tend to be more densely populated, the main towns having grown up near the mouths of the great rivers which historically were important for exploration and trade. The indigenous people are usually referred to as Dayaks (Ave and King 1986), but this generic term embraces a number distinct ethno-linguistic groups such as the Iban, Maloh, Ngaju, Kayan, Kenyah, and Penans, who traditionally have lived by swidden cultivation of rice, hunting and collecting forest products. Increasingly the coastal areas have also been settled by peoples from other islands of Indonesia, the Malays, Bugis, Javanese, and Madurese. Kalimantan has been one of the main destinations for the government transmigration programme described in Chapter 3; many of the areas chosen were unsuitable, especially in the coastal peat swamp forests (Husson 1996), and settlers moved on to other forms of employment. Kalimantan has traditionally been important for its forest products and the province of East Kalimantan, in particular, has been a major source of log exports (Potter 1990: 94–5). Demand for timber has been sustained by the establishment of sawmills and plywood factories (ibid.: 118–20) and of forest plantations. Much of the most accessible primary forest has disappeared and the process of deforestation has been accelerated by forest fires in periods of drought, especially those in 1982–3 and 1997–8, by illegal logging with logs being smuggled to Malaysia and Singapore, and by the conversion of forest to oil palm estates (Gellert 2000). Minerals have also been significant in the economic development of Kalimantan. Gold, diamonds and coal have all been mined since the nineteenth century, and East Kalimantan later became an important producer of oil and gas from onshore and offshore fields, and its extensive Tertiary coal deposits are now being mined using open-cast methods by Kaltim Prima

74 Case studies Coal, an Indonesian registered company owned by CRA Ltd of Australia and the British Petroleum Company. Economic development has brought little benefit to most of the indigenous population, whose traditional rights have often been disregarded (Dove 1996) and whose forest resources have been exploited and destroyed by outsiders. There have been disputes with timber and oil palm companies (WALHI 2000; Gellert 2000), and violent clashes with Madurese transmigrants in Central and West Kalimantan. Efforts have been made to protect the natural environment through the establishment of protected forest, nature, game, and recreational reserves. In addition a number of the larger reserves have been declared national parks. This has not always prevented resource conflicts, uneasy relationships with surrounding populations, illegal logging, forest clearances, and the killing of endangered wildlife species. The more accessible parks near the coast have suffered most, in particular Kutai and Tanjung Puting; these will be considered briefly before examining two case studies of more recently established parks where the management and planning have emphasized community participation: Kayan Mentarang and Danau Sentarumm (Figure 5.1).

Kutai National Park: the need for local support The Kutai National Park is located in East Kalimantan to the north of the mouth of the Mahakam river and the provincial capital of Samarinda. It was first established as a game reserve by the Dutch in 1936, protecting a large area of pristine dipterocarp forest, freshwater swamp and coastal mangroves. This area was rich in biodiversity and home to many of the larger mammals of Borneo including the orangutan, Sumatran rhinoceros and the banteng (Bos javanicus or wild cow, distinguished by the sock appearance of its lower white legs). When it was first established the reserve had an area of approximately 300,000 hectares, but it was unfortunate in that it was located in a region rich in natural resources. By the time it was declared a national park in 1982 its area had shrunk to 198,629 hectares, with large sections of the reserve having been excised for oil and timber concessions. In addition to these official depredations, there has been widespread illegal logging and land clearance. The park suffers from the fact that it is relatively accessible, with the main north–south highway from Bontang to Sangatta running through it. This has encouraged migration into the area and illegal settlement. For example, there is a large community of Bugis within the park boundaries; they moved from Sulawesi in the 1960s and now consider they have a legal claim to the land they have settled and have resisted all attempts to relocate them. Kutai has also suffered widespread damage from the drought and fires associated with the El Niño phenomena. The 1982–3 fires were especially destructive; large areas of forest were destroyed and the areas affected by

Sabah 1 Kinabalu 2 Crocker Range 3 Tunku Abdul Rahman 4 Pulau Tiga 5 Turtle Islands 6 Tawau Hills 7 Danum Valley

Sulu Sea

South China Sea

3 2


8 12




Celebes Sea

S A R AWA K 15 9




Brunei 8 Ulu Temburong







17 10



38 31



K A L I M A N TA N 27

21 22




25 23

Macassar Strait 32






Sarawak 9 Gunung Gading 10 Bako 11 Similajau 12 Niah 13 Lambir Hills 14 Gunung Mulu 15 Samunsam 16 Tanjung Datu 17 Lanjak-Entimau 18 Batang Ai


Indonesia 19 Mandor 20 Gunung Palung 21 Bukit Raya 22 Bukit Baka 23 Bukit Tangkiling 24 Gunung Kentawan 25 Parawan 26 Pulau Kaget 27 Padang Luwai 28 Muara Kaman

Figure 5.1 Protected areas in Borneo.

29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38

34 30

Kayan Mentarang Pulau Sebuku Kutai Tanjung Puting Gunung Penrissen-Gunung Nyiut Pleihari Martapura Pleihari Tanah Laut Pulau Sangalaki and Pulau Semana Danau Sentarum Betung Kerihun

76 Case studies the fires and logging were to prove especially at risk in following dry years. During the fires in 1998 it was estimated that 71,000 hectares of forest within the park had been destroyed (Borneo Bulletin, 9–10 May 1998). In addition to oil and gas, the region is also rich in coal. Extensive open-cast mining has taken place outside the park and applications have also been made to develop coal deposits within the boundaries; fortunately these applications have been refused, at least for the present. By way of contrast, Kaltim Prima Coal, the largest of the mining companies, in association with seven others involved in resource extraction operations around the borders of the park have since been involved in projects supporting conservation efforts in the park and in a buffer zone around it. In 1995 eight coal, petroleum and forest industry companies formalized linkages with the park through a council known as ‘The Friends of Kutai’. They have provided assistance in the establishment of the buffer zone, delineating boundaries, sponsoring satellite imagery, and training and equipping park staff (Warsito and Blouch 1996). One hopes that this type of collaboration, which has had support from government and NGOs, will become increasingly common in Southeast Asia as protected areas seek more support and business attempts to develop a more environment-friendly image.

Tanjung Puting National Park: a breakdown in law and order Located further south down the coast of Borneo is another park in need of support and rehabilitation, Tanjung Puting. It too was first established as a game reserve by the Dutch, then given national park status in 1982. Because of its importance to research and conservation, it had already been declared an international biosphere reserve in 1977. It has a total area of 400,000 hectares, which includes extensive areas of mangrove, tropical heath and peat swamp forests. More than 500 tree species have been recorded and 200 species of birds. The blackwater rivers and ‘bird lakes’ are the habitat of many types of waterfowl and reptiles. Nine species of primates are found, including substantial populations of proboscis monkeys and orangutans. Research facilities have been established with the main centre at Camp Leakey. There has also been emphasis on ex situ conservation, which has involved the care and rehabilitation back into the wild of orangutans that had been, captured, injured or orphaned. These programmes have owed much to the enthusiasm and leadership of Birute Gadikas, an overseas scientist who become a local resident and citizen; she has been effective in obtaining support and funding through an NGO, Orangutan Foundation International. In addition, the park has attracted a small but growing number of tourists. Susilo (1996) reported a steady increase in both local and overseas visitors between 1985 and 1995, and estimated they made a considerable contribution to the local economy from park entrance fees and payment for transport, lodging and food. However, from 1997 the number of tourists has declined,



other park activities have suffered and the natural environment of the park has been seriously damaged. This was partly a result of the fires and haze, but owed much more to a general decline in law and order that resulted in widespread illegal logging and gold mining within the park (Shapiro 2000). Efforts to control these activities have often resulted in violence; park officials and researchers have been threatened and guard posts have been destroyed (ibid.). A large number of trees have been felled and further damage has been done by their extraction from the forest and the building of rail and roads to carry the logs. There has been soil erosion and compaction, and rivers have become silted up and polluted by mercury used in the extraction of gold. Squatter settlements have spread in the park and there has been clearing for oil palms and other crops. Police, park and forestry staff have often been unable or unwilling to intervene; sawmill operators have encouraged the illegal logging and been linked with government officials in a web of corruption. Many local people have been involved, some with grievances against the park because they were relocated outside its boundaries, others because the rich pickings from illegal logging and mining are greater than those available elsewhere in the economy. People from outside with few local ties have also been attracted by the possibilities of easy wealth; these have been the usual suspects blamed in Borneo for disturbances and illegal activities, the Madurese, Bugis and Javanese. In his report on the park, Shapiro (2000: 93) reported that the main hope of saving the park lay in the greater involvement of local communities, education campaigns to increase awareness of both the economic and ecological value of the park, and providing employment opportunities, including those related to the rehabilitation of the area and developing ecotourism. He stated that the Orangutan Foundation International had announced a US$10 million initiative to promote these forms of local job creation. Economic incentives of this type should increase support for the park’s conservation programmes, but it is important that they benefit those long-term residents around the park rather than increasing population pressure by attracting more immigrants to the area.

Kayan Mentarang: applying indigenous knowledge to park planning Located in coastal areas, Kutai and Tanjung Puting have suffered from their relative accessibility, which has encouraged the exploitation of their rich natural resources and enabled people from other areas to move to the parks and their environs. The same cannot be said of Kayan Mentarang, which is situated in the sparsely inhabited interior of East Kalimantan where communication has traditionally been along forest footpaths or by longboat on fast-flowing rivers passing through dangerous rapids. The isolation of the area has been an important factor in preserving its rich biodiversity and indigenous culture. In developing the area as a national park, the aims have

78 Case studies been both to preserve and to incorporate traditional tenure and conservation practices into planning and management. The Kayan Mentarang park takes its name from two of the many rivers in the area. It was declared a nature reserve in 1980 and then reclassified as a national park in 1996. The new designation was significant because it permits indigenous settlement, land use, hunting, and collecting of forest products in certain zones within the park, whereas officially these activities are not allowed in nature reserves – although in practice they have often continued to exist. The park covers an enormous area, 1.4 million hectares, making it one of the largest protected areas in Southeast Asia. There have also been proposals for other protected areas contiguous with it, both within East Kalimantan and the Pulong Tau area across the border in Sarawak. There is a great range of vegetation, from lowland dipterocarp forest to the moss forests in the highlands that reach up to altitudes of 2,500 metres. In addition, there are extensive tracts of secondary forest and of grasslands, many a result of swidden agriculture and abandoned settlements; Eghenter (2000: 38) also reports that according to local traditions some areas may have been burnt to divert the attention of larger animals from the rice fields and to provide a hunting area for the banteng. The area has had an interesting history. Different groups have migrated into the area from other parts of Borneo, following the main rivers that have their headwaters in the mountainous interior. Earlier settlers were often driven out or assimilated, but have left archaeological remains in the form of stone burial chambers and burial jars. Today an estimated 10,000 people live in the park and around its borders. About half of these are Kenyah but other ethnolinguistic groups include Kayans, Kelabits, Lun Bawang, and Penan. They mainly live in longhouse communities along the rivers and practice swidden cultivation of hill padi and grow wet rice in the valleys. The importance of the forest in the local economy has been described by Simon Devung (2000) in his account of resource management among the Kenyah in the Upper Bahau. In these communities, decisions on the allocation of land and the determination of boundaries are made collectively, either in village meetings or by related households; the fields are located in a designated farming area. The group also cooperates in clearing and burning trees in the areas to be planted, and later in the harvesting. Often a system of labour exchange operates between households with families assisting others at times when help is needed on their farms. In addition, those with a surplus of rice may share it with households that have suffered a poor harvest. Similar systems of mutual help operate in hunting and fishing. In hunting, dogs, guns, nets, spears, and blowpipes are most frequently used, and may be lent by one household to another. When members of several families go on hunting expeditions there are elaborate rules on the sharing of the game, owners of shotguns may get the tasty head portions, but if the cartridges belong to somebody else they get the tail portions; owners of the dogs may get



other parts, and any surplus is shared with relatives and neighbours. Certain rules and prohibitions exist to conserve certain valuable resources and for mutual safety. These include restrictions on the setting of bamboo-spiked traps and spring spears in hunting areas and near settlements. During the pig swimming season, when migrating wild pig are especially vulnerable as they mass together to cross the rivers, dogs and guns may not be used and hunting may only be carried out from canoes using spears; no hunting or landing of canoes on the side of the river where the pigs enter the water is allowed. The salt springs birds season is another occasion when special rules apply. During the time when the birds come to the springs, guns may not be used, only nets. The bird hunters often build temporary huts that give them priority in setting the nets, although these may be lent to other hunters, in which case the catch is shared. Fishing nets and boats may also be lent on the condition that the fish caught are shared. Many of the rules to control fishing also relate to poisons extracted by pounding the roots of the tuba plant. This may not be used in the main Bahau river or streams in the area of protected forest, tana’ ulen, except for communal consumption of the fish at times of festivals. Poisoning is also prohibited in spawning grounds and where bamboo fish traps have been set. In addition to the protected forest, Kenyah land tenure recognizes several other zones. There are the settlement and agricultural areas and the area of community forest, wilayah adat, where rights to collect forest products are determined by custom. In the wilayah adat trees and plants used for food and building materials can be claimed and inherited as private property by those who first find them. Ownership marks, often resembling a human face, may be carved in the trunks, or stakes are placed in the ground pointing toward the tree; sometimes the upper ends of the stake are split and prohibition signs are placed in them. These signs are often leaves or grass and the species of the plant may vary with the seriousness or frequency of any trespass or unauthorized collection. In the close longhouse community, offenders are usually detected; they may get away with a verbal reprimand and warning, be publicly shamed or prosecuted in the village adat courts. For the collection of commercial forest products other rules apply, often differing between areas. In some, no collecting is allowed except by members of the customary landowning group; in others, outsiders may be allowed to collect provided they have permission from local officials and pay a fee to the relevant village assembly. Two of the most valuable forest products are the fragrant aloe wood, gaharu, which is used in making incense, and rattans. In both cases there are prohibitions against cutting the younger and smaller plants. Rattans must also be cut above a certain height from the ground, and after harvesting the upper section of the cane must be replanted in the ground to enable them to produce fresh shoots. In discussing the effectiveness of these and other traditional conservation practices, Devung (ibid.) concludes that they are often no longer followed in commercial production, but are in village subsistence activities, where group

80 Case studies pressures, transparency in resource use and interdependence are greater. External commercial pressures, especially from logging companies and from gaharu collection involving Javanese traders and the military, has led Kenyah village leaders to attempt to document and legitimize their rights and rules governing the management of forest resources (Dove 1998: 48–51). Recording these rights and practices has also been a significant feature of the research that has gone into the planning of the park. The research and planning has been a collaborative effort involving the Directorate General for Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHPA), WWF, Indonesian academic institutions, provincial and district governments, and most importantly the local communities themselves. Community mapping of village territories has used participatory rural appraisal methods in which villagers make transects and maps showing land use, resources, protected areas, and boundaries. This information has been used in the planning of a zoning system, and also incorporated into a geographical information system (GIS) based on collection of field data, digitized maps, remote sensing, and the use of global positioning systems (GPS). Other scientific research has concentrated on vegetation surveys and biodiversity assessment, again making full use of local knowledge. Ethnobotanical studies have concentrated on indigenous use of non-timber forest products. Traditional medicinal plants have a special significance in a region where other medical supplies and services are scarce, they are also have a potential value for use in the pharmaceutical industry. One study of three Kenyah villages recorded 213 different medicinal plant species used in the treatment of 66 distinct health problems (Leaman et al. 1992). An important part of the research programme has been the Culture and Conservation Project, which has collected and disseminated a wide range of anthropological and historical data. Participants hope that this will ‘help support both legal and ecological arguments for local people and institutions to take a leading role in forest management and economic development . . . as well as to promote the conservation of the cultural and natural diversity of the area’ (Eghenter 2000: 145). The Ford Foundation was one of the main sources of funding for the Culture and Conservation project, and the Kayan Mentarang programme has generally been fortunate in attracting attention and support from a wide range of international agencies. It has been able to learn from the mistakes of earlier parks in that the indigenous population has been included in the planning and knowledge of local institutions has been incorporated into management and the designation of zones. Traditional use areas have been identified and customary rules for resource management have been incorporated. Strictly protected areas have been recognized in the establishment of core conservation areas. There has been an appreciation of the need for the exploitation of forest products to be sustainable. Additional economic opportunities may come through ecotourism. National park status should help to bring advantages to the people of Kayan Mentarang and it



is hoped that it will also protect their lives and livelihoods from external threats.

Danau Sentarum: community management of wetland resources Danau Sentarum is an area of shallow blackwater lakes surrounded by peat and freshwater swamps situated in the floodplains of the upper Kapuas river in West Kalimantan. Water levels in these lakes fluctuate considerably and during months of low rainfall, usually from June to September, the lakes and interconnecting rivers dry out completely. These lakes perform an important hydrological function in that they absorb water in times of high rainfall thus helping to prevent flooding, while in drier months they release water thus maintaining river levels, preventing saltwater intrusion and safeguarding freshwater supplies in the lower Kapuas. The seasonal cycle also has a profound effect on the ecology of the area and the lifestyles of its people. A population of approximately 6,500 live in the area of the lakes, but this number increases by an estimated 2,000 during the peak fishing time when the waters are falling (Jeanes and Aglionby 2000). The majority of the inhabitants are Malay, but there are also Dayak communities (Iban, Embaloh and Kantu), living in isolated higher areas of forest. The wetland ecosystem is rich in wildlife; the swamp forests are home to proboscis monkeys, orangutans and other primates; there are sun bear and clouded leopard, which are forced to move to the surrounding higher forested areas when the floodwaters rise; and over 225 bird species have been recorded (ibid.). There are an estimated 250 varieties of fish, including the valuable ornamental red arowana (Scleropages formosus), and the waters are also home to freshwater turtles, tortoises, snakes, lizards, and three types of crocodile. Fishing is the main occupation and source of income, especially among the Malays. A variety of fishing methods are used, including hook and line, and cast, gill, fixed, funnel, and lift nets. In addition, fish traps and barriers are constructed, and aquaculture in cages has become increasingly used. Fishing is at its most intensive during the dry seasons when water levels fall and the fish can easily be caught in the small pools left. Fishing methods are controlled by head fishermen in each village, who are responsible for administering the customary adat rules. Certain methods are prohibited, such as the use of fish bag nets known as jermal and chemical poisons. The inaccessibility of the area makes it difficult to market fresh fish so they are usually sun-dried and salted. Live fish are also sold for the aquarium trade: in addition to the arowana, the clown loach and marbled goby are other species popular with ornamental fish enthusiasts. The forests provide a variety of products. It has been estimated (Giesen and Aglionby 2000) that 81 per cent of 207 plant species recorded have some use as food, for construction, medicines, weaving, and in providing a variety of

82 Case studies substances such as dyes and insect repellents. Timber is extracted from the forests for local use, mainly in house repair and construction. In contrast to fishing, this usually occurs in the wet season when water levels are high enough for floating the logs. The most valuable of the non-timber forest products are rattans, important in making fish traps and sold unofficially to timber companies outside the park for binding their log rafts. The Dayaks hunt a variety of wildlife, but because of religious prohibitions many of these are denied to the Malays, who do however kill and eat the sambar deer (Cervis unicolor). Freshwater turtles are also caught and sold outside the area. There is some collection and of birds’ nests and of wild honey; trees with hives of bees are regarded as private property and can be inherited, and they are also marked to show ownership. Swidden cultivation of rice is practised, mainly by the Dayak communities, but suitable areas are limited by the infertility of the soils and vulnerability to flooding. There are also customary protected forests known as pulau mali where no cutting of trees is allowed. Danau Sentarum was first made a protected area in 1982 when it was declared a wildlife reserve (suaka margastawa); one of its major aims was to protect the arowana fish and its habitat. Twelve years later it was designated as Indonesia’s second Ramsar wetland of international importance, and shortly afterwards its area was increased from 80,000 to 125,000 hectares. This enlargement was important in that it brought under protection a greater range of ecosystems and included additional upland areas and permanent lakes, necessary for the conservation of species that migrated seasonally and also for the inclusion of forests that provided organic material that provided nutrients for aquatic life. In 1999 the area was declared a national park. In spite of its conservation status and its rich biodiversity, the area and its environs has suffered considerable resource degradation mainly due to overexploitation. This has been partly due to population increase, immigration and increased access to external markets. Logging operations, oil palm estates and gold mining in surrounding areas have also threatened to overflow into the park and have restricted the development of a proposed buffer zone. Fish catches have dwindled partly due to over-fishing and the use of chemical poisons. There is often a shortage of suitable timber for local subsistence purposes and yields of rattan have fallen. Resource collection had been subject to customary law, hukum adat, in the past, but as the traditional authority of village leaders has declined so has the effectiveness of communal attempts to ensure sustainability. There has been an increase in conflicts over resources, with disputes over territorial boundaries, rights and methods used; forest burning, the use of chemical poisons, fish cages, the use of finer mesh for fishing nets, and rattan collecting have been among the issues that have been the subjects of argument between different communities (Wickham 1995: 4–6). As in the case of Kayan Mentarang, attempts have been made to adopt a participatory approach to the planning and management of the park, involving the local communities in both conserving park resources and



improving living standards. Another similarity has been the involvement of outside agencies; under the United Kingdom–Indonesia Tropical Forestry Management Programme, the British Overseas Development Administration (subsequently renamed the Department for International Development) have provided financial support and expertise, and worked in collaboration with PHPA, the West Kalimantan provincial government and the Kapuas Hulu regency. Wetlands International have also been involved and more recently local NGOs such as Konservasi Borneo and Riak Bumi. Planning for the conservation of the area has involved the collection of information on the hydrology and biological resources, economic valuation of income from different activities, and the mapping of village resource areas. Again, use has been made of remote sensing and GIS techniques, while participatory rural appraisal methods were used to find out more about resource use and to estimate family incomes. There was also an active participatory mapping programme for defining village territories for resource management, these are known as work areas, wilayah kerja. In addition, efforts have been to record customary rules and give them official recognition. A structure for consultation has been established, with village heads being given responsibility for liaison with the park authorities. Villages and their territories have also been grouped into six management areas known as kelompoks, with village representatives meeting periodically to discuss resource use and problems. In spite of its natural resources, the people of Danau Sentarum are relatively poor. Aglionby (1996: 4) estimated the per capita annual income at US$230, which at that time was well below the Indonesian average. If the people of the villages are to receive any social and economic benefits from the conservation status of their area, it is important that it should provide them with opportunities to improve their livelihoods. Community development projects associated with the park have attempted to achieve this, especially by identifying and facilitating means of increasing income from fishing and non-timber forest products without over-exploitation. These projects often involved finding new markets and selling to consumers directly rather than through middlemen. One example has been wild honey previously sold in bulk to traders. Under the project villagers have bottled, labelled and then transported honey downriver to the town of Pontianak for sale, more than doubling their income. In addition, there are also possibilities of manufacturing and marketing beeswax products (Wickham 1995). Another project related to making and marketing baskets and mats from rattan, instead of selling it in bulk to the logging companies; again the villages involve benefited from the value added wealth and were given incentives to conserve their rattans. Rattan cultivation has also been improved by the establishment of nurseries and plantations, and attempts have been made to encourage the regeneration of natural stands by rotation of harvesting. A forestry project has aimed to improve the quality of local timber production by thinning and selective felling. Fish remain the main source of wealth for most families, but there is potential for obtaining additional income from what had been

84 Case studies regarded as waste products in a project that has involved the drying and preservation of the skin of one common species, ikan belida (Notoperus borneensis), which can then be sold for tanning and processing into leather products. The Danau Sentarum national park was intended to be a model for other protected areas of the participatory approach and community-based management, and as such has attracted considerable inputs and external assistance. Its eventual success, however, is dependent on regional development policies and support from a number of different government departments. Two participants in the planning of the park have suggested that two important issues that still need to be addressed are controlling population levels so that they do not exceed the carrying capacity of area, and ensuring that exclusive resource rights are only granted to the resident population (Jeanes and Aglionby 2000: 196). More recently, in 2002, NGOs and communities in the park organized a community workshop concerned with managing the impacts of human activities in the park. The discussed the problems and needs of the local communities. Among the issues identified were commercial logging and the activities of businessmen from outside, the cutting down of customary protected forests, theft of honey from traditional owners and the disturbance of bee habitats, forest fires, degraded water quality, the decline in fish numbers and the need for limits on catches and minimum sizes. They emphasized the need for strengthening adat law, standardizing it between villages, and stricter enforcement to be supported by government. They concluded the workshop with the ‘Merpati Declaration’, addressed to different levels of government in Indonesia expressing their concern at resource depletion and requesting external assistance, but confirming their commitment to the conservation and management of the park (Riak Bumi 2002). Danau Sentarum serves as a good example of participatory management, but there remains a need for traditional management and practices to be reinforced. It is an important wetland with important hydrological functions, a great range of wildlife and rich fisheries that have traditionally been the main means of support for the local population. The conservation of its biodiversity and the welfare of its people depend on ensuring the sustainable use of the natural resources, both in the park and the surrounding area.

Conclusion The rich forest and mineral resources of Kalimantan have brought considerable wealth to both the Indonesian government and a variety of business concerns of differing degrees of legitimacy, but not to the majority of the indigenous inhabitants. Traditional economies and resource management systems have often been disrupted and customary land tenure systems ignored. Implementation of government conservation and land use policies has often proved inadequate and failed to prevent environmental degradation.



The Kutai and Tanjung Puting parks have both lost much of their forest and wildlife resources. Linkages with regional economies are now being attempted in efforts to preserve what is left. The Kayan Mentarang national park has been fortunate in that it is less accessible to resource extraction activities, although nearby timber concessions and logging roads represent potential threats (Wells et al. 1999). It has also benefited from being planned and established at a period when local populations were involved and efforts were made to record and incorporate traditional land use and tenure practices into its management. Besides communal participation, there was also involvement by NGOs and local research and academic institutions, and support from external funding. The Danau Sentarum national park is similar in that efforts have been made to reinforce and formalize traditional resource management, with local committees given a significant role in drawing up regulations to ensure fisheries and other resource extraction operate on a sustainable basis. There have also been socio-economic and scientific studies of the area, which provide an information base for planning. Community development activities have attempted to promote income and employment opportunities based on the park’s natural resources. However, these resources are subject to considerable population pressure from local natural increase and migration into the area. Danau Sentarum’s wetland values are also likely to be affected by development planned for surrounding areas, such as dams and oil palm plantations (Wells et al. 1996: 89). As in the other parks in Kalimantan there is a need for land use planning, not only in the parks but also in the regions surrounding them.



Sarawak is situated in northwestern Borneo across the main watershed that forms the international frontier between Indonesia and Malaysia. It shares many of the biogeographical characteristics of Kalimantan and the indigenous populations are closely related. Differences between Sarawak and Kalimantan are mainly a result of its political history since the period of rule by the three ‘White Rajahs’ of the Brooke dynasty. This was followed by its cession to Britain as a colony and then in 1963, along with its northern neighbour, Sabah, it was incorporated into the federation of Malaysia. Significantly, under the federal constitution, the Borneo states have retained responsibility for land and forest policies, while national parks and environmental protection are regarded as concurrent functions with both state and the federal governments having power to pass laws provided there is consultation. Sarawak is the largest of the Malaysian states with an area of 124,499 square kilometres, but much of it is sparsely populated: the total population was recorded as 2,012,616 at the most recent census in 2000. It has a very culturally diverse society comprising 27 distinct ethnic groups, the most numerous of whom are the Iban who make up 29 per cent of the population, followed by the Chinese and Malays. Other large indigenous groups are the Bidayuh, who live mainly in the western part of the state and the Melanau, many of whom have converted to Islam. Other indigenous groups such as the Kenyah, Kayan and Kelabit, who live in the interior, are collectively known as the Orang Ulu (people of the upriver) although in fact they are culturally very distinct peoples (Figure 6.1). Roads are relatively recent in Sarawak and rivers have historically been the main means of transport and migration routes. Longhouse settlement developed along the banks of the rivers, towns grew up at river confluences, at sites below rapids that impeded navigation or, as in the case of Kuching and Sibu, just above the point where the main river divided into the labyrinth of channels that formed its delta. The different ethnic groups have often been associated with particular river basins and systems: the Bidayuh with the headwaters of the Sarawak river, the Orang Ulu with the headwaters of the two largest rivers, the Baram and the Rajang. The Iban are the most



Others 8% Melanau 5%

Iban 29%

Bidayuh 8%

Malay 21%

Chinese 29% Figure 6.1 Main ethnic groups in Sarawak.

ubiquitous and migratory of the Dayak groups, but their traditional homelands were along the Saribas, Lupar and Krian rivers, with further settlement along the Rajang and Balleh. River basins also determined the administrative separation of the state into divisions and districts. Even religion has largely been a matter of watershed; during the rule of the Brookes, the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist Christian missions were localized along their own particular rivers, consequently avoiding conflict and confusion. During the years of Brooke and early colonial rule the pace of economic growth was relatively slow. Most of the indigenous population lived from swidden cultivation of hill rice, often intergrown with maize and vegetables, supplemented by fishing, hunting and the collecting of non-timber forest products. Commerce was generally in the hands of the Chinese, who were also responsible for the introduction of cash crops, principally pepper and rubber. The main food crop of the Melanau living in swampy coastal areas was sago, and sago flour was also processed and exported. Wild sago from the forests

88 Case studies was also an important staple of nomadic groups of Penan and Punan. Livestock was mainly pigs (in the non-Muslim communities) and poultry; buffaloes were kept in some of the lowlying areas and where swamp padi was cultivated. The Brookes generally discouraged European settlement, plantations and large-scale commercial enterprises. The only exception was the Borneo Company, established in 1856, which was involved mainly in trade and mining, although it later established two rubber plantations employing Javanese labourers. There were hopes of mineral wealth, but they never fully materialized. Minerals, however, did at times play a significant role in Sarawak history. Control over antimony mines and their wealth was the main cause of a revolt against the Brunei Sultanate, which was put down with the assistance of James Brooke and resulted in 1841 in his proclamation as Rajah and Governor of the lands around the Sarawak river. It was the gold fields in the Bau area around the right branch of the river that attracted Chinese from Sambas in Dutch Borneo; it was this community who in 1857 were responsible for a violent uprising that nearly brought down the government. Later, it was coal in coastal areas that attracted British naval interests as a possible supply of fuel on the route to the Far East. Oil was also discovered near Miri and became a major source of revenue in the 1920s, but it was not until fifty years later that full potential of its offshore oil and gas fields could be realized. Since joining Malaysia there has been an expansion in the large-scale growing of cash crops; these have included rubber, cocoa, coffee, and tea, but the most widespread has been oil palm. The other economic activity that has expanded, brought in considerable income and revenue, and had serious social and environmental impacts is the timber industry. During and before the Brooke era there was significant trade in forest products; these included highly valued woods such as camphor, resins such as damar, used locally for caulking leaks in boats and exported for use in the manufacture of varnishes, latex such as gutta percha and jelutong (now used mainly in making chewing gum), and vegetable oil from illipe nuts. Only small sawmills operated and these were mainly to supply the local market. Timber exports did not really become important until after the Second World War when ramin (Gonystylus spp.) was extracted from the more accessible areas of the coastal swamps. Since then there has been a gradual increase in demand for other hardwoods, especially meranti (Shorea spp.) and logging has spread to the lowland dipterocarp forests and more recently to the hill forests of the interior. By 1985 the value of timber exports had reached US$1328 million (Hong 1987:144) and by 1996 US$6013 million (Sarawak Forest Department 1996). The industry has become a major source of income, employment and government revenue; the latter is mainly made up of royalties, permit fees and export duties, and although these make up a significant proportion of the state government funds, it has been estimated that because of low royalty rates, false reporting and illegal logging, they only represent a low rate of



potential resource rent capture, 18.4 per cent in 1987 (Vincent 1990). Not only does the state fail to get full benefits from the exploitation of its timber resources, the profits are also very unevenly distributed. In Sarawak timber and politics are intricately mixed with many logging concessions going to the leaders, their relatives and supporters. The extent of vested interests and patronage in the industry was dramatically revealed in 1987 when rival politicians published in local newspapers the extent of the concessions held by their opponents (New Straits Times, 12 April 1987). The fact that many of these concessions are sub-contracted to Chinese companies does little to help the communities living near where the logging takes place; they are rarely consulted and sometimes not even informed when logging is about to start.

Land tenure During the rule of the Brookes and the period of colonial administration, native customary rights to land were generally safeguarded, although early land legislation in 1863 followed the traditional colonial pattern of giving the government rights to unoccupied and waste land. It further stipulated that natives required government permission before clearing new land outside their traditional territories. This restriction was also incorporated into the Land Classification Ordinance of 1949 and the Land Code of 1958; the latter was amended in 1974 to allow customary rights to be extinguished if the land was required for public purposes. The legislation also specified the means by which customary rights could be created: the felling of virgin jungle and occupation of land; planting of fruit trees; occupation and cultivation of land; use for burial ground or shrine; and finally the catch-all clause that allowed for different customary rules or forms of adat, ‘any other lawful method’. In addition to native customary land, the Land Code classifies land into four other categories: mixed zone land, where all races can own land, titles are registered and transferable; native area land restricted to natives (Dayaks, Malays and other indigenous groups, but not Chinese and recent immigrants), where land can be held under registered title; reserve land controlled by the state, which includes forest reserves, protected forest and protected areas; and interior area land which includes all the remainder. Native customary rights can be created from interior area land but only with government permission. Land held under native customary rights is generally included with interior area land in government statistics, so it is difficult to determine its full extent, especially as boundaries are often inexact and many are still to be adjudi-cated. Estimates vary considerably: Chin (1985: 69) suggests 20,233 square kilometres, while Ngidang (2000: 238) quotes the figures given by Foo (1986) of 27,379 square kilometres and Zainie (1994) of 16,287 square kilometres. Native customary rights can be acquired in a variety of different ways. Historically, groups migrating or breaking away from their original

90 Case studies communities cleared new areas of forest and established their rights to cultivate the land. Rights were also acquired by conquest, with weaker groups being driven out or assimilated. In some cases land was obtained by purchase or the presentation of gifts such as gongs, pots, cannon, or slaves. As the population became more settled and internal warfare was suppressed, occupation became the basis of ownership, supported by the historical claims of having cultivated the area, discovered or planted economically significant trees, established settlements, and having buried one’s ancestors there. The group’s territory became closely associated with its history, legends and beliefs; it was also the basis for its social organization and economy. In a changing world it has continued to provide security and sustenance. Among the Iban this territory is known as the menoa; it includes the longhouse or village area, nearby fruit trees, the cultivated area, and contiguous secondary and primary forest (Richards 1961). Streams, hills and ridges often form the boundaries of these territories. Rights to land are based on membership of the longhouse or village community. Individual families or households may acquire rights through clearing and cultivating the land, although this is often dependent on the agreement of the whole community. The degree of control and relationship between community and individual societies varies between ethnic groups, possibly also with the perceptions of the anthropologists observing them. Appell (1971) has made a distinction between societies in which permanent use rights are ‘devolvable’ to households, and ‘circulating usufruct’ where land reverts back to the whole village after use. Freeman’s pioneer study of pioneer Iban settlement along the Balleh river (1977) suggested that the rights were devolvable: ‘By clearing the virgin forest from a track of land a bilek-family secures full discretionary rights over the secondary forest which springs up within a few months of the first padi harvest, and thereafter as long as it remains in this local community, the bilek-family retains ownership of all land, for the initial cultivation of which it has been responsible’ (143). However, for the Kayan, Rousseau (1990: 138–40) states that ‘the community’s control over a territory is chronologically and jurally prior to domestic rights of usufruct and given that domestic units do not own the land they previously cultivated, it is not necessary that the boundaries of land be the same every time an area is farmed’. Sather (1990: 20), in describing the Iban of the Paku area, also makes a distinction between cultivation rights and those to secondary forest: ‘when a plot reverts to forest-fallow, it becomes, aside from cultivation rights, part of a ‘longhouse “commons”. As long as it remains in fallow, its forest resources are available to all community members for hunting and gathering’. Generally, the trend has been towards strengthening individual household cultivation rights, especially with the introduction of new crops and agricultural systems other than swidden cultivation. Nevertheless communal rights and controls remain important. Land dealings and decisions about land



use are discussed openly. Alienation of land outside the group remains rare and subject to consensus approval, although Richards (1961: 36–7) suggests that it may occur if the land is eroded, infertile or haunted, and that there can also be loans of surplus lands to relatives or friends. In addition he mentions cases of ‘community rights that are disposed of by some chiefs when they only purport to be acting on behalf of their people’. Within their forest areas, members of the landowning community enjoy common rights with regard to hunting, fishing, and gathering wood and nontimber products. These activities are often governed by rules similar to those in Kalimantan described in the previous chapter; they are also often determined by augury, with certain birds being especially significant as omens and their flights and calls determining whether a journey should take place or not (Sandin 1980). Individuals can establish rights to economically important trees by discovering or planting them. These may include fruit and illipe nut trees, bamboo, rattans, and the tall tapang trees (Koompassia excelsa) where wild bees nest. There are restrictions on felling tapang and other trees used in boat construction. There are also bans on felling and burning in certain areas regarded as sacred: these may be burial place or other areas regarded as the homes of spirits and spirit heroes. Sather (1990: 29–30) describes the distribution of these ‘interdicted islets’, known as pulau mali among the Iban, and also of protected forest corridors, which are known as jalai antu, the pathways of the spirits. The religious and historical significance of features in the landscape has helped to ensure their protection. The oral tradition in many societies, their ceremonies and festivals all help to determine the relationship of individuals with their kinship groups and with the supernatural and natural environment. The customary system has allowed for a mixture of collective and individual rights, which has proved well-adapted to swidden cultivation and the subsistence economy. Indigenous groups have continued to defend their customary rights, in spite of the constraints the system of tenure places on certain types of development. Much of the state’s land policy in the last fifty years has been concerned with the promotion of other forms of organization and tenure more suitable for commercial agriculture, particularly the growing of tree crops. Early government land development schemes were associated with growing high yielding rubber, a programme known as Rubber Scheme B. An earlier Scheme A had aimed at subsidizing replanting in the farmers’ home areas and had limited success, but under Scheme B the farmers were resettled and allocated plots of land where block clearing and planting had been carried out. Houses were provided and loans given to cover costs and maintenance during the early years. When rubber production started, it was planned that loans and initial costs would be repaid from the profits and individual titles granted to the settlers. The scheme was originally administered by the government Agriculture Department, but responsibility was eventually transferred to a statutory body, the Sarawak Land Development Board

92 Case studies (SLDB). Seven settlement areas were initially established, all in areas where soil conditions, relief and drainage were relatively favourable to the growth of rubber; in addition all were accessible as a result of recent road development. None proved to be very successful; many plots were abandoned and trees left untapped (Eaton 1979: 125). This was partly due to a fall in world rubber prices, also to the fact that some wished to return to their homes where they still had customary land, while others were not prepared to settle down but preferred to go off for temporary work in other areas following the Iban tradition of berjalai (going on a journey). Future land development schemes were established, but these grew oil palm, which proved more profitable, and instead of being made up of individual smallholdings they took the form of commercial estates employing wage labour. The SLDB schemes had been partly modelled on the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) projects elsewhere in Malaysia. FELDA itself did not establish settler schemes in Sarawak as it had done in other states, but did promote plantation estates and by 1993 had established six with a total area of 8334 hectares (FELDA 1993). One reason for the unpopularity of land settlement schemes was they were often located far away from the settlers’ home areas, where they often retained customary land. Subsequent land development projects have often been of an in situ nature in the farmers’ home areas and using their customary land. The Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA), the state counterpart of a federal statutory body, was established with the objectives of raising long-term productivity of areas under customary rights, gradual reduction of shifting cultivation, and the adoption of diversified forms of settled agriculture (SALCRA 1982). In the SALCRA schemes agreements are made with customary landowners for the authority to develop and manage their land for a set period. The land is worked as a consolidated block and planted with cash crops such as oil palm, cocoa tea and rubber. Once the scheme is established and the crops are yielding an income, the landowners should be allocated blocks of land commensurate with the area they originally donated. The landowners receive titles to this land, so the process is one of both consolidation and tenure conversion. SALCRA’s activities have been mainly restricted to agriculture, but when the Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) was established in 1981 it had broader terms of reference that included the promotion of land development for commercial, industrial and residential purposes. The LCDA’s aim in relation to development has been described as being ‘to bring the capital and expertise together with local land and labour’ (King 1988: 289). It seems to have been more successful in urban areas than rural ones, where customary owners continue to show a reluctance to surrender their land rights (ibid.: 290; Hong 1987: 66–7). During the 1990s there was increased private-sector involvement in land development and increased pressure to make native customary land more available and marketable. The Chief Minister stated that ‘land must be treated



as a transactable asset’ and that ‘through land development undertaken by the rural sector . . . rural folks could get out of their poverty trap as the more transactable it is the greater the land value will be’ (Borneo Bulletin, 20 April 1999). This concept of land as a commodity is very different from that of it being a sacred family trust, something that the Chief Minister recognized when he complained about natives being ‘sentimental and emotional about land’ and tending ‘to take a very protective attitude’ (ibid.), but it did demonstrate further policy directions and government intentions. The next step was a legislative change in 2000 that amended the Land Code to provide for the registration of native rights and the transfer of these rights to other natives. As in the case of attempts at customary land registration elsewhere (Eaton: 1985a), this is proving difficult to implement.

Conflicts over customary rights Pressure to alienate customary land for other purposes has inevitably led to conflict. Government land development schemes were often opposed by local customary landowners unwilling to be involved and part with land (Cramb 1992; Hong 1987: 68–71). There have been bitter disputes when attempts have been made to acquire land for commercial oil palm estates; these have at times culminated in violence as occurred when four oil palm company employees were killed by Iban landowners in a boundary dispute (Borneo Bulletin, 14 November 2000). There has also been opposition to resettlement to make way for large development schemes, as in the case of the Batang Ai and Bakun hydro electric power schemes (Hong 1987: 169–99). However, the most widespread disputes have been those that involved logging in areas that indigenous people regard as their territory. Under the Sarawak forest legislation, logging concessions may be allocated in areas designated as reserves or protected areas and described as the permanent forest estate. They may also be granted elsewhere on what is rather confusingly termed state land; this often includes areas of primary or secondary forest over which indigenous people have native customary rights. In addition, there is another category of reserve known as communal forest, from which local people may extract timber for subsistence purposes such as house construction and repair or boat-building. Much of the conflict has occurred when customary and communal forest rights have been extinguished or ignored to make way for logging concessions. This process often takes place without consultation with or even informing the people most concerned, who may only be aware of what is happening when the bulldozers first appear to clear land for logging camps and roads. Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Malaysian Friends of the Earth) (1989: 145–6) document an example of this, when the Melana Protected Forest was licensed for logging in spite of the Penan having customary rights in the area. The fact that the concession-holders are frequently from outside the area makes communication difficult and has been an additional source of resentment.

94 Case studies Damage to the environment has often been a cause for complaint. Logging not only destroys the forest habitat and disturbs wildlife, it also results in soil compaction and erosion, leading to water pollution, siltation and flooding. Local communities find their water is unfit to drink and the rivers too muddy for fishing. Destruction of economically important trees and damage to burial grounds have been other causes for concern (Ngau et al. 1987: 51). Although local communities sometimes receive compensation for environmental damage and the loss of land use rights, it is rarely considered sufficient and requests are frequently refused. Applications for concessions by local companies, or for shares in existing ones have been rarely successful, as have requests for the creation of communal forest reserves (Hong 1987:116; Sahabat Alam Malaysia 1989: 110). The relatively small area of these communal reserves has declined from 303 square kilometres in 1968 to 49 square kilometres in 1996 (Sarawak Forest Department, 1996). The ethnic group that has suffered most are the Penans, many of whom are semi-nomadic and more dependent on wild sago and hunting for food than the growing of rice (Langub 1990). Their way of life makes it difficult to define their land rights on the basis of permanent occupation, cultivation and the presence of secondary forest, as in the case with other ethnic groups. Instead they have traditionally lived in areas of forest in which they had a network of tracks, ancestral burial places, camping-places, hunting-grounds, and resources such as sago, fruit trees and rattans. Proprietary rights are exercised over these resources through a concept known as molong, which is aimed at conserving or saving them for future use (Cleary and Eaton 1992: 178–81). The Penans are especially vulnerable to logging and have watched with alarm the destruction of their forest resources. This extract from a letter to timber companies and the government typifies their concern: [W]here timber is already extracted there is no more life for us nomadic people. Our natural resources like wild fruit trees, sago palms, wood-trees for blowpipes, dart poison, and other needs will fall. Animals like wild boar, our daily food, and deer will flee. Rivers will be polluted and quickly overfished. (Sahabat Alam Malaysia 1989: 128) Unfortunately this and similar petitions to stop logging met with no response; the frequent reluctance of timber company managers to consult and negotiate, together with the lack of willingness of either government officials or their elected representatives to assist or intervene, eventually forced the Penans and other indigenous groups to turn to direct action. Early confrontations between local people and the logging companies sometimes resulted in demonstrations, occasional damage to company machinery and threats to destroy logging camps and bridges. Intervention by the paramilitary police field force often followed and arrests were made. Penans and other groups initiated a new strategy when they began to



construct and man barricades across the logging roads, effectively stopping many logging operations by preventing the movement of logs, labour and supplies. The army and police removed some of the barricades, but these were often replaced as soon as they left. Men, women and children showed a great deal of courage and determination in manning the barricades for long periods. Although a number of arrests were made, the legal position of the barricades was uncertain as communities could claim they were building them on their own land and it was the companies that were guilty of trespass, an opinion that was upheld by a magistrate’s court decision in July 1987. In an attempt to change this position the state government hastily brought in an amendment to the Forest Act that made it illegal to set up a barrier or obstruction on road constructed by a concession holder, or to prevent the removal of such a barrier. Anybody found guilty was liable to a penalty of two years imprisonment and a heavy fine. Following the new legislation, barricades were dismantled and timber operations recommenced. Indigenous reactions were typified by the statement of a Penan leader: ‘this law . . . is forcing us to drink polluted water and ties our hands and feet from protecting our land’ (Utusan Konsumer, May 1988). However, the law did not bring an end to opposition to logging, and blockades continued to be an effective means of protest and passive resistance (Borneo Bulletin, 8 September 1990). Opposition to logging has continued and received a great deal of support from local and international NGOs. In particular, Sabahat Alam Malaysia in Sarawak has helped the Penans and other groups to articulate and organize their protests, and in 1988 was awarded the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ by the Right Livelihood Foundation in Stockholm. In their citation the jury honoured the organization for its ‘exemplary struggle to save the tropical forests of Sarawak, the home of its tribal peoples, from destruction’ and commended the Penan for their courage in the ‘fight against the greed-driven demolition of one of South-East Asia’s greatest remaining rainforests’ (Sahabat Alam Malaysia 1989: 183). Conflicts between indigenous people and timber companies have continued although there has been some decrease in logging (Sarawak Forest Department 1996). As well as being fought at the barricades, disputes are increasingly going to the law courts. In a significant decision in 2001, the Kuching High Court upheld Iban native customary rights, not only to their longhouse and cultivated areas, but also to the forest where they hunted, fished and collected fruit and other products. It ruled against the Borneo Pulp and Paper company, which had trespassed on this land to clear the land and plant trees to feed a paper mill (Utusan Konsumer, July 2001).

Bakun: a dam too far Although Sarawak is rich in fossil fuels, the state government has attempted to diversify its energy sources by developing hydro-electric power. The first major project was a dam on the Batang Ai. This involved the building of an

96 Case studies 85 metres high dam, with the flooding of an area of 700 square kilometres of land held under native customary rights and the compulsory resettlement of approximately 3000 Ibans from 26 longhouses (Hong 1987: 171). This had met with considerable opposition, although much of the controversy was related to the payment of compensation and the dislocation caused by the resettlement (ibid.: 172–9). Most of the other sites that had been identified were in the headwaters of the Rajang river; the one eventually chosen was at Bakun on the Balui, one of the largest tributaries flowing down from mountains near the Indonesian border. The Bakun project has had an extremely chequered history. During the early 1980s a series of feasibility studies were carried out, although the results were never made public (Borneo Post, 19 October 1993). In 1990 the Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, announced that the project was to be scrapped (Spires 1999: 78), only for it to be revived three years later. It was to be privatized and the contract for its development awarded to the Sarawak timber and construction company, Ekran, headed by a close associate of the prime minister, Ting Pek Khing. As the company had no experience of dams and hydro-electric power generation, other local and overseas firms had to be brought in at the consultancy and sub-contracting stages. The original project was on an extremely ambitious one that involved the building of a 205 metres high and 740 metres wide concrete-face rockfill dam that would create a reservoir of over 690 square kilometres. It was estimated that 2400 MW of electricity would be generated, much of which would be transmitted to the coast of west Sarawak and then by submarine cables across the South China Sea to peninsular Malaysia. The estimated cost of the project was M$15 billion (US$5.4 billion). A scheme of this magnitude required an environmental impact assessment. This was divided into four reports: reservoir preparation, dam and ancillary facilities, power transmission, and the access road from the coast. Some of the major issues and impacts addressed in these reports have been soil erosion, slope stability, seismic risks, the removal of vegetation, and loss of diversity, and the effect on downriver areas, especially during impoundment when flow will be reduced and there will be saline intrusion. Although the project is in an isolated and relatively sparsely populated area, an estimated 8188 people lived in sixteen longhouse communities along the stretch of river to be flooded. These people, mainly Kayan and Kenyahs, but also smaller groups of Penans, Kajangs and Ukits. They have had to be resettled and have lost their rice growing areas, hunting and collecting territory and their fishing grounds. They have also suffered some of the worst impacts during the construction period, when erosion, air and water pollution, solid waste, noise, poaching, and health and social problems have been at their worst. The environmental impact process was flawed in that there was very little public participation, little consultation and local protests were ignored (Hong 1987; Borneo Bulletin, 14 April 1994). In 1994 the project was launched by the



Prime Minister in an official ground-breaking ceremony before the reports were subject to public viewing or state approval. Much of the area to be impounded had already been clear-felled, so Ekran had already made income from the timber, However, the company had become over-extended were soon to run into engineering and financial difficulties (Far Eastern Economic Review, 10 March 1994). These were compounded by the regional economic crisis in 1997 and they withdrew from the project, leaving the government to pick up the pieces and be responsible for what was announced would be a scaled down project (Borneo Bulletin, 22 October 1999) with reduced capacity and no longer exporting electricity to peninsular Malaysia. Work was deferred on the project; it was hoped to complete it by 2006 (Borneo Post, 15 May 1998), but the project still seems to be surrounded by the uncertainty and lack of transparency that have characterized its history from the beginning. Meanwhile, the people of the Balui suffered delays in compensation payments, loss of their homes and the destruction of their livelihoods.

Indigenous people and protected areas We have seen that neither forestry policies nor environmental impact assessment procedures have so far done much to protect Sarawak’s forests, their biodiversity and the welfare of the people who live in and around them. In this final section we examine the role of specific conservation measures related to national parks and species conservation, and consider how effective these have been in preserving biodiversity and promoting the interests of indigenous people. As logging is permitted in both forest reserves and protected forest, the extent of what can be described as totally protected areas is relatively limited and consists of national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. In 2000 the total coverage was 4568 square kilometres, 3.7 per cent of the total area of the state (Galt et al. 2000: 84). However, the government has stated that it plans to establish nineteen more national parks (New Straits Times, 19 January 2000), which should provide more protection for a wider range of ecosystems. All the protected areas are administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Division of the Sarawak Forest Department. The relevant legislation for parks and nature reserves is the National Parks and Reserves Ordinance. Nature reserves are small areas of less than 1000 hectares, which protect specific local features, such as caves, mainly for their recreational value. The national parks are larger and more multi-purpose; they often protect areas of particular natural beauty, specific natural and cultural features, as well as endangered species of flora and fauna. The Gunung Gading park is home to the spectacular rafflesia flower (Rafflesia tuanmudae), Similajau and Talang Satang are marine turtle breeding areas, Batang Ai has a significant orangutan population, and Niah has caves of great archaeological interest. The largest park is Gunung Mulu, which has spectacular mountains, large

98 Case studies caves and other karst features; the scientific, scenic and conservation value of the park was recognized when it was made a world heritage area. Wildlife sanctuaries have been established under separate legislation, the Wildlife Protection Ordinance, with the aim of protecting specific endangered species and their habitat. In Samunsam it is primarily the proboscis monkey; in Lanjak Entimau, which is the Sarawak part of trans-boundary reserve described in Chapter 4, the original objective was the conservation of the orangutan and other primates; Pulau Tukong Ara-Banum is a breeding site for terns. All the protected areas are on government-owned land and form part of the national forest estate. If the land has already been designated a forest reserve, their establishment is relatively simple and usually only requires ministerial approval and notification in the Government Gazette. In the case of other land, including that to which there may be customary rights, the process is more lengthy and takes into account local interests. The legislation requires notification through local newspapers and the relevant District Offices, allows sixty days for claims and complaints through local community headmen, and a further sixty for an inquiry that may lead to the realignment of boundaries or the payment of compensation. The final declaration in the Government Gazette states that all rights in the area have been extinguished, although certain exceptions may be allowed. For example, in the Gunung Mulu park, Berawan and Penan rights to hunt, fish and collect forest products were allowed and given legal recognition, and similar provisions were made for the Iban in certain parts of the Batang Ai park and the Lanjak Entimau buffer zone. In more recently established parks the hunting and collecting rights of local people have been similarly safeguarded, with the result that many communities are ‘now requesting that their surrounding areas become protected areas in order for them to secure user rights’ (Tisen and Meredith 2000: 231). In addition to increased recognition of local rights, there have also been efforts to increase local participation in the development and management of the protected areas. The new legislation in 1998 included provisions for Special Committees for each national park and Special Wildlife Committees, which have provided local involvement in decisions and policy-making. The Wildlife Protection Ordinance has also resulted in the appointment of community leaders, and even logging camp managers, as honorary wildlife rangers. This legislation also prohibited the sale of all wildlife products in the state, although it continued to allow hunting of non-protected species for subsistence purposes. One of the aims the National Parks and Reserves Ordinance was to increase the economic benefits to local people of increased tourism. Most of the parks have facilities for visitors and both Gunung Mulu and Batang Ai have large hotels on their boundaries; at the latter the lake formed by the Batang Ai dam is another attraction. In addition, several of the parks are only a relatively short distance from major population centres for day



visitors, for example Bako and Kubah are near Kuching, and Lambir and Niah close to Miri. The national parks have become a focus for tourism: an estimated 15 per cent of foreign visitors visit one or more of the parks (Gumal and Ahmad 2000: 243). The fact that they are now perceived as an important source of revenue has been a major reason for the government proposals for increasing the number of parks (New Straits Times, 19 January 2000). Another reason would seem to be efforts to develop a greener image following adverse international publicity over logging policies. The extent to which indigenous people living near the parks have benefited from tourism has varied. Some have obtained work as park employees and guides, others have gained income from ferrying visitors and operating canteens, as at Bako and Niah. However, there have also been cases where local interests seem to have been ignored. When it was originally established, the Gunung Mulu park provided opportunities for local Berawan to obtain income through the operation of longboats in the last stages of the river journey to the park and providing accommodation and food in guesthouses just outside of the park boundaries. Unfortunately this was changed by the building of an air strip, the operation of direct flights into the park (depriving tourists of the unique experience of a Borneo river trip) and the construction of a large partly foreign-owned resort hotel. Resentment against extensions to the resort resulted in a dispute in which the Berawan claimed they had not been compensated for development on what they claimed as their customary land. This eventually led to the burning of a hut and two generators used for lighting the caves (Far Eastern Economic Review, 21 April 1994). More recent policies have attempted to avoid these problems. The 1998 legislation included provisions for local communities to receive a share in entry and accommodation fees, with the proportion to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Efforts are also being made to provide more local accommodation, and in Batang Ai a co-operative society has been formed to obtain and share some of the benefits from tourism. Similar ventures should increase local involvement and ensure conservation is integrated with development. Although indigenous landowners have shown themselves willing to protect their forests, there have not yet been attempts to establish parks and reserves on customary land to be managed either by the landowning group alone or in joint partnership with government. These could help secure customary rights and extend the protected area network.


Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier

Introduction The province of Palawan is made up of a long narrow mountainous island 400 kilometres long plus another 1768 offshore islands, stretching from Borneo northeastwards to the Philippines archipelago. The island is bordered by the Sulu and South China Seas to the east and west. Palawan has strong geographical and historical links with Borneo, and during the fall in sea levels of the Pleistocene ice ages was joined to it by land bridges that allowed the migration of animals from mainland Southeast Asia. Today, the islands of Palawan form the northernmost extension of the Sunda Shelf, separated from the rest of the Philippine by the deep Mindoro Strait that also marks the extension of the Wallace Line dividing the two distinct zoogeographical regions. The Tabon Caves in the south of the main island are among the oldest sites of prehistoric settlement in the Philippines, and there are still a number of aboriginal groups, such as the Batacs, Pala’wan and Tagbanua, who have retained distinct ethnic identities. The first Malay migrants came to islands over two thousand years ago, and there is evidence of early trade with China with forest products such as beeswax, honey and birds’ nests being traded in return for porcelain, umbrellas and other manufactured products. It is thought that the name Palawan may have originated from the Chinese description, Pa Lao Yu – Land of Beautiful Harbours, but another explanation is that it comes from the Spanish Paragua – sweet water. The island was visited by Magellan’s expedition after the death of their leader, and they not only took on fresh water and food but also seem to have been guilty of one of the early acts of piracy in the region when they plundered one of the local boats and took a chief aboard as hostage in return for further supplies. The Spanish later established settlements and Christian missions in the northern part of the island, and in 1622 built a fort at Taytay. During the seventeenth century there was considerable conflict between the Spaniards and the moros, the Muslim subjects of the Sultans of Sulu and Brunei. Only in 1749, when Brunei ceded its suzerainty over Palawan to Spain, was some form of peaceful co-existence reached.

Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier


The island remained under Spanish administration until they were replaced by the United States in 1902. Puerto Princesa was made the capital three years later, but in spite of its fine harbour and central position, it remained a relatively small town. Palawan itself continued to be sparsely populated and relatively undeveloped, with commercial agriculture and trade confined to a few coastal areas. The province was referred to as a place of exiles, distieros, and troublemakers and criminals were shipped there from other part of the Philippines. Today, after over fifty years of Philippines independence, Palawan is still regarded as its ‘last frontier’, but this label is now used as an inducement to tourists and investors rather than indicating pristine wilderness. It has also remained a place for exiles: a large camp was established at Puerto Princesa for Vietnamese refugees, and it has the largest open prison in the Philippines at Iwahig. For many years Palawan has been one of the most sparsely populated regions of the Philippines partly due to its isolation and mountainous relief, and partly because of the effects of widespread malaria. In 1983 the population of the province was still only 318,000 (Goldrick and James 1994: 220), giving an average density of 27 people per square kilometre, less than a sixth of the density for the Philippines as a whole. However, since then the population has increased rapidly, 4.6 per cent per annum, due to both high fertility rates and to migration from more densely populated areas in Luzon and the Visayan Islands; by 1995 it had reached 600,000. This population increase has been one of the factors responsible for conversion of forest to agriculture and the spread and intensification of caingin, slash and burn agriculture. Deforestation has also resulted from unregulated commercial logging and the extraction of forest products, especially rattan. Palawan’s forest cover diminished from 92 per cent of the total land area in 1968 to 47 per cent by 1991 (ibid.), over half of which was subject to timber concessions. In 1992 the Aquino government imposed a ban on commercial logging in the province, but illegal logging and forest destruction have continued. There were also forest fires during the period of the El Niño drought in 1997 and 1998. The results of deforestation have been soil erosion, flooding and loss of wildlife habitat. Palawan’s coastal waters, bays and coral reefs are rich in marine resources, with the province’s fishing grounds providing 65 per cent of the Philippines total catch, but these resources are under threat from overexploitation, illegal fishing methods using explosives and cyanide, and coastal pollution. More recently, mining and quarrying have posed fresh threats to the environment with proposals to extract limestone, shale and nickel. There has also been development of offshore oil and gas fields.

Environmental policies The national and provincial governments have been responsible for a number of initiatives and programmes aimed at environmental protection and


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sustainable development. The Palawan Integrated Area Development Project was initiated in 1979, and under Phase II of this project’s environmental programme, a Strategic Environmental Plan was drawn up in 1985. The plan was concerned to protect forest and coastal resources and proposed land use regulation in the different ecological zones in the island. Provision was made for complete protection in core areas, limited resource extraction in buffer zones, and multiple use in other inhabited areas. In association with the plan was the proposed establishment of an Environmentally Critical Area Network (ECAN); this would include tribal ancestral lands, and a number of proposed additional national parks and reserves. The plan was formally endorsed by the Republic Act 7611 in 1992, which replaced the former Integrated Area Development project that had been drawn up by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). Within the framework of the Palawan Strategic Environmental Plan and the National Protected Areas System (NIPAS) that had also been established in 1992 (Republic Act 7586), a Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme was drawn up, with financial support from the European Union, to promote community-based projects, stabilization of shifting cultivators, environmental awareness, boundary demarcation of environmentally critical areas, and to assist in the sustainable long-term management of protected areas. In addition to the programme staff, the government organization most concerned with conservation is the provincial Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Its duties include responsibility for the management of national parks, although in the case of St Paul’s Subterranean River National Park responsibility was transferred to the Puerto Princesa City Council (with a subsequent name change for the park), which established a Protected Area Management Board to administer it. There are also a number of non-governmental organizations concerned with environmental protection, of which the Palawan chapter of the Haribon Foundation is the most influential. In 1988 DENR and the Haribon Foundation received funds for conservation from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) under a debtfor-nature agreement. WWF purchased US$2 million of the Philippines external debt; this was converted into local currency that was used to support the development of the St Paul’s Subterranean River National Park and the El Nido Marine Reserve. Other significant national legislation has been the DENR Administrative Order of 1993 and the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. These gave indigenous communities powers to reclaim and reinforce their customary rights through the granting of the Certificates of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) and Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT). For the purposes of this act, an indigenous community was defined as a homogeneous society who have continuously lived as a community on communally bounded and defined territory, sharing common bonds of

Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier


language, customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, and who through resistance to the political, social and cultural inroads of colonization became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. (PCSD 1993) ‘Ancestral Domain’ referred to land and natural resources occupied communally or individually ‘in accordance with their customs and traditions since time immemorial . . . continuously until the present except when interrupted by war, force majeure, or displacement by force, deceit or stealth’ (ibid.). Under CADT procedures boundaries were delineated and resource management plans were drawn up. Indigenous groups were also able to prevent outsiders extracting resources from the territories. Examples in southern Palawan have been the island of Balabac, where the Molbog community have been granted a CADT over 34,400 hectares of land, mangroves and ancestral waters, and have used it to prevent illegal stripping of mangrove bark for cutch; and in the Rizal area, where a group known as the Pala’wan have been able to exclude rattan concessionaires from their CADC area. However, application of the legislation also has negative effects in that it means loss of public land and possible environmental controls and revenues; because of this, CADT applications have often been opposed by provincial and local governments (Arqiza 2001). Many of Palawan’s protected areas have resident indigenous populations who have been granted CADCs and CADTs; this has been beneficial in increasing local participation, but may also lead to conflict with other management objectives.

Protected areas Protected areas have been established in Palawan, as elsewhere in the Philippines, under a variety of different types of legislation and administration, although often with insufficient funding for effective management. The entire province was declared a Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary, and all its small islands of less than 50,000 hectares in size were declared National Reserves, under Presidential Proclamation 219 of 1967. Later, in 1981, the whole island was proclaimed a Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve, and in 1990 it was declared a Biosphere Reserve as part of Unesco’s international Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme. In 1992 the Philippines government introduced its National Integrated Protected Areas (NIPAS) policy and legislation, and several priority areas in Palawan have subsequently been included in the NIPAS system. These are the Ursula Island, El Nido–Taytay, Malampaya Sound, Calauit, Coron Island, Tubbataha Reef, and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park (Figure 7.1). Three of these areas are located on offshore islands. The Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary was established in 1962. It is located approximately twenty kilometres off Brooke’s Point in southern Palawan and

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Calauit Game Reserve & Wildlife Sanctuary El Nido - Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area Subterranean River National Park Tubbataha National Marine Park Irawan Flora & Fauna Watershed Reservation Tabon Cave Museum Reservation Candawaga - Ransang Tao’t Bato Reservation Ursula Island Game Refuge & Bird Sanctuary Coron Island Malampaya Sound-hand and Sea Protected Area

1 9



Taytay 10

South China


Sea Puerto Princesa 5

6 4


Sulu Sea 8



Figure 7.1 Protected areas in Palawan. Source: Palawan Tropical Forestry Programme.


Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier


is especially important as a breeding and roosting site for imperial pigeons (Ducula spp.), and as a wintering ground for migratory species, while its surrounding seas are important feeding grounds for seabirds, especially terns. There is no permanent settlement on the island, but fishermen have constructed palm huts and dug wells. Efforts have been made to promote ecotourism but reductions in bird numbers, caused by illegal egg collecting and fishing, have caused the management board to order temporary closures of the sanctuary. Other causes of the decline in bird numbers are thought to have been the introduction of rats and an arboreal snake, Dendrelaphis caudolinatus (PCSD 2003). Coron in the Caliaman Islands in the far north of the province is an area of limestone features with mangroves and coral around its coasts. It has a high degree of endemism in its flora and fauna, and small offshore islands and a number of inland lakes are attractions to foreign tourists. Before Coron Island was made a priority protected area under NIPAS, a number of legal instruments and strategies had been applied in efforts to conserve its natural environment, safeguard the rights of the indigenous Tagbuana, and promote sustainable tourism. In 1967 the island was declared a National Reserve; in 1978 it was proclaimed a Tourist Zone and Marine Reserve with its management transferred to the Philippine Tourism Authority; this was followed in 1992 by a Community Forest Stewardship Agreement between DENR and the local Tagbuana Foundation. Tagbuana rights were further protected by the issue of a CADC, which included a marine area of 22,248 hectares claimed as traditional fishing grounds and a number of sacred sites. The Tagabuana are responsible for the management of resources within the area covered by the CADC, and through the regulation of fishing and prevention of illegal and destructive methods using cyanide and explosives have been able to make catches more sustainable. However, their plans to charge entry fees to visitors have been more controversial and opposed by tour operators (Arqiza 2001). Calauit Game Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, originally proclaimed in 1976, is also in the Calamian Islands. It is different from the other protected areas in that it is a place where exotic wildlife, such as giraffes, zebra and antelopes, have been introduced from Africa. It provides an attraction for tourists but would seem to have limited conservation value, although some endangered endemic animal species have also been translocated there from other parts of the Philippines. Efforts have been made to resettle villagers who lived on the reserve to a nearby island, but this has caused resentment and some of those displaced have attempted to return; in addition there has been squatting and poaching in the reserve. Those wishing to return also formed the Balik Calauit Movement in order to exert legal and political pressure. In addition, this rather bizarre and expensive attempt at a wildlife translocation experiment has faced financial problems, with neither government nor the private sector willing to provide the necessary funds for what was hoped to be an exercise in privatization (PCSD 2003).


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Two other protected areas are on the main island but include both marine and terrestrial elements. The El Nido–Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area was declared in 1998, but formerly parts of the area had been conserved as a turtle sanctuary and a marine reserve. It occupies 90,321 hectares, one-third of which is terrestrial and the remainder marine. This is a region of inlets, islands and coral reefs, with the limestone karst features providing spectacular scenery. It has several resorts for tourists attracted by the scuba diving opportunities in the clear waters off the reefs; there are also rich fisheries. Timber concessions and illegal logging had caused considerable deforestation, soil erosion and consequent widespread silting of the coastal seas that has had negative effects on both tourism and fishing (Goldrick and James 1994: 236–45). This prompted the termination of the concessions, although illegal logging and land conversion remain problems, as do the use of cyanide in fishing and the illegal killing of marine turtles. The area is administered by a management board comprising government, NGO, local community, and business representatives. Its objective is the sustainable development of the area’s natural resources for the benefit of local communities, and it has employed rangers from these communities in its law enforcement and information and education programmes. The Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area, established in 2000, is located on the northern coast of the island. The Sound itself is divided into inner and outer sections separated by a group of small islands. Much of its coastline consists of mangrove swamps, but the area is rich in biodiversity and includes forest, sea grass beds and coral ecosystems. It is the most productive fishing area in Palawan; 156 species of fish have been recorded, sixty of which are commercially valuable (PCSD 2003). Seaweed culture and fish farming are other economic activities based on the marine resources, and the area has considerable potential for ecotourism. The indigenous people of the area are the Tagbanua, whose land rights are protected by a CADC, but there has also been considerable migration from outside, which has resulted in increased population pressure and overexploitation and degradation of the area’s resources. The protected area, which covers an area of approximately 200,000 hectares, was established with the aim of providing more systematic protection and management of these natural resources. Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park consist of two coral atolls in the Sulu Sea approximately 150 kilometres southeast of Puerto Princesa. The reefs provide a habitat for some 300 types of coral, 379 species of fish, turtles and dolphins (Wetlands International 2003). They are important as a breeding area for fish and a source of planktonic lava for surrounding fisheries. There are extensive beds of seagrasses in the large sandy area of the lagoons. The atolls are state-owned and there is no permanent population, although there are temporary fishing camps. The reefs are also popular for scuba diving, snorkelling and sports fishing. The reefs and surrounding waters, a total area of 33,200 hectares, were declared a National Marine Park

Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier


in 1988, and in 1993 were designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO. In the past, the reefs have been protected by their remoteness, but in spite of their conservation status, illegal fishing using explosives and cyanide have continued to be a problem, while for two years a seaweed farm operated in the northern part. Some coral destruction has also been caused by careless divers and boat anchors. In 1995, a multi-sectoral task force was formed to protect the reefs, patrolling has increased and park management strengthened. Mooring buoys have been installed and rules enforced that prevent landing on the islets, damaging the coral, spearfishing, collecting from the reefs, and disposal of waste. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is the most visited of Palawan’s protected areas and also one of the most significant for conservation, being a core zone of both the biosphere reserve and part of the island’s Ecologically Critical Area Network. It was established as the St Paul Subterranean River national park in 1971, taking its name from an underground river originating in the limestone mountains of St Paul Range. The river flows underground for over eight kilometres before emerging on the coast at St Paul’s Bay. For much of its length it is navigable by small canoe, the journey giving spectacular views of stalactites and stalagmites, calcite pillars and formations, spacious chambers, and large populations of swiftlets and bats. In the surrounding area are many more karst features, peaks, pinnacles, and cliffs. The vegetation is distinctive and varied, limestone hill forest and herbs growing precariously in cracks on the rock faces, and beach forest on the coastal margins. Twenty-eight species of mammal have been recorded, of which twelve are bats and four others are endemic to Palawan. There is also a wide range of birdlife, a total of 168 species have been recorded (Whitmore 1996). The park is the most frequently visited in Palawan; the nearby village of Sabang can be reached by road from Puerto Princesa in two hours, either by public jeepneys or organized tours in minibuses. From Sabang access to the underground river is either by a four-kilometre trail on land or by outrigger canoe; the latter is generally more popular but not practicable in bad weather. The park management has attempted to restrict the number of visitors to the underground river to eighty a day (Mendoza, pers. com., 1997), an indication of the estimated carrying capacity of the core area, but this number is frequently exceeded. Visitors and their lights in the cave obviously disturb the resident bats, but probably more serious is their impact on the megapodes (Megapodius freycinet), whose nesting mounds are located near the boat landing place. The picnic area near the cave also attracts scavengers such as monitor lizards (Varanus salvator) and long tailed macaques (Macaca faccularis). There is accommodation for visitors at the Central Park Station and outside the park boundaries in Sabang. The latter provides some income for local people, as does the transport of visitors by boat. In addition, the park gains revenue by charging entry fees to the park, and from the hire of boats and fees for the underground river trip.


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There is no permanent resident population living in the core area of the park. Two indigenous communities live around the borders of the park; these are the Tagbanua and the Batacs. Their rights are protected by CADCs and they continue to gather rattans and honey, as well as being engaged in swidden agriculture in the buffer zone. Other inhabitants of the nearby villages have moved into the area surrounding the park more recently and are mainly occupied in farming and fishing. In the early stages of the park development there were land tenure disputes and cases of encroachment within the park, but increased local participation in management and a growing awareness of financial benefits to be derived from tourism have helped to improve relations with both indigenous and non-indigenous communities (Mendoza 2000). The park was first nominated as a World Heritage area in 1991, but this was deferred as the park was considered too small to adequately protect the watershed of the underground river and comprehensively conserve the wide range of biodiversity in the region. Subsequently, the core zone was enlarged to 5,753 hectares and a buffer zone, partly under private and communal ownership, of 14,449 hectares was included. With this nominally enlarged total area of 20,202 hectares the park was finally inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1999 under three criteria used for natural heritage areas: ecological processes; superlative natural phenomena and scenic beauty; and biodiversity and threatened species. In addition to the larger priority protected areas, there are a number of specific reserves, sanctuaries and parks. The Bacuit and Irawan Watershed Reservations have been established in an attempt to prevent further deforestation. The prehistoric sites at the Tabon Caves are protected as a Museum Reservation. The Candawaga-Ransang Tao’t Bato Reservation is the territory of an indigenous group with only limited and recent contacts with other societies; the reserve is an attempt to protect their culture and resources.

Conclusion The history of conservation in Palawan is one of bewildering inconsistency. A number of policies and legal instruments have been applied both consequentially and simultaneously. Protected areas have been subject to a number of different management regimes and changing boundaries. The presidential proclamations making the whole province a Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary with all the smaller islands a national reserve in 1967 and then a Mangrove Swamp Reserve in 1981 were well-intentioned but unrealistic and have never been implemented. Similarly although the island was made a biosphere reserve in 1990, it has not really been practical to apply the concept to the whole island with its increasing population and commercial development. The Philippines is a very politicized and legalistic society and there has often been controversy involving park authorities, NGOs, local government, DENR, and indigenous communities, as in the case of the Puerto

Palawan: protecting the Philippines’ last frontier


Princesa Subterranean River national park (Mendoza 2000; Palawan Times, 10–16 September 2001). In the past, efforts to protect the forest have often been frustrated by political patronage and the connections between major timber concessionaires and leading national politicians (Far Eastern Economic Review, 24 November 1988). Fragmentation of protected area management between different authorities remains a problem, and the areas are often short of staff and funding (Meniado 2000). However, on the more positive side, the NIPAS legislation of 1992 has introduced a more systematic approach to protected area planning and has improved levels of public participation. The establishment of Protected Area Management Boards (PAMB) has also increased the range of public representation and involvement, although Angelita Meniado (2000: 79) quotes the administrative problems caused in Palawan by the dispute between the supporters of the NIPAS law and those of the Strategic Environmental Plan over whether the PAMBs or the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development should administer the protected areas. She describes the conflict as ‘only titular as the same entities will be represented in the decision-making process whichever case holds’, but nonetheless an issue ‘hampering progress in management’ (ibid.). Most of Palawan’s protected areas contain resident populations, including indigenous groups whose customary tenure and practices are protected under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. However, although their ancestral domain claims in protected areas are respected, these are partly based on the premise that their resource management practices are ecologically sound, sustainable and consistent with the ‘long-term objectives of biodiversity conservation’ (ibid.). The fact that many traditional indigenous practices have been subject to change, external pressures and the introduction of new technologies means that this is not always the case – hence the importance of the resource management plan in the CADT process. As elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the promotion of tourism has often served to help the case for conservation. Tourists are attracted by the prospect of unspoilt coasts, clear seas and coral reefs. Many of these attractions are situated within protected areas; day visits are made to features such as the subterranean river and the Tabon caves, and dive boats make cruises to Tubbataha reefs. Arguments for environmental protection have been strengthened by cost–benefit studies that have shown that long-term financial benefits from tourism are likely to be much greater than combined costs of marine and land protection programmes that prevent logging, erosion and sedimentation of reefs (Goldrick and James 1994). Infrastructure for tourism has been improved; there has been a growth in the number of small hotels and guest-houses, especially in Puerto Princesa, and some development of more-expensive resort hotels along the coast, with the most luxurious at El Nido. However, the contribution of tourism to Palawan’s development and the welfare of its people will depend on how the benefits are distributed. At


Case studies

present many of the hotels and tour companies are managed and at least partially owned by foreigners or by business interests from other parts of the Philippines. Access to El Nido and other resorts in the north of the province is often directly by air from Manila rather than through Puerto Princesa. Many of the better-paid jobs created by tourism are going to people from other provinces. Greater involvement of local people in both the tourism industry and protected areas is necessary to ensure support for conservation and development that is sustainable. There also remains the need to plan and regulate the growth of tourism so it does not degrade the natural environment it depends upon. This means that existing environmental legislation and policies need to be more comprehensively and effectively implemented. For example, although all the offshore islands have been proclaimed as a national reserve, there is concern that recently many of them have been sold to corporate buyers or rich private individuals (Straits Times, 28 July 1997). The Philippines’ last frontier needs to be conserved not privatized.


Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia

Introduction In the previous case studies in Kalimantan, Sarawak and Palawan, we have seen that protected areas have often been successful in achieving their conservation objectives when they are also perceived as contributing to the livelihoods of the people living in and around these areas. In Indonesia the promotion of these linkages between conservation and development has been an important element in the Biodiversity Action Plan, which has received considerable support from the World Bank, international NGOs, the European Union and other international aid agencies. A World Bank study (Wells et al. 1999: 14–15) identified 21 protected areas as being Integrated Conservation and Development Project (ICDP) study sites. These areas covered a total of 8.4 million hectares and had an estimated combined population of almost two million people living inside the areas or in buffer zones within five kilometres of their boundaries. All the ICDPs have attracted external financing and assistance from overseas staff; one of the main concerns is how sustainable many of the projects will prove to be once this aid comes to an end. To address this problem, efforts have been made to involve national government agencies and train local staff as counterparts. However, ultimately the permanence and success of the ICDPs will depend on the involvement and support of the rural populations in and around the areas. There is a need for them to associate the development advantages with the benefits from conservation, a linkage which often requires the creation of greater environmental awareness through both formal and non-formal education programmes. In this chapter we examine four of the protected areas associated with efforts at integrating conservation and development. They have been selected from very different parts of Indonesia: Gunung Leuser in Sumatra, Ujung Kulon in Java, Bunaken–Manado Tua in Sulawesi, and the Arfak Mountains in Irian Jaya (Figure 8.1). They differ in scale: Gunung Leuser covers the largest area and has received the highest level of ICDP external financing, the others, especially the Arfak Mountains, have operated at a much more modest level.



Ujung Kulon

Figure 8.1 Location of ICDP case studies.


Gunung Leuser


Arfak Mountains


Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 113

Gunung Leuser Gunung Leuser is one of the oldest and largest of Indonesia’s national parks. It has an area of 862,975 hectares and is located in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra. It was originally established as a nature reserve in 1935 and later combined with other reserves to form a national park in 1980. Much of the park is mountainous with slopes of over 40 per cent (Monk and Purba 2000) but it covers a range of ecosystems, is rich in biodiversity and is the home to many of the larger animals, such as the orangutan, Sumatran rhinoceros, elephant and Sumatran tiger. However, the original park boundaries excluded surrounding lowland forest areas that were especially rich in biodiversity and important as habitats for the larger fauna (Rauf 1996). The park has also been subject to considerable external pressures: timber concessions on its fringes, illegal logging and settlement within its borders, and the construction of roads. The fertile densely populated Alas valley almost bisects the park but has remained outside its boundaries, which also contain other enclaves of settlement and economic activity. In 1995 the Indonesian government made a decision to extend the area conserved to over two million hectares, to be known as the Leuser Ecosystem. This area included not only the original park but also surrounding areas of protection and production forest, timber concessions, and areas of privately owned and cultivated land. An NGO known as the Leuser International Foundation (LIF), which included representatives of the private sector, provincial governments and local communities, was established to manage this large and complex area; it was widely felt that this type of management and organization would prove ‘the most effective institutional basis for overcoming government inertia and gaining international confidence in the system’ (Monk and Purba 2000: 204). This international confidence has been demonstrated by financial support from the European Union, which together with the Indonesian government have committed a total of $US65 million to fund the first seven years of the Leuser Development Programme. The main objectives of the LIF and the development programme have been the conservation of the ecosystem and its components, and the promotion of activities for the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area to support the welfare of the people living in and around the area (Rauf 1996). As a temporary measure, the Leuser Management Unit (LMU) was established to implement the programme and be responsible for its day-to-day management. Within the programme, there were five areas, each led by foreign technical assistants with Indonesian counterparts: administration; conservation, which included park management, law enforcement and boundary demarcation; research, monitoring and evaluation; buffer zone development; and intensive zone development. The programme also works closely with national and provincial planning boards (BAPPENAS and BAPPEDAs) in promoting development activities. A distinction is made between activities in the buffer zone, which comprises areas inside the ecosystem but outside the park, and


Case studies

intensive zone development outside the ecosystem but inside the regencies (kabupaten) that partially include the ecosystem (Wells et al. 1999: 62). In the buffer zone collecting of forest products is allowed under licence; there has also been assistance with the marketing and processing of these products, in particular bamboo, resins and nutmeg oil. WWF have also been active in promoting nutmeg gardens, handicrafts and ‘green marketing’ (Azwar et al. 1996). Outside the ecosystem area, there has been funding for micro-projects in the agriculture, fisheries and handicrafts sectors; between 1966 and 1999, 254 such projects were established. In return for support for development projects, villagers were expected to co-operate in the conservation of the park and refrain from activities such as agricultural encroachment, poaching and illegal logging. This was reinforced by education and awareness programmes, in which local NGOs and universities have played an important part. Interest in the park and its protection has been promoted through radio broadcasts, and in a strongly Muslim area, conservation messages within a religious context have been transmitted through the mosques and Islamic schools (Azwar et al. 1996). Local people have been given control over community forests around their villages; in addition they have been involved in a number of tree planting projects aimed at the reforestation of degraded areas. The programme has also been successful in closing down inappropriate development within the ecosystem. They have included a dam, roads, a transmigration project, oil palm plantations, and logging concessions; the licences of five timber companies were cancelled between 1997 and 2001 (Down to Earth, February 2002). There has also been more emphasis on watershed protection both within the ecosystem and in the province of Acheh as a whole; there is stricter regulation of logging on steep slopes and an increase in the area of protection forest (Monk and Purba 2000: 209). The area has considerable potential for tourism, with trekking in the forest, wildlife viewing and whitewater rafting being possible activities. In the past orangutan rehabilitation centres have also been major attractions. The Leuser programme has encouraged tourism within the buffer zones, providing training for guides and hotel staff, and supporting efforts to improve facilities for visitors. The development of tourism and other aspects of the Leuser programme have been affected by the political and security problems of Aceh. Since 1976 the Free Aceh Movement has been fighting for complete independence from the rest of Indonesia, and between 1989 and 1998 much of the province was declared a Special Military Operations area. There has been considerable violence and loss of life in an intermittent war characterized by outbreaks of rebellion, brutal military suppression, reprisals and counter-reprisals. Settlers from other parts of Indonesia, many of them transmigrants, have been forced to flee from the conflict and some of these displaced families have settled within the Leuser Ecosystem area. The army and the police have also been heavily involved in illegal logging, sometimes in competition with each other;

Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 115 in July 2001 the head of Southeast Aceh’s military command was dismissed as a result of his involvement (Down to Earth, February 2002). Although the army has conspicuously failed to protect the forests, the LMU has involved them in their reforestation projects, and between mid-1997 and mid-1999 they planted a total of over a million trees (Monk and Purba 2000: 209). Even without military participation, illegal logging continues to be a major cause of environmental degradation and lawlessness. It is estimated that it has affected a fifth of the forest in the park itself, and has led to the murder of research workers and the destruction of two research stations (Down to Earth, February 2002). Illegal logging has been blamed by government officials for landslides and flash floods that have caused destruction and loss of life, such as when the Bahorok river flooded in 2003 causing over 150 deaths (Jakarta Post, 5 November 2003). Outside entrepreneurs are often the instigators, but all sections of society are involved, including forest guards, and receive a share in the lucrative profits. Enforcement is difficult and very few cases are successfully prosecuted; between March 1996 and March 1999 only three cases of illegal logging in the Leuser Ecosystem were actually processed by the courts (Monk and Purba op. cit.). Another threat has been the building of roads, which would not only open up more forest to logging but also encourage poaching and illegal clearing of land. The Leuser Development Programme has met with considerable criticism from vested interests such as the timber companies, from nationalists who see it as promoting foreign interests and influence, and from some government officials who see it as usurping their authority. Some NGOs, including WWF, have also argued that it promotes top–down rather than bottom–up development (Wells et al. 1999). However, although it has inherited many of the conservation problems of the formerly inadequately managed and protected national park, the concept of extending boundaries and attempting to solve them on a regional basis has been an exciting one, as has been the allocation of responsibility for management to an NGO in which the different stakeholders are represented. It is anticipated that this new form of management will develop the mechanisms for co-operation and co-ordination between different ministries, regency and provincial governments that is often lacking in Indonesian economic and environmental planning. At the local level, it is hoped that it will lead to greater appreciation of the linkages between development and conservation, and will serve to protect the welfare and interests of the rural population in and around the Ecosystem area. If the programme is successful, it could result in the preservation of one of the most important forest areas of Southeast Asia. If it fails the consequences are likely to be a return to the familiar cycle of environmental degradation and poverty.

Ujung Kulon The Ujong Kulon National Park is situated in the extreme southwest of Java (Figure 8.2). It includes the triangular Ujong Kulon peninsula, which is joined




Indian Ocean

Ujung Kulon Peninsula

Handuleum Islands

Welcome Bay

Figure 8.2 Ujung Kulon National Park. Source: Department of Forestry, Indonesia.



Peucang Island

Panaitan Island

Gunung Honje Range

Park Boundary

Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 117 by a narrow isthmus to the mainland, the Gunung Honje range to the east, and offshore reefs and islands, of which the largest are Peucang, Handeulum and Panaitan, the latter being separated from the rest of the park by a ten kilometre wide strait of the same name. The total area of the national park is 120,551 hectares, of which 76,214 hectares is terrestrial and the remainder marine. To the north of the park lie the islands of Krakatoa, the location of the great volcanic eruption in 1883 that destroyed the original volcano and island. The explosion could be heard throughout the region, caused great tidal waves that washed away coastal villages, causing over 40,000 deaths (Winchester 2003) and covered the surrounding area in a thick layer of volcanic ash. It has remained a site of volcanic activity; an eruption in 1928 resulted in the emergence of a new island, Anak (the child of) Krakatoa, which has been slowly colonized by vegetation and other forms of life, a process which has been retarded by further eruptions. With its surrounding islands it has been designated a nature reserve and combined with Ujung Kulon to form a World Heritage site. The tectonic instability of the area and marine erosion have created a rugged topography and coastline in much of the park, with the high cliffs, capes and stacks of the western coast being especially spectacular. The park is the last remaining area of extensive lowland rain forest in Java; it has a range of tree species varying with altitude and also areas of coastal forest and vegetation. Although much of it is primary forest, some parts have been modified by the Krakatoa volcanic activity and tidal waves. There are also grasslands around the coast where farming once took place or where there has been burning for hunting. These grasslands are often favourite grazing areas of the banteng (Bos javanicus), which is relatively abundant in the mainland areas of the park. There are also deer, wild boar, several species of primates, leopards, fishing cats, leopard cats, civets, wild dogs, flying lemurs, squirrels, and bats. The Javan tiger (Panthera tigris) was once found here, but has now become extinct. However, the park is especially important as the last remaining viable habitat of the Javan one-horned rhinoceros (a few are thought to exist in Vietnam but the numbers are so few as to make their future doubtful). The rhinoceros are rarely seen, even by field workers in the park (Agoes Sriyanto pers. comm. 1996), but their tracks and droppings provide evidence of their presence and a census using an automated camera system indicated a stable population of about sixty (WCMC 2001). In addition, the fauna includes 270 species of birds (ibid.), while the surrounding coral reefs and seas support a rich marine life. Although the inaccessibility of the area has helped to preserve the wildlife and its habitat, its position on the Sunda Straits has given it a particular historical significance. Legends and the existence of a stone carving of Ganesh, the elephant god, on the summit of Mount Raiska on Pulau Panaitan suggest that there was an early Hindu community on the island (Clarbrough n.d.). In 1771, Captain Cook visited the same island in the Endeavour to obtain fresh water and trade for food, including turtles, deer and


Case studies

monkeys, before the long journey across the Indian Ocean; the island must have been well populated at that time because Joseph Banks is reported to have visited a town of approximately 400 houses (Cook 1843: 170–4). The Sunda Straits continued to be an important sea route, and in 1808 the Dutch began to build a port on Ujung Kulon, but this was abandoned and a prison was built there instead. Three successive lighthouses were also built on the headland of Tanjung Layar. There were villages around the coast but many were destroyed by the tidal waves that followed the Krakatoa eruption. During the nineteenth century the peninsula attracted attention from Dutch officials and travellers because of its wildlife and became popular with trophy hunters. By the beginning of the twentieth century, animal numbers had declined drastically. Although Ujong Kulon and Panaitan were made nature reserves in 1921, hunting continued until their status was changed to game sanctuaries, which resulted in public access being closed and a guard system being introduced. This strict protectionist regime disintegrated during the Second World War and the struggle for independence, but in 1958 the Ujung Kulon peninsula, the islands and part of the Gunung Honje range were declared nature reserves. In 1992 the reserves plus an additional marine area were combined to form a national park, which together with the Krakatoa islands was declared a World Heritage site. The main management priorities of the park are ‘to ensure the long-term survival of the rhinoceros and other endangered species, within a selfperpetuating rain forest ecosystem’ (WCMC 2001). Poaching remains a threat and regular patrols and enforcement are necessary; banteng feeding areas have to be maintained and illegal fishing prevented. In the forests of the eastern Gunong Honje area there is a need to prevent agricultural encroachment and illegal logging. There are twelve manned ranger posts at critical points around the park. Overseas organizations have provided financial assistance to the rhinoceros conservation programme, in particular WWF, the New Zealand government and the Minnesota Zoo in the United States. The park also operates an education and awareness programme in the surrounding villages, emphasizing the importance of conserving the rhinoceros and protecting the forests. The planning strategy adopted in the park is based on a system of management zones that attempt to meet the primary objectives of conservation, promoting tourism and stimulating development in the area surrounding the park. There are four types of zones: core sanctuary zones, to which entry is prohibited except for ranger patrols and research activities; wilderness zones, which have limited tourist development and management activities; development zones where tourist accommodation may be provided; and buffer zones outside the park, where the village areas are located. There are nineteen villages in the buffer zone with a total population of 45,518 in 1995 (WCMC 2001). The people are Sundanese with a very distinctive culture; although devoutly Muslim they still retain earlier customs and practices, such as the debus performances that emphasize the invulner-

Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 119 ability of the participants to different forms of pain. There is also a strong tradition of mutual co-operation (gotong royong) in village communal projects, agriculture and fishing. There are also places in the park of special significance, such as caves in the southwest of the peninsula, which are also objects of pilgrimage for people from other parts of Java (Clarborough n.d.). Most of the people of the buffer zone are farmers growing rice, maize, vegetables, and fruit mainly for their own consumption, and also a few cash crops such as coconuts and cloves. In the past, the area now occupied by the park was important to them for hunting, fishing and collecting forest products. Its establishment has deprived them of these sources of livelihood, as well as resulting in the relocation of some settlements outside the park boundaries. To compensate, a variety of development projects have been initiated in the buffer zone. Organizations involved in the promotion of the development projects include the park authority, the local government and various NGOs, of which Lembaga Alam Tropis Indonesia (LATIN) and WWF (Indonesia) have been the most active. A water supply project involving piping water from streams in the forest to the village areas has been successful in providing a regular supply of clean water (pers. ob. 1996), improving health and sanitation, and increasing local support for watershed protection (Wells et al. 1999: 75). There has also been support for agriculture and agro-forestry, bee-keeping and the marketing of wood carvings. In addition, UNEP has provided funding for projects linking tourism and conservation (Jakarta Post, 26 January 2002). The park staff have been active in education and awareness programmes, and in training local youths as tourist guides (Sriyanti and Priambudi 1996). Tourism is an important potential source of income for the villages and several have homestays providing accommodation and food. There is also a tourist information centre in the largest village of Tamanjaya. Within the park, trails of varying difficulty have been constructed and it is also possible to make river trips by canoe. The park provides accommodation in lodges on Peucang and Handeuleum islands and there are a few shelters and camping places elsewhere. In the past, the park has received an estimated 6500 visitors each year, about half of whom were foreigners (WCMC 2001). Many visitors arrive by boat from the nearby small port of Labuan, but it is also possible to travel from there overland to the eastern boundaries of park. Improvements in the road system should lead to an increase in tourist numbers. There is a problem that although improved accessibility may benefit the local population it may increase pressures on the park and in particular cause encroachment on the habitat of the rhinoceros. There has been an increase in illegal logging financed by cukongs, businessmen from the cities (Sinar Harapan, 9 November 2002); in addition, poaching still remains a threat to wild life. Areas in the eastern part of the park have been cleared for agriculture. The World Bank review of the park as an ICDP suggested that ‘land tenure in the Gunung Honje area and increasing encroachment are critical unresolved issues for the future of the park’ (Wells et al. 1999: 76)


Case studies

and suggested there needed to be greater emphasis on co-ordination of the development activities and their linkages with the conservation programme.

Bunaken The Bunaken–Manado Tua Marine Nation Park is located off the coast of the province of North Sulawesi, near to its capital city of Manado (Figure 8.3). The inhabitants of the area are Minahasan and predominantly Christian. The park was formally established in 1991 and encompasses an area of 79,056 hectares of land and sea, including 8000 hectares of coral reefs. It is divided into two sections: the larger northern part includes the islands of Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Siladen, and Nain; the southern section is made up of the coastal area and fringing reefs of the Arakan–Wontulap peninsula. The reefs support a rich diversity of marine life; endangered species found in the park include green and hawksbill turtles, dugong and giant clams; more than 2500 species of fish are believed to be represented (Saunders et al. 1996). The picturesque volcanic island of Manado Tua has areas of forest where the black macaque (Maccaca nigra), endemic to North Sulawesi, is found. North Sulawesi has a growing tourist industry and Bunaken is the main destination. A survey carried out in 1995 and 1996 (ibid.) indicated that 90 per cent of foreign visitors to the province visited the park, the estimated annual total being about 13,000. Many tourists are interested in scuba diving but other activities are swimming, snorkelling, hiking, and bird-watching. The park is easily accessible by boat from Manadao and visits can be arranged by local tour companies and dive operators. Many tourists come on one-day visits, but accommodation is available in Bunaken village where there are home-stays and local guesthouses. The survey estimated that the average length of stay in the park for overseas tourists was 4.8 days, but for local visitors it was rather shorter, 1.5 days. The visitors bring income to the local population in the form of payment for the accommodation and food, also for the hire of boats, including those with glass viewing chambers, and snorkelling equipment. In addition, visitors pay an entry fee (50,000 rupiahs or approximately US$6 in 2003); revenues from this source are used partly for park maintenance and partly to fund different projects to benefit the resident population within the park. An estimated 10,000 people live in nine villages on the islands in the park and a similar number in eleven villages on the mainland coastline bordering the park (Mulyana 1996). Their main economic activities are agriculture, fishing, shell collecting, and seaweed farming. The latter has an impact in the park’s mangrove ecosystem, as the mangrove wood is used for stakes and drying racks. The farming of seaweed, Euchemea cotonii, was introduced relatively recently, in 1989, but by 1996 occupied 16.5 per cent of the total reef area, employed 1,439 families and brought in a total annual income estimated at US$550,000 (Saunders et al. 1996). Farming on the land employs about


Park Boundary Coral Reefs

Pulau Nain

North Section

Pulau Mantehage

Pulau Manado Tua

Celebes Sea

Pulau Bunaken

Bunaken Village


South Section

Arawak Wawontulap


Figure 8.3 Bunaken Marine National Park, North Sulawesi.




Case studies

half of the people living on the larger islands and in villages on the mainland adjacent to the park; the main crops are cassava, bananas, rice, and coconuts (Mulyana 1996). Fishing is the most profitable economic activity. Reef fishing is mainly carried out in small wooden outrigger canoes using sails and paddles and operating with a variety of nets, traps, hooks, and lines. Commercial fishing further offshore involves larger boats using purse seine nets and, for tuna, pole and line methods. The total value of the artisanal catch has been estimated at US$2,479,000 and the net value of the commercial fishery at US$770,000 (Saunders et al. 1996). In addition there is gleaning, mainly of gastropods and bivalve molluscs, principally undertaken by women and children at low tide on the coral flats. Saunders et al. (1996) estimate that fishing in and around the park appear to be near maximum sustainability levels. They also suggest that official statistics of catches represent a degree of under-reporting and should not be used as a basis for allowing increased commercial fishing, which would be dangerous to fish stocks and the rich biodiversity of the park. Illegal fishing methods using poisons and explosives are also sometimes practised, with adverse effects on the reefs already affected in some areas by land-based pollution. Generally, the nearer the reefs are to human habitation the more likely they are to be disturbed; this was demonstrated in a study by Lalamentik (1985) of four areas of reef sited at increasing distances from Bunaken village, which showed a decrease in the proportion of dead coral with distance from the village. In addition, damage to the reefs by fishing and tourist boats is sometimes done by boat anchors (pers. ob. 1996). Pollution problems within the park are exacerbated by waste and flotsam from the city of Manado. Not only does pollution affect the reefs and fishing; it also harms tourism. A survey of tourists indicated that the factors they liked least about Bunaken were pollution from plastics and garbage, and dirty beaches (Saunders et al. 1996: 25). The park is administered from the PHKA office in Manado with rangers stationed inside the park. Efforts have also been made to involve NGOs, provincial government, dive and tour operators, and local village representatives in the management process. Both foreign and Indonesian diving companies are represented in the North Sulawesi Watersports Association, which has a programme of encouraging sound ecological practices and the promotion of economic benefits for local people. The park has received foreign assistance in funding and personnel through USAID’s Natural Resource Management Programme. The park has a zoning plan, which has been revised and subject to local participation through a series of village meetings. There are basically three use zones: strict conservation, tourism and village use. The first two types are ‘no take’ areas for fishing and have been located to include known reef fishspawning areas, unique reef features and major dive sites. In the village use zones sustainable methods of fishing are allowed, but outsiders are prohibited. Coloured posters of the zone and their boundaries have been

Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 123 distributed and are shown on conservation information notice boards, together with regulations and a list of types of fishing gear that are prohibited. Local feelings of ownership and responsibility towards the reefs have been developed through the zoning process, and joint patrols are carried out by villagers and rangers to enforce the boundaries and rules (Erdmann and Merrill n.d.). Although enforcement has remained sporadic there has been an increase in the number of arrests for illegal fishing using explosives and cyanide (Tempo Magazine, 4–20 May 2002). The main issue in the management of the Bukanen Marine National Park has been to reconcile the interests of conservation, tourism and the local people. Conservation of the marine resources has helped to keep fisheries sustainable and also meant that the park remains attractive to tourists, especially those primarily interested in Scuba diving. Travel cost and contingent value surveys indicate that park has a high economic value to the visitors, estimated at US$4.9 million a year (Saunders et al. 1996), but the World Bank review report suggested that ‘only a minute fraction of the substantial tourism value of the area’s reefs are captured by the park, and virtually none by the park residents’; rather, it is ‘captured by airlines, hotel, restaurants, dive operators’. The report was pessimistic about linkages being established between conservation and development (Wells et al. 1999: 92). The problem for the park is essentially one of resource management, especially when faced by threats from increasing population and outside commercial enterprises (often supported by the provincial government). It is hoped that the innovations in participatory management and a well-enforced zoning system will help to maintain the multiple-use character of the park and protect the interests of those living within its boundaries.

The Arfak Mountains The Arfak Mountains are located in Irian Jaya, the western part of the great island of New Guinea. Well to the east of the Wallace Line, Irian Jaya is very different from the rest of Indonesia in its flora and fauna, and in its people, who are predominantly Melanesian and non-Muslim. It was incorporated into Indonesia in 1963, but its relationship with the rest of the country has always been an uneasy one and there has been a strong separatist movement who refer to the province as West Papua. Efforts at achieving greater integration through transmigration from other islands have not been very successful (Monbiot 1989) and have had adverse impacts on the environment (Manning and Rumbiak 1989). Economic development has been uneven and mainly confined to enclaves such as the giant Freeport gold and copper mine, plantations in some coastal areas, and the transmigration sites. Much of the population still live in isolated communities and depend on subsistence economies, although in recent years this isolation and the resources they depend upon have been threatened by road construction and commercial logging.


Case studies

Irian Jaya is rich in biodiversity, with a large number of endemic species (Sapriatna et al. 2000) and a variety of ecosystems ranging from snowcovered mountains to large tracts of coastal swamp. It is fortunate in having a comprehensive network of protected areas that include three national parks, eighteen nature and game reserves, and two recreation parks (Galt et al. 2000: 42). It includes the two largest national parks in Indonesia: Gunung Lorentz (2,505,000 hectares), which is also a World Heritage site, and the large marine park of Teluk Laut Cendrawasah. The area selected as an example of the integration of conservation and development with local community participation is the Arfak Mountains nature reserve in the Vogelkop (Bird’s Head) Peninsula in the northwest of the province. The Arfak Mountains rise steeply from the coastal plain to an altitude of over 2800 metres, with lowland forest types giving way to montane forest. The mountains have a rich flora and fauna, with a high proportion of species endemic to New Guinea and to the area itself; the latter is due to the isolated location of the range and the fact that before the Miocene epoch, over six million years ago, it was separated from the rest of mainland New Guinea. A total of 320 bird and 110 mammal species have been recorded in the area, and endemic species include several types of birdwing butterfly and birds of paradise (Craven 1990). During the nineteenth century the biological wealth of the area attracted the attention of wandering European naturalists such as D’Albertis and Beccari; Wallace also collected in the region although he did not visit the mountains, possibly because of the fierce reputation of its inhabitants at that time (Wallace 1869: 382, 386). These people are the Hatam, who today live in villages around the borders of the nature reserve but who have traditionally been dependent on its forest resources for building materials and food, the latter providing valuable supplements to a meagre diet of sweet potatoes, rice and vegetables. Hatam society is fragmented into clans or extended families; its diversity and isolation is exemplified by the fact that there are nine distinct dialects of its language among its 10,000 population (Craven et al. 1992). Access to land and resources is through a customary system in which use rights are jealously guarded against other landowning groups and the outside world. Initially, the Hatam had opposed the establishment of the reserve, seeing it as another infringement of their rights. However, efforts were made by WWF and PHPA to involve them at an early stage in management planning, and their attitude changed when they realized that reserve could help not only to protect their land against outsiders but also help them benefit economically from its resources. The reserve and buffer zones were divided into sixteen ‘nature reserve management areas’, each with their own village committees representing the landowners. In common with many other New Guinean groups, the Hatam had no system of chiefs and decisions on land issues depend on consensus agreement, something not always easily achieved in such a fragmented society. Great care had to be taken in defining the boundaries of the management areas, identifying who had land use rights within these areas,

Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 125 and determining which clans could interact and work with each other. Ian Craven, the leader of the WWF project, defined the physical dimensions of a management area as ‘an area of land within and outside the reserve whose size and boundaries are decided by a collective group of landowners who are willing to work together, and whose influence over land and resource use within the traditional system stretches to those boundaries’ (Craven et al. 1992). Most of the Hatam are Christians and representatives of the landowners on the committees were often church leaders, clan members who had often had some formal education. Meetings were usually on Sundays, when the people leave their isolated gardens and gather together for services; the church also served as an important means of disseminating information. The village committees were involved in drawing up and enforcing the reserve regulations using powers conferred on them by the district government. The regulations often reflect traditional tenure and conservation practices. Hunting with bows and arrows, but not firearms, is allowed; wildlife and timber may be collected, but not for sale; fires may be used for cooking and warmth, but not for hunting. No permanent houses or garden may be established within the reserve. Rules were much stricter for non-Hatam, who were not allowed to make temporary shelters, hunt or collect in the reserve. The landowners themselves provided a guard force to ensure the rules were observed in the areas under their jurisdiction. Infringements of the rules were reported to the village committees; the sanctions applied have included warnings, fines, confiscation of bows and arrows, and moving people out of the reserve (Mandosir and Stark 1993). The involvement of the landowners in protecting the reserve resulted in an effective and low-cost system of guarding its resources, ensuring local support and continuity. Part of the management strategy was to bring economic advantages to the Hatam through sustainable use of the wildlife resources. The most profitable of these resources have proved to be the different species of birdwing butterflies (Ornithoptera spp.). There had been a long history of collection of butterflies and their pupae from the forests and sales to private dealers; the butterfly population had declined as a result of the overexploitation while the villagers had received only a small proportion of the income derived from the sale overseas. When the reserve was established, collecting was forbidden within its borders, but the villagers were encouraged to start butterfly gardens on their land within the buffer zone, where vines (Aristolochia and Rhododendrum spp.) were planted as the main food of the butterfly. The insects and pupae were brought to collection points then transported to the nearby town of Manokwari, from where they are marketed and exported through a local NGO, Yayasan Bina Lestari Bumi Cenderawasih. Because birdwing butterflies are listed as endangered by CITES, the export has required specific certification. By 1996 butterfly exports earned approximately US$100,000 and domestic sales were valued at Rp25 million. More than 1400 butterfly farmers from nine villages were


Case studies

organized in registered groups, and butterfly sales were estimated to contribute half of the total cash income of the participating villages (Wells et al. 1999: 110). Another project that has established a linkage between conservation and development has been fish farming, where the need for unpolluted silt-free water from the rivers in the catchment area was closely linked with ensuring the forests remained on the steep slopes within the reserve. Other projects have been concerned with improving agriculture in the buffer zone; onions and leguminous crops such as peanuts have been introduced and pig-proof fences have been built to protect the gardens (ibid.). Passion fruit have also been introduced and assistance provided in processing them into syrup and for marketing. Many of the projects have been on a small scale; not all have been immediately successful, but they have helped to improve the livelihood of the Hatam and have generated local support for the conservation of the reserve. The Arfak model of participatory management involving landowners and providing economic incentives is one that has been adopted in other protected areas in Irian Jaya, such as the Cyclops Mountains nature reserve and the Wasur national park. In the next chapter we shall see how similar approaches have also featured in the establishment of wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea.

Conclusion In all the four protected areas discussed in this chapter, the local populations have received benefits from the development opportunities generated by the ICDPs, although a major concern of aid donors has been that these have not been closely enough linked with an understanding of associated conservation objectives and the ‘enhancement of protected area management’ (Wells et al. 1999: 41). The case studies examined would seem to indicate that development activities that are perceived as most closely dependent on conserving the environment are tourism (small-scale, not mass) and those dependent on using wild life resources on a sustainable basis. Bunaken, and to a lesser extent Gunung Leuser and Ujung Kulon, provide examples of tourism linked with conservation, while the Arfak Mountains show the economic benefits from careful wildlife resource management. The sustainability of the protected areas and ICDP programmes will depend on how successful they are in surviving the different threats they face. The most serious threat to almost all Indonesian terrestrial protected areas is the destruction of their forests as a result of logging (legal and illegal) and conversion to agriculture. Of the case studies, the Leuser Ecosystem has been the most affected by these ongoing processes, which have been aggravated by the building of roads through the area and incursions by settlers from transmigration schemes and refugees from the disturbances in Aceh. To a lesser extent Ujung Kulon has also suffered from illegal logging and forest clearing, and here too the construction of roads to the park boundaries has been a

Integrating conservation and development: Indonesia 127 contributory factor. Other threats are the subsistence and illegal commercial hunting of endangered species or, in the case of Bunaken, illegal fishing methods. In all the protected areas there is a shortage of field staff to prevent illegal logging and poaching, but village committees have proved effective in enforcing management regulations in the Arfak Mountains. In addition to obtaining support from local people, the experience in Bunaken and Leuser indicates the need for co-ordination with provincial authorities in the protection of marine and forest resources.


Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea

Land tenure Papua New Guinea comprises the eastern part of the great island of New Guinea together with the Bismarck and Louisiade archipelagos, a total land area of 462,840 square kilometres. It has a wide variety of ecosystems ranging from extensive areas of offshore coral reefs and coastal swamps to central highlands reaching up to a height of 4,350 metres. The population is over five million (5.13 million at the time of the 2000 Census, with an annual growth rate of 3.1 per cent) and shows great ethnic and cultural diversity, with over 750 different languages being spoken. Fragmentation into isolated communities based on villages or kinship groups has resulted in the wantok (one language), system in which individuals have strong loyalties, relationships and obligations to members of the group. Conversely it may lead to antagonism to outsiders even if they come from a neighbouring valley or island, making government and the promotion of national unity difficult. The geographical and social fragmentation finds its expression in the land tenure. An estimated 97 per cent of the land is still held under customary tenure but the systems vary, with matrilineal inheritance important in many areas, especially in the Bismarck Archipelago among the Tolai and the people of the island of Bougainville. Rights to land are based on membership of the clan or kinship group, communal controls are strong and land cannot be transferred permanently outside the group. In a few societies, such as the Mekeo and the Trobriand Islanders, authority over land was exercised by chiefs; elsewhere it lay with elders often referred to as land controllers, but generally decisions depended on consensus approval by the whole group. The different groups identify strongly with their land and rights are defended fiercely; there are frequent disputes with neighbouring landowners and between customary landowners and the government or other outside organizations. During the colonial period there was some alienation of land from the customary system. These early land transactions were often characterized by mutual misunderstanding of the nature of landownership, boundaries and transfers (Sack 1973). For the New Guineans, the concept of land as

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


something that could be permanently transferred was often incomprehensible; they regarded the dealings as being of a similar temporary nature to loans under the customary system. In addition, the Europeans often found it difficult to find their way through the maze of rights and relationships in order to identify the actual landowners. This often resulted in the wrong people being paid, and this together with the fact that these payments were often in trade goods such as axes, tobacco, red cloth and beads, with a value that had little relation with later land prices, were reasons why these early purchases were frequently disputed at a later date. The colonial administrations in both German New Guinea and Papua attempted to regulate land acquisitions by instituting policies requiring that all land dealings should be through the government, which would then grant leases or freehold titles to expatriate interests. As elsewhere, the administrations also acquired land that they claimed to be ‘waste and vacant’ or ownerless. By the time of self-government in 1973 it was estimated that about 1.4 million hectares of land had been alienated (Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters (CILM) 1973); 500,000 hectares was held under government leases or freehold titles registered under the Torrens System, the remainder was held by government. Although the alienated land was only a relatively small proportion of the country’s total land area, it did represent some of the most accessible and productive land in both the coastal regions and the Highlands; it was also often in areas where indigenous pressure on land was greatest (Eaton 1982). When Papua New Guinea became self-governing and then fully independent in 1975, land problems proved to be among the most contentious issues in development policy. Customary tenure had provided security to the rural communities, established a basis for their resource management and supplied a framework for food production in the subsistence economies; it was, however, less suited to growing perennial cash crops and to investment in other improvements of land. The communal nature of landownership together with the lack of documentation and absence of surveyed boundaries made it difficult to use land as a security for loans, limited transactions in land and prevented its mobilization for development. It was also very difficult for government to acquire land and existing state land was often under dispute. Efforts at tenure conversion and the registration of customary land titles both before and after independence have generally proved unsuccessful (CILM 1973; Eaton 1985a). However, a policy of groups leasing land to government and then leasing it back has provided the organization and security needed for establishing agricultural projects, and has been successful in establishing coffee and cocoa plantations (Hulme 1983). This strategy has some similarities with the land consolidation schemes described in Chapter 6 and, as in Sarawak, land settlement schemes have provided a means for farmers to obtain land titles, credit and other forms of government assistance. A plantation redistribution scheme enabled landowning groups to acquire plantations that had been owned by foreigners (Eaton 1983a). This attempt at


Case studies

land reform had been one of the recommendations of a Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters, which had declared that ‘land policy should be an evolution from a customary base’ (CILM 1973). This was also the principle underlying their recommendations for land dispute settlement on customary land, which proposed a three-tier system of mediation, arbitration and appeal. This system was implemented in 1975 and provided for mediators appointed from local people with special knowledge of land tenure, whose task was to try to get disputing parties to come to an agreement. If this failed the case was heard at a local land court consisting of a magistrate and two to four mediators. This represented an attempt to settle cases at local level, away from the over-legalistic environment of the law courts; it has had success in some areas, although decisions were not always enforced and many cases remained unresolved (Eaton 1983b).

Traditional conservation Of all the countries in the region, wildlife plays the most significant role in the life of the nation. In rural areas they provide an important source of food in a diet that would be otherwise lacking in protein. Their skins, teeth, feathers and shells are often a feature of clothing and decoration, especially at times of festivals. They also play an important part in traditional exchanges and the payment of bride prices. In the past, shells were the often the main media of exchange and today give their name to the modern currency, the kina. Parts of animals, in particular bones, claws and antlers, can be converted into tools and weapons. Lizard skins are used in making drums and conch shells are blown to send messages. Traditionally, wildlife has had symbolic significance and provided the substance of many legends and stories of the origins of people and their relationship to their land. They form the totems of lineage groups and determine relationships and marriage partners. More modern forms of symbolism are the bird of paradise that forms the national emblem and is found on the country’s crest and flag, and the pictures of wildlife found on postage stamps and currency. It has also proved possible to farm species such as crocodiles and butterflies to provide a valuable source of income. However, the value of wildlife has also often encouraged its over-exploitation, especially as new technologies became available and populations have become more mobile. Many species have also been affected by the destruction of their habitat. In one generation stone axes have often been replaced by chain saws, just as shotguns have taken the place of bows and arrows. In the past traditional forms of resource management are credited with ensuring hunting and fishing remained sustainable (Morauta et al. 1982). The important question is how relevant these traditional practices have remained and how applicable they are to present resource problems. Traditional conservation has been closely associated with the customary tenure system. The concept of land being held in trust for future generations has often been the basis for responsible resource management practices. These

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


often discourage over-exploitation of wildlife; there are social controls over hunters who are too successful, for example in catching birds of paradise (Dyer 1982: 179), and hunters are encouraged to limit their catch to family needs (Pala Manugei, Marshall Lagoon pers. comm. 1986). There are also deterrents to killing too many animals in the beliefs that men who are frequent hunters are liable to fall sick or die. Scarce and localized resources are often protected; for example there are strict rules controlling the hunting of megapodes and preventing the destruction of bird of paradise display trees. There are also bans on methods of hunting and fishing that are too effective, such as the use of nets in catching birds and fish. There are often times when hunting and fishing are not allowed; these moratoria may be enforced during breeding seasons, when stock is low, before feasts or following deaths of village leaders. The Mikarew people of Bogia closed off areas by visiting it in a group, singing and blowing a sacred flute known as a kumurim. The boundaries were then marked with knots made from vegetation and the area was left undisturbed until stocks increased; if anybody trespassed in the area, the flutes were blown again and the villagers had to be compensated with traditional shell money (M. Ruarri pers. comm. 1986). Other areas were protected permanently; these were the sacred places and homes of the spirits (masalai), often the sites of cemeteries or old villages, or caves, swamps or lakes. Some ritual areas were open only to those who had been initiated, as in the case of the Tolai of East New Britain, or elders and those who were regarded as sorcerers. Many wildlife species were protected by taboos (tambu), sometimes these were animals associated with the genesis of a particular group and the first landowners, often these became totems of particular lineages and could not be killed or eaten by their members (Landtman 1927). Species protected as totems in different areas include eagles, cockatoos, wallabies, and monitor lizards. Other species were protected because they were regarded as ghosts or messengers from the spirit world; as in other parts of the region, owls often came into this category as did bats, pythons and other types of snake. In coastal areas dolphins were often protected because it was believed they looked after fishermen. Dugongs (one of the sources of the mermaid myth among sailors) were not hunted in some areas, such as Marshall Lagoon, because it was believed the spirits of women lived in them (Kilroy Genia pers. comm. 1986). Other taboos took the form of food avoidance, often because of the effect it was believed eating a particular species might have on children and pregnant women; for example eating crabs may result in children having deformed limbs, while in Yalu in the Markham valley it is believed that children who eat eels and flying foxes will age quickly (Kelly Naru pers. comm. 1986). There are many prohibitions on cutting down trees. These may be on steep slopes where there is a danger of soil erosion, or it may apply to particular species with value for house and canoe building, making garamut drums,


Case studies

manufacturing tapa cloth, or providing fruit and traditional medicines. Trees that are the habitat of particular species are also protected, as in the case of birds of paradise display trees. Trees around sources of water are also protected and customary rules also safeguard these sources from pollution; no houses, toilets or gardens may be established, and pigs are kept away. There are rules restricting the use of fires for hunting and clearing land; these must not be allowed to spread to other people’s land and in the Marshall Lagoon area fire breaks are made to contain fires in the dry season (Kilroy Genia pers. comm. 1986). In the past, taboos were used to guard many different resources. Those who infringed might face both supernatural and secular sanctions. Illness or death were often believed to result; offenders might be abused, beaten up or ostracized by the village community, or alternatively they might be forced to pay compensation to other members of the landowning group. Social and economic changes have tended to reduce the effectiveness of some taboos and sanctions, and to diminish the self-regulatory mechanisms of traditional environmental management. These changes have often been associated with the reduction of traditional authority, the introduction of the cash economy and the adoption of Christianity, although it is a feature of the duality of religious belief of Papua New Guineans that they may belong to a Christian church and still believe in spirits and taboos. However, traditional conservation practices and internal controls often still remain the most effective means of protecting increasingly scarce resources against over-exploitation, and the customary tenure system still serves as a bulwark in preventing depredations by outsiders. It is significant that customary landowners have often welcomed conservation measures that give them greater security of tenure and recognition of their rights. They have, however, often been opposed to the development of national parks on state land and the acquisition of land for this purpose.

National parks The first national parks were established by the Australian colonial administration in the years immediately before independence. Because they were established on state land, they tended to be relatively small in area with only limited potential for expansion. The first park was established by the Department of Forests to protect the forest of hoop and klinki pine (Auracaria spp.) in the Bulolo valley, an area already affected by commercial logging and gold mining. It was named the McAdam Park after the forester responsible for the original concept, and transferred to the control of the National Parks Board; it had an area of 2080 hectares. Another national park was established seven years later in 1969 at Varirata on the Sogeri Plateau, near the national capital of Port Moresby. At independence, the National Parks Board administered four smaller areas under various designations: the Baiyer River Sanctuary, Cape Wom International Memorial Park, Nanuk

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


Provincial Park, and Talele Nature Reserve. There were proposals for an extension of the network but both the existing parks and the proposals were to be plagued by land tenure problems. In the case of the McAdam Park, the land had originally been acquired by the colonial government because it was considered waste and vacant. When the park was being planned the Land Titles Commission indicated that no native rights were involved, and that the only land tenure problems were related to small-scale gold mining concessions along the alluvial sands and gravels in the valley bottom (Secretary for Law 1959). These problems were solved when the park boundary was moved a hundred metres from the river, although the boundary seems to have been ignored by mine workers who continued to make gardens just inside the park. After the park was established, further encroachments by neighbouring landowning groups occurred. At the time of self-government in 1973, much of the state land in the area was returned to the former landowning groups except for the park, for which a cash settlement would be made to landowners with claims to traditional and historical ownership of the land. This prospect of financial compensation stimulated a number of claims from groups who claimed they had once lived in the area. The Biangai, who now live further up the valley, argued that the presence of ginger and pandanus plants in the park indicated they once had villages and gardens there. Two other groups from the Watut valley to the west, the Manki and the Nauti, made counter claims that they had once hunted and made gardens in the park area, producing a skull as evidence they had once fought with the Bianggai over the area. After attempts at arbitration failed, a local land court decided that the compensation should be shared between the three groups (Beu 1978) but the payments were delayed and disputes continued. There has been little local support for the park and squatting within its boundaries remains a problem. Land disputes, lack of consensus agreement, communication difficulties, and uncertainty over procedures have continued to be a problem in creating new national parks either by purchasing or leasing the land from the landowners. A proposal to establish a national park around Lake Dakataua in the Willaumez Peninsula on the island of New Britain provides an example of these problems (Eaton 1985b). This is an area of volcanic activity and its spectacular features include a caldera lake, hot springs, mud flows, and dormant volcanoes; it has a variety of wildlife including crocodiles in the lake. The area itself is very sparsely inhabited, but it is situated in a region where there has been considerable economic growth and deforestation associated with oil palm and timber, and the park was suggested as a means of protecting the unique environment around the lake. Original proposals had also included Mount Bola to the south, but it had to be excluded when it was found that part of the mountain had already been subject to a timber rights purchase agreement. Investigations and consultation on the establishment of the park began in 1974 and a meeting was held between National Parks Board officers and


Case studies

landowners in Bulu Miri, the largest village in the area. As a result of this meeting, the leaders of three clans and nine sub-clans (lineage groups) agreed to lease their land to the government for a park. The next year the proposal for a park of 10,350 hectares was finalized and submitted to Cabinet for approval. However, at this stage, just when it seemed the park would be designated, a group of landowners started to protest against it, led by a local councillor who had been absent from the initial meeting. To explain the benefits the park would bring, the Minister for Environment and Conservation then visited the area and another meeting, attended by over a hundred people, was held at Bulu Miri. He left satisfied that all had agreed to the park. However, there still remained doubts among some of the landowners. Some of the questions raised had been whether they or the government would get entry fees to the park from visitors, whether their traditional hunting rights be allowed, how long their land would be alienated for, and whether the National Parks Board would construct a road from Talasea, the nearest town, to the park. Only a week after the meeting a group of eleven men visited the local provincial government office and expressed concern about their lack of understanding of the proposed park development. The National Parks Board was then asked to send officers to explain the proposal and its implications more fully. However, because of lack of staff and finances the Board was unable to meet this request at time, there was no follow-up and the proposal was eventually abandoned. It was to be revived again when it was listed as one of 27 new protected areas proposed under the country’s Tropical Forest Action Plan (World Bank 1990), but again this recommendation has yet to be implemented. The problems experienced over Lake Dakataua showed some of the difficulties government and park authorities had in their dealings with customary landowners; similar difficulties were experienced in attempts to acquire land for other parks, for example around Mount Wilhelm, the country’s highest mountain. There was the need to obtain general agreement to any transfer, a condition made difficult if members of the group were absent from early consultations; obstacles were often caused by dissensions in the groups, with members often having their own political agenda. In addition, the landowners often have difficulty in understanding the implications of park development. A landowner may support the park if he perceives it to be bringing economic advantages in the form of cash payments for the lease or purchase if the land, income from tourists, and roads and other services, but generally is reluctant to part with any rights over the land. If any other types of development, such as a timber project, seem to offer greater monetary rewards, then many rural people in poor areas may prefer this option. In addition, although the Papua New Guinea government showed a great deal of concern for conservation in the early years of independence by creating a Minister and Office of Environment and Conservation, introducing a package of environmental laws and calling in the fourth national goal of

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


its constitution for the country’s ‘natural resources and environment to be conserved used for the collective benefit of us all, and be replenished for future generations’ (PNG Constitution 1975), in practice national parks never had very high priority and suffered from financial constraints, shortages of staff and managerial problems. Although a number of smaller reserves were established, together with parks in the Jimi Valley and, eventually, Mount Wilhelm, the total area under national parks remained relatively small. In addition, many suffered from severe law and order problems and consequently had very few visitors (WWF and DEC 1992).

Wildlife management areas Wildlife management areas differ from national parks in that they are established on customary land with the consent of the landowners (Figure 9.1). The legal basis for such areas is Part VI of the country’s Fauna (Protection and Control) Act, which provides for their declaration by notification in the National Gazette, the formation of wildlife management committees, and the making of rules for the protection and harvesting of wildlife. The initiative to establish a wildlife management area usually comes from the landowners when they are worried that important species of wildlife are becoming scarce. This may be because traditional controls are being ignored, for example by hunting of animals during their breeding system or by over-exploitation using more modern technologies such as firearms and nets made from synthetic fibres. Another grievance is hunting by outsiders, the definition of which may range from members of neighbouring clans to government officers and foreign tourists. These issues are discussed with government field officers, local government authorities and the Wildlife Division of the Department of Environment and Conservation. The concept of the wildlife management area is discussed, and if the landowners remain interested they can form a committee with village representatives, which decides on the boundaries and rules of the area. These rules are adapted to cater for local needs and vary between different areas. The procedure then requires approval by the Minister of Environment and Conservation, a legal boundaries description by the Department of Lands and preparation of the declaration by the government Legislative Counsel before its eventual publication in the National Gazette. These processes are sometimes rather lengthy and open to bureaucratic delays and bottlenecks, but for the landowners they have the great advantage of providing legal recognition of their land boundaries and of their rights to manage the resources within these boundaries. The first wildlife management area was established in 1975 in the extreme southwest of the country and known as Tonda. With an area of 590,000 hectares it is the largest, stretching inland for about fifty kilometres from the Torres Straits with the Indonesian frontier as its western boundary and the Mai Kussa river marking its eastern limits. The whole area is low and

Ranba WMA

Bagiai WMA


Maza WMA



Zo-Oimaga WMA

Varirata NP

Iomare WMA

McAdam NP

Oia-Mada Wa’a WMA Lake Lavu WMA Sawataetae WMA

Pokili WMA

Garu WMA

Lake Dakataua (proposed NP)

Pirung WMA

Lihir Island WMA

Figure 9.1 Wildlife management areas and National Parks in Papua New Guinea. Source: Papua New Guinea Department of Environment and Conservation.

Tonda WMA

Neiru WMA

Mt Kaindi WMA

Mt Wilhem NP Naserang WMA Siwi-Utame WMA

Jimi Valley NP

Mojirau WMA

Ndrolowa WMA


Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


flat, rarely rising over twenty metres above sea level. It contains extensive areas of swamplands and during the wet season from November to March parts of the region are inundated by floodwaters. The characteristic vegetation of region is savanna grassland, with a coastal fringe of mangroves, and further inland melaleuca forest, mixed woodlands and isolated pandanus palms. The area is rich in wildlife: agile wallaby (Macropus agilis) abound and there are several species of smaller marsupials; large numbers of rusa deer (Cervus timorensis rusa) have migrated into the area from Indonesia; both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles are found; fish are plentiful in the rivers and swamps, especially the barramundi (Lates calcifer), a large species of perch. There is a spectacular variety of wetland birds, many of them seasonal migrants from Australia The whole area is very sparsely inhabited; in 1990 the population was estimated at 1,600 (Roggeri 1995: 144) living in thirteen villages in or on the boundaries of the area. The population is mobile and villages may be abandoned and moved to other locations (Eaton 1986: 11). Vegetables, yams, taro, and sweet potatoes are cultivated on the fertile alluvium along the river banks during the dry season, but otherwise soils are generally poorly drained, acidic and infertile; land use surveys (Bleeker ad Paijmans 1971) have indicated that most of the area is unsuitable for agriculture or forestry. Hunting plays an important role in the subsistence economy. Wallabies, wild pigs, cassowaries, and other animals are hunted by traditional methods using bows and arrows, snares, spears, and dogs. Fish provide another source of food, as do megapode and freshwater turtle eggs. Initially, the people were unwilling to eat deer as it was not part of the traditional diet, but venison is now become increasingly popular and has also been sold to various meatprocessing projects. Wildlife has many other uses: bird plumes are used for decoration, skins of monitor lizards are used in making drums, and crocodile skins can be sold to dealers. There have also been crocodile farms in some villages, where young are reared until maturity; young cassowary are also reared and have been airlifted to the Highlands, where they are in great demand for food at weddings and other ceremonies (Eaton 1986: 12). Although there have been several attempts at deer farming, the most lasting commercial enterprise has been the Bensbach Wildlife Lodge, which provides accommodation and organizes hunting and fishing for tourists. It was in fact local concern over hunting by outsiders that prompted the establishment of the wildlife management area. The main aims were to protect customary hunting and land rights, to control hunting by tourists through a system of quotas and to obtain income from royalties on game killed. The rules formulated by the management committee restricted hunting by outsiders to deer and duck, required hunters to hold a licence and be accompanied by a guide who was a customary landowner, and banned hunting in certain areas and from vehicles or boats. The number of deer or duck killed was limited to a maximum of five; royalties were charged on a sliding scale for deer killed and per head for duck. Fishing also required a


Case studies

licence, royalties were charged on the weight of fish caught and the rules included a ban on the use of nets. Half of the royalties collected are paid to owners of the land where the hunting and fishing takes place. To some extent this represents an individualization of land tenure, as hunting rights tend to be communal in the group territory. In an area where there is little population pressure and land disputes are rare, it is interesting that controversy over royalties has been the cause of disputes that have eventually needed to be settled by mediation (Eaton 1986: 13). Not all the population benefits from the individual royalty payments, which are distributed unevenly among the different villages of the area. However, the other half of the royalties and the licence fees are used to benefit the welfare and development of the whole area and have been paid into a bank trust account. Generally the establishment of the management area has been successful in bringing some income into a relatively poor area, and hunting and fishing by tourists has not led to any depletion of wildlife. The impact of villagers’ hunting has been limited by the low population densities and the traditional methods used; other customary restraints are certain food avoidance taboos, as elsewhere mainly applied to pregnant women. Wildlife species concerned vary between different villages but include crocodiles, pythons and cuscus. The area does however face certain external threats. Villagers complain that government officers from the nearby administrative centre of Morehead are hunting in the area without a licence. The proximity of Indonesia causes problems of poaching, illegal netting of barramundi and the smuggling of crocodile skins; West Papuan rebel activities in the past have threatened to spill over the border, as have refugees and those displaced by transmigration. There has also been occasional friction between management of the lodge and the villagers. One cause of conflict has been the landing of light planes on the grasslands: the villagers complained this was an infringement of their territorial rights and disturbed the wildlife. In 1981 this resentment flared up in an incident when plane tyres were slashed and equipment damaged; in the resulting court action 21 men were prosecuted and fined (Brumley pers. comm. 1983). On another occasion the lodge manager was involved in a shooting incident that resulted in the killing of one of the villagers (WWF and DEC 1992). Effective management of the area has been made difficult by the fact that members of the committee come from villages scattered over a wide area where travel is generally on foot or by canoe. Meetings tend to be infrequent and attendance is difficult. In addition, cuts in government expenditure in the 1980s caused a reduction in government support and in the presence of wildlife rangers. However, in 1993 the area was designated as the country’s first Ramsar site, and it has since benefited from international assistance through the national Tropical Forest Action Plan and from WWF. There has been increased co-operation with the Wasur national park in Indonesia and the two areas, together with the adjacent Maza marine wildlife management

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


area, were designated as an international trans-boundary conservation area (Sandwith et al. 1991). The Maza wildlife management area is an area of 184,230 hectares of sea and coral reefs off the coast to the east of Tonda. It was established in 1979 to protect the dugong, whose numbers had been declining. The dugong is one of the traditional foods of the local Kiwai people, but in 1976 was included in the list of species protected under the Fauna (Protection and Control) Act. This meant that it could be hunted only by traditional methods for subsistence purposes. After a Kiwai man was prosecuted for selling dugong meat in the market at Daru, the provincial capital, there was considerable local pressure to allow such sales to be exempted from the act. The government gave into this pressure on condition that attempts were made to control dugong hunting. The wildlife management area was established for this purpose. The rules that were eventually agreed stated that dugong can be caught with traditional hand-harpoon methods from canoes, nets cannot be used, efforts must be made not to catch mother or baby dugong, only one dugong at a time with a minimum length of 2.4 metres may be sold, and a royalty is charged for each animal sold. Later, marine turtles were also included and subject to similar rules. Initially, these rules seemed to have been effective in arresting the decline of dugong and turtles, but after several years the management committee ceased to operate, rules were infringed by both local fishermen and commercial operators, nets became widely used, no record was kept of sales, and royalties remained uncollected. The management area still remains as a legal entity, but enforcement in a marine area without boats and other equipment has proved difficult. Without increased government support and an increase in awareness it is unlikely to be effective in conserving resources or improving the livelihoods of the people dependent on them. Other wildlife management areas proved more effective. In the Siwi–Utame area in the Southern Highlands the Kawabi villagers drew up rules protecting birds of paradise and other fauna. There were restrictions on the use of shotguns, slings, metal traps, bows and arrows, and dogs within the area. The rules were enforced and offenders were published in the village courts. An information centre was established and cassowaries were reared for sale, being especially important for bride prices. At Mojirau in the East Sepik province no hunting with shotguns or dogs is allowed in the management area, and only traditional methods may be used in a buffer zone around it. The committee also established a small zoo to which visitors were charged an entry fee. Wildlife rangers gave active support to the area activities and both they and the landowners agree that wildlife numbers increased after the establishment of the area (Eaton 1986: 34–5). Two other areas, Garu and Pokili on the island of New Britain, were established to manage the harvesting of megapode eggs; these areas were both in places with hot springs where the thermal activity warmed and incubated the eggs after they had been laid in burrows. In both cases, the landowners were concerned by the threat of nearby logging operations extending into


Case studies

the nesting areas, because harvests were already decreasing as a result of collecting by outsiders and also because members of the landowning group themselves were not observing the traditional controls on egg-gathering. When the management areas were established the rules restricted egggathering rights to those with traditional harvesting rights, forbade the hunting of adult birds, and to protect the megapode habitat stated that the nesting burrows should not be disturbed, dogs were not to be allowed in the areas and felling of trees was prohibited. In addition, in an effort to make gathering sustainable, in Garu egg gathering was allowed only on Tuesdays and Thursdays and limited to a maximum of eighty eggs per individual. In both areas these rules are supported by the landowners, and a small number of offenders have been fined. A study of Pokili (King 1990) indicated that committee members often found it difficult to enforce rules where relatives and neighbours were concerned and would prefer the task to be undertaken by government officers from outside the community. Two other wildlife management areas are found on volcanic islands off the northern coast of New Guinea. Bagiai is located on Karkar Island, which is dominated by a volcano 1840 metres high with a crater over three kilometres wide. The volcano is still active and in 1979 an eruption killed the chief government volcanologist and his assistant who were camped on the rim of the crater. Not surprisingly, the volcano and its crater are regarded as a sacred place and the home of the spirits (ples masalai), and there are taboos against hunting there and destroying vegetation. In other parts of the island there are often moratoria on hunting and fishing; generally these activities are only completely unrestricted during the festive Christmas season. In addition, in individual villages there are periods of two or three weeks when no fishing, hunting or farming is allowed following the death of one of its inhabitants. The main initiative for establishing the wildlife management area came when the Local Government Council wrote to the Minister of Environment and Conservation expressing their concern over the number of shotguns on the island and the growing scarcity of wildlife. In later discussions, other problems mentioned were over-fishing and soil erosion due to destruction of vegetation. It was decided that an area of 13,760 hectares, a little over 40 per cent of the island, should be declared a wildlife management area. This included the east coast and mountainous interior, but not the more fertile areas in the west where most of the villages, gardens and plantations were located. Two small offshore islands that were important as nesting places for sea birds and for fish, turtles and dugong were also included; later it was decided to add the whole coastline and reefs around the island up to a distance of two kilometres from the shore. The rules of the area prohibited the use of firearms except by a landowner killing kites attacking poultry or wild pigs on his own land; this was later extended to cover fruit bats destroying cocoa pods. Otherwise, traditional methods of hunting had to be used and then only if those involved had customary rights. In the case of fishing, commercially

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


manufactured nets could not be used, nor could hurricane or kerosene lamps for attracting fish at night. In subsequent meetings it was decided to expand the management committee and have separate village committees; there was also discussion of the possibility of including the whole island in the management area. All villagers, including women, were encouraged to attend meetings (pers. obs.). In the early stages several people were prosecuted for breaking the wildlife management area rules, but as elsewhere, there has been concern about enforcement and complaints that magistrates, court officials and other government servants do not know or understand the provisions of the Fauna (Protection and Control) Act (Eaton 1986: 30). The volcano is included in the management area and visitors require local permission to climb it, partly because of fear of accidents. Many landowners favour greater restrictions because they fear that if traditional rules on disturbing wildlife and vegetation are broken, this will disturb the spirits and cause eruptions. Others, however, favour limited access as a means of encouraging tourists, who are regarded as a potential source of income. Karkar Island has been suggested as possible World Heritage site, as has Long Island further down the coast (IUCN 1985: 48). The main feature of Long Island is a large central caldera lake formed by an immense volcanic explosion, which legends and geology suggest was some time in the seventeenth century. There is still volcanic activity, and cones and craters form a small island in the lake. The eruption that created the caldera is thought to have killed all the population of the island, but it was gradually resettled from the mainland and neighbouring islands. There are now approximately a thousand people living in five villages around the coast; there is no permanent settlement in the interior., and no group claims exclusive farming or hunting rights there. The people live mainly from agriculture growing taro, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas, and coconuts. Hunting is carried out using spears and dogs, with wild pig and cuscus being important sources of food; megapode eggs are sometimes collected and fishing is carried out from canoes using hooks and lines. An interesting use of wildlife personally observed was a captive osprey being reared to catch fish (Eaton 1986: 23). Women use simple drills to make holes in cuscus teeth and fruit bat teeth to make necklaces. Conch shells are used to summon villagers to meetings, and other shells are collected for sale on the mainland. Green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles breed on the beaches around the island, especially on its western side. The turtles and their eggs are important as sources of food and income, and it was concern about their declining numbers that led to the establishment of the wildlife management area. The management area is called Ranba and includes the whole island. In addition, the caldera and the nearby small uninhabited Crown Island have been declared sanctuaries where, under the Fauna (Protection and Control) Act, all animals are to be protected. A management committee with representatives from each of the five villages has been formed and rules made that prohibit the use of shotguns and restrict hunting by other methods to


Case studies

those with customary rights in the relevant part of the island. This also applies to the killing of turtles, with other rules stating that they should not be killed or sold during the three breeding months from May to July. Other rules state that before sale turtles must be measured and stipulate the prices depending on their length. Discussion with the islanders (Eaton 1986: 24–5) showed that most supported the rules, especially as a means of maintaining important resources and regularizing the turtle trade. The ban on firearms was being observed, although some villagers would have liked permission to shoot wild pigs raiding their taro gardens. Opposition to the management area and complaints regarding infringement of the rules seemed often to be related to local rivalries and jealousies, both between villages and different factions within a village. The isolation of the island also made it difficult to obtain support in enforcement from officials on the mainland. In Ranba, as in many other wildlife management areas there appeared to have been more enthusiasm for conservation in the early years, but this had diminished in the face of apathy from management committee members and from the government departments that had provided help in the establishment of the areas. There is also a feeling that the development of the areas has not resulted in the increases in income and services that were anticipated, and were associated with other types of natural resource use such as logging or mining. Nevertheless, there is recognition that the decline in wildlife has been arrested and that a regulatory framework has been provided for controlling its utilization, even if it is not always enforced. Above all, in a land tenure system that still lacks an effective mechanism for the registration of customary titles, the wildlife management areas provide legal support for customary rights against threats from outside. For this reason, they have remained popular with landowners and new areas are still being established. By 1997 there were fifteen wildlife management areas with a combined total area of 9,333 square kilometres (WCMC 1997), while the three national parks occupied only 73 square kilometres. There has also been renewed government and international support for wildlife management areas through the Tropical Forest Action Plan. The increase in the number of university graduates and the related growth of domestic NGOs has often helped to provide the leadership and expertise that was often needed. International NGOs have served to provide new stimuli and additional funds. Protected areas have also been able to obtain assistance through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Global Environmental Fund sponsored Biodiversity Programme. Integrated Conservation and Development (ICAD) project areas have been established, based partly on the wildlife management area concept. An early ICAD pilot project at Lek in New Ireland was not very successful, lost support and was abandoned because of local political divisions and the rival attractions of a timber project (McCallum and Sekhran 1997), but other ICAD areas were started in Collingwood Bay, Kikori and Bismarck–Raru (SPREP 1998).

Wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea


The extent to which wildlife management areas can serve as a model for conservation elsewhere is doubtful. In many ways their successes and failures mirror those of Papua New Guinean society as a whole. They are based on the strong attachment people feel for their land and concern to maintain important wildlife resources; their rules draw upon traditional beliefs and the avoidance of over-exploitation by non-traditional methods. On the other hand they suffer from problems of law enforcement, there are often rivalries and dissensions between different groups that make co-operation difficult, and there is often a lack of communication between government and the people in the villages. For wildlife management areas and other forms of conservation to remain sustainable, there is a need for them to be perceived as dynamic rather than static, part of a continuous process that reinforces environmental awareness and sustains and improves rural livelihoods.

Part IV


10 Land policies and conservation

Conservation and development In the earlier chapters of this book we examined the relationships between land tenure, conservation and development. In Southeast Asia, as in many other parts of the third world, much of the economic development has been based on natural resources and if it is to be sustainable there is a need for these resources to be conserved. This is the message that has been reiterated at the global conferences on environment and development in 1992 and 2002; it has also provided the basis for key international documents such as The World Conservation Strategy (IUCN 1980), Our Common Future (WCED 1987) and Agenda 21 (UNCED 1992). Perceptions of development have also changed, from the concept of economic growth measured in changes and differences in national income or gross domestic product to the use of other indicators that take into account general well-being, such as figures for average life expectancy, infant mortality and literacy. There has also been a growing concern with equity and meeting the basic needs of the poorer sections of the population, those who have become marginalized by social and economic change, who live on the peripheries of the new nation states and are most immediately dependent on the natural environment. These include the rural poor, women and children in many societies, and indigenous communities; all these have proved vulnerable to natural disasters, disease, war, civil strife, and the vicissitudes of the global economy. Perceptions of sustainability encompass social justice for these groups, redistribution of benefits and, in addition, inter-generation equity: ensuring that development ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED 1987: 43). In order to achieve these objectives the resource base must be conserved and its diversity preserved. When in 1980 the Brandt Report drew attention to the widening gap between the rich industrial counties in what it termed the North and the poorer countries of the South, it stressed that the attainment of basic development objectives in the latter were being threatened by the irreversible destruction of their ecosystems (Brandt 1980). Since this warning, the vicious cycle of environmental degradation and poverty has been increasingly difficult to break. Innovative



policies are needed to achieve this and these have provided the rationale for many of the more successful case studies described in this book. In Chapter 2 we saw how the first national parks were developed in the United States, where large tracts of public land were still available and in need of protection from the burgeoning economic growth that accompanied the westward advance of white settlement. Similar situations occurred in countries such as Australia and Canada, although the declarations of public land often ignored indigenous rights and claims that were to be revived later. Here, as in tropical colonies of European powers, the establishment of parks and reserves often meant the exclusion or resettlement of local populations. When these countries became independent, these policies were continued in the initial stages of self-government, but increases in rural population and the emergence of new economic elites demanding more land and natural resources meant that protected areas came under new pressures. In these situations, conservation needed to demonstrate that it could bring economic advantages, both at local and national levels. For some countries, Kenya and Costa Rica have been cited earlier, tourism brought these advantages, while in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brunei, certain parks have been a major attraction for both local and overseas visitors. In the case studies we have examined, tourism appears to have brought the most economic benefits to local people in Palawan, Sarawak and parts of Indonesia; in Sabah, Kinabalu and the marine parks have also attracted large numbers of visitors. Elsewhere, especially in Kalimantan, the relative inaccessibility of many protected areas means that tourism is not yet a significant source of income. Law and order problems have also discouraged overseas tourists, especially in Papua New Guinea and parts of Indonesia and the Philippines. Periodic fires and haze have also deterred visitors and made travel difficult, particularly in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. In addition to tourism, there are the economic benefits that come from different uses of local resources, ensuring that their development is on a sustainable basis and that the rewards go to local people and the people living on the land. These have been major objectives of the wildlife management areas in Papua New Guinea, and of attempts to link development with conservation in many Indonesian parks. Development activities associated with conservation have included agro-forestry, the collection of non-timber forest products, and the farming of wildlife such as butterflies, crocodiles and cassowaries. Efforts to manage resources to ensure they continue to bring long-term benefits include the regulation of hunting and fishing methods, and the use of quotas, closed seasons and sanctuaries to limit catches. There are also controls on the collection of particular valuable localized resources such as cave swiftlet nests and the eggs of turtles and megapodes. Other environmental assets do not bring in direct income but it has proved possible to analyse and estimate the economic benefits they bring. The total economic values have been analysed and estimated for tropical rainforests, wetlands and protected areas (Barbier 1991; Dixon and Sherman 1990). For

Conclusion: land policies and conservation


protected areas these may include recreational, education and research uses, the environmental services such as watershed protection, the prevention of soil erosion and flooding, climate regulation and carbon fixing and the provision of a pool for genetic resources. There are also the option values, maintaining areas and species for possible future use, and existence values, the satisfaction from knowing that environments and species are being preserved. Different techniques can be applied to estimating these values. Those of relevance to protected areas and tropical rainforests include calculations based on the market values of products or services, or if these are not known, surrogate values; differences in productivity as a result of environmental changes; defensive expenditure that may be necessary as a result of environmental degradation; replacement costs and shadow projects that may be needed in place of environmental services; travel costs incurred in visiting a national park or other place of environmental interest; and contingent valuation, the amount people say they are willing to pay or receive in compensation for the preservation or loss of environmental values (Pearce et al. 1989). In Chapter 3 we saw how techniques based on productivity and defensive expenditures were applied to attempts to assess the costs of the widespread damage caused by the1997–8 fires and haze in Southeast Asia, while in the case study of Bunaken in Chapter 8 the travel cost method and contingent valuation were used to assess the value visitors placed on the park. Elsewhere, environmental valuation has often provided powerful arguments for conservation and protected areas, as opposed to other forms of land use. A calculation of travel costs of visitors to the Monte Verde reserve in Costa Rica (Tobias and Mendelsohn 1991) valued the reserve at US$1250 a hectare, supporting proposals to purchase more land. In Amboseli it has been estimated that each live lion is worth US$27,000 in tourist earnings (Western 1984). A comparison of productivity from different types of land use in the Amazonian forests of Peru (Peters et al. 1989) showed that the economic benefits from harvesting non-timber products and wild rubber from the existing forests were much greater than those from commercial logging and conversion to cattle ranching. The value of forests for watershed protection, ensuring the quantity and quality of water supply and preventing flooding, has been a major reason for establishing national parks and reserves, especially in upland areas. Examples are the Crocker Range and Bukit Tawau parks in Sabah, protection forests in Indonesia and Malaysia, and watershed reserves in the Philippines. In Sulawesi the preservation of forests in the Bogani Nani Wartabone park (formerly known as the Dumoga–Bone park) has helped to ensure the continuous supply of water for nearby large-scale irrigation projects, providing linkages with the regional economy that have helped to maintain provincial government support for the park (Wells et al. 1992). Although the communities living in and around protected areas may be able to take advantage of some of the environmental benefits, a major problem



and potential source of conflict is that frequently these benefits accrue to people well away from the park, often downriver in the case of water catchment areas, while those living nearer appear to gain very little and may have had to sacrifice the financial rewards from other possible land use options. For these reasons it may be necessary to promote and support development projects as a form of compensation, hoping that local communities will be aware of the linkages between these activities and conservation. Some of these projects may aim at improving the productivity of local farming, as in the Arfak Mountains. Others aim to promote the processing and marketing of local products, such as wild honey, beeswax and fish skins at Danau Sentarum. The development and sale of local handicrafts, such as mats and baskets from rattans, provides another possibility for earning income and is often closely linked to tourism. Other types of development are associated with the provision of services. We have seen how the supplying of piped water to villages around the Ujung Kulon park provided an incentive to protect the forests of the Honje Range, which was the source of the water supplies. Clinics and schools are other services that may help to integrate social development. Schools can be used for environmental education, and family planning through clinics may help to reduce population pressure on resources. Roads are more controversial; they are likely to come fairly high on the wish lists of people living in isolated villages, giving them greater mobility and access to markets, and also encouraging tourism. On the other hand they also bring problems with them, as they facilitate intrusion by outsiders, poaching and illegal logging; a high proportion of fires also start near roads. The highways running through the Kutai and Gunung Leuser parks have resulted in forest clearance, temporary settlements and disturbance to wildlife. Increasing the accessibility of protected areas through the provision of roads remains one of the dilemmas that face attempts to combine development with conservation. In some situations it may be possible to provide roads to villages on the periphery but not into the parks or reserves themselves. This can often be facilitated by the use of water transport, as has been the case in the Ulu Temburong national park in Brunei. There it was decided not to extend the existing road into the park, but to restrict access to travel by longboat from the nearest Iban longhouse (Eaton and Noralinda 1995); this provided income for the boatmen and also gave greater control over entry into the park. Where roads are necessary to provide linkages with the local economy, it may be possible to mitigate some of their impacts by careful planning of their routes and construction, retaining as much vegetation as possible. Many development activities and services require close co-operation with local governments and the different administrative departments whose help and resources they often depend upon. This is often difficult, especially as these other parties often have their own agendas and limited sympathy for conservation. The hierarchical structures and rigid procedures of many ministries and departments often hinder innovations, especially those that come from the grassroots. Communication between officials and villagers is

Conclusion: land policies and conservation


often poor, hindered by distance, language and mutual suspicion. Government officials based in towns may be unwilling, or do not have the means, to travel to rural areas. Their contacts are often restricted to areas and people accessible by roads, local elites, projects such as land settlement schemes, and men rather than women (Chambers 1983). Attempts have been made to overcome some of the problems of government inertia and lack of co-operation between departments by the creation of umbrella or co-ordinating organizations. In Indonesia, the Leuser International Foundation has been the most comprehensive example of this type of body and involved representatives of different levels of government as well as local communities as well as the private sector. It was also successful in obtaining additional international support from the European Union. The establishment of the ‘Friends of Kutai’ in East Kalimantan is another case of private-sector involvement and assistance to a national park. In Palawan, the Palawan Strategic Environment Plan and Palawan Tropical Forestry Protection Programme represented efforts to co-ordinate conservation initiatives, although the national Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local governments often seem to have been in competition, especially in the case of the Subterranean River National Park. Not only has there been more participation by local organizations and communities in the management of protected areas, but NGOs, both domestic and international, have played an increasingly important role in conservation and development projects. In particular, WWF Indonesia has been active in promoting small-scale but effective efforts to encourage local communities to use and market their natural resources in the Leuser Ecosystem area in Sumatra, and the Arfak Mountains and other protected areas in Irian Jaya. NGOs have often helped to provide extension services and motivated field workers that under-staffed and urban-based government departments have been unable to supply. They have acted as facilitators and advisers to rural people, and, as in the Philippines, have often served as a channel for overseas funding. In addition to supplementing government activities, they have also helped local communities articulate their grievances and defend their legal rights in conflicts with government and commercial organizations. We began this chapter with the premise that conservation and development should be interdependent, but the experience in Southeast Asia of attempts to promote integrated conservation and development projects has been very mixed. It is not always clear to what extent they either enhance the protection of biodiversity or bring about lasting improvements in rural livelihoods. Many of the projects are dependent on donor-financing; when this is eventually removed the sustainability of the projects and their ability to be self-financing is often doubtful. The World Bank review of ICDP projects (Wells et al. 1999) takes a largely pessimistic view and concluded that ‘most of the attempts to enhance biodiversity conservation in Indonesia through ICDPS are unconvincing and unlikely to be successful under current



conditions’ (ibid.: 44). The review identified problems in project design, the limitations in the organization and operation of responsible government agencies, inadequate law enforcement, and broader constraints such as the general lack of conservation awareness and support for protected areas throughout Indonesian society. It recognized that ‘local communities are usually not the main problem facing PAs’ (ibid.: 35), but rather illegal logging, poaching and mining, which are usually organised and financed by outsiders. It also blames the threats that come from inappropriate forms of land use and poor planning in the regions around the protected areas. These problems have often been present in our case studies, both within Indonesia and the other countries of the region. Some of the problems have been addressed and efforts have been made to develop linkages, as at Leuser and Kutai, but elsewhere the outside world seems to present more threats than support to conservation in the protected areas and the livelihoods of those living in and around them. The presence of external influences means that it is difficult to define appropriate models for successful ICDPs that can be adopted and followed elsewhere. In a region as diverse as Southeast Asia, circumstances vary and conditions are constantly changing. However, we can identify elements that contribute to success. Many of these relate to the involvement of local communities in the planning and management of the protected areas. It is important that this should be a continuous process related to the every-day running of the areas, not just a token gesture of infrequent and poorly attended meetings. Community participation should include both the conservation and development aspects of ICDPs. Law enforcement and compliance have a greater chance of success if they incorporate traditional controls and the communities are fully involved in the formulation of rules and regulations. The case for local empowerment is a strong one, but it is also necessary to take into account its limitations. As we saw in some of the Papua New Guinean examples, traditional communities are often divided by longstanding rivalries and jealousies that make consensus agreement and united action difficult, although elsewhere traditional authorities remain strong. Rural communities are also accustomed to trends in administration that have given more power to central government and have often come to rely on these governments for instruction; reversal of these trends towards greater selfreliance and local development initiative requires adjustment and changes in attitude. In making this transition, the role of education and the development of local leadership are significant. Whereas in the past, ICDP projects have benefited from initiatives provided by overseas NGOs and aid agencies, in the future home-grown NGOs should become increasingly important in promoting environmental awareness and providing leadership. Other local institutions that need to be involved are schools and religious centres; for example we have seen how the Christian church played a leading role in the Arfak Mountains, and Islamic schools and mosques were used for conservation education in the Gunung Leuser area.

Conclusion: land policies and conservation


Land policies In earlier chapters we have examined some of the effects of land policies on different forms of land and resource use. We have also seen how different systems of land tenure were introduced by colonial powers, and how these influenced traditional tenure and often co-existed with it. Both colonialism and the development of independent nationstates resulted in many commonproperty resources, particularly the forests, coming under central government control. Land legislation was introduced that enabled the state to acquire land it regarded as ‘waste and vacant’ or ownerless, notwithstanding the territorial claims of indigenous groups. Furthermore, governments have assumed the right of ‘eminent domain’, giving them powers of compulsory acquisition when land was needed for what were termed public purposes. This principle of government control over land was already present in the hierarchical systems of many of the Malay sultanates, but it was to be more widely applied by the colonial powers, for example in the promulgation of the Regalian Doctrine in the Philippines, which gave all powers over land to the Spanish Crown, and has continued to be the basis of the policies of many of the independent states. For example, Article 33 of the Indonesian Constitution states: ‘Land and water and natural riches therein shall be controlled by the State and be made use of for the greater welfare of the people’. In practice, the governments of the region are often unwilling or unable to exercise their comprehensive powers over land and its use, as shown by the widespread clearing and illegal logging in state forests. These powers are, however, often exercised in dealings with the poorest and least powerful sections of the population, those whose livelihoods are dependent on their traditional rights to land. We have seen that the status of customary rights holders varies throughout the region. Their position is strongest in Papua New Guinea, where they own most of the land and customary law is fully recognized. In Indonesia adat law was recognized by the Dutch, first of all in the case of the Menangkabau in west Sumatra where it was described as Hak Ulayat, a term that was adopted to cover the traditional rules governing land–people relationships and later adopted throughout the archipelago. Communal rights of the ulayat groups were recognized in the Dutch colonial laws and in subsequent Indonesian legislation, but in practice were recognized only if they were in accordance with and not contradictory to government regulations and development programmes (Syamsuni 2000). Lack of codification, documentation and certificates of ownership has meant that traditional rights have not been upheld when they have been in conflict with commercial logging, transmigration and relocation projects (ibid.). In the Philippines, indigenous and communal rights were neglected by both the colonial and republic governments, in spite of their existence in many forest and upland areas. However, as has occurred in Palawan, they are now receiving increased recognition and protection through the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of



1997 and the issue of Certificates of Ancestral Domain Title. In Sarawak and Sabah, native customary rights are recognized, but can be extinguished when land is needed for forest reserves, logging concessions, oil palm estates, dams, and other development projects. In particular, it has proved difficult for communities, such as the Penans in Sarawak, to defend their rights to areas regarded as common property that are used for hunting and gathering of non-timber forest products. Registration of titles has been introduced into all the countries within the region and has helped to give landowners greater security of tenure and protection of their rights; it has also facilitated land dealings and investment in land. It has often reduced disputes, and for governments been a valuable aid in land administration, taxation and planning. Registration has, however, been mainly applied to land alienated from the customary systems or where it has been possible to individualize traditional tenure. National efforts to register all land, as provided for in the Indonesian Basic Agrarian Law of 1960 (MacAndrews 1986), have generally proved unsuccessful and incomplete, and in particular, attempts to register customary land have faced a number of difficulties. These are mainly related to the communal nature of these systems; given the different group members and types of rights involved, it is difficult to obtain consensus agreement and frequently there are competing claims that the registration process may aggravate, giving rise to violent disputes. Lack of documentation and marked boundaries make it difficult to define ownership and delimit the areas involved. There are also dangers for the customary landowners in the registration process: the fact that land may be mortgaged and sold increases the risks of losing it, leading to much of the rural population becoming landless and without means of subsistence. Legislation to introduce native rights registration in Sarawak has been associated with attempts to make customary land more available and marketable, and has not surprisingly been regarded with suspicion by many landowners, as have land consolidation schemes. There is also the danger that communal rights to and control over common property resources may be lost in the registration process. For these reasons a preferable option may be some form of group registration, where the landowning group can be easily defined. This was proposed by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters in Papua New Guinea although it was never implemented; however the Land Groups Act, originally introduced as part of the legislative package for the plantation redistribution scheme, has subsequently been used to give customary groups a legal entity for both development and conservation purposes. One method frequently successful in recording customary ownership has been community mapping. This has involved local participation, often assisted by local NGOs, in identifying boundaries and traditional land use zones. It is a practice that has been given greater accuracy by the use of GPS and GIS technologies. Community mapping has been used in the development of protected areas such as Kayan Mentarang and Danau

Conclusion: land policies and conservation


Sentarum, and also for both terrestrial and marine areas in the Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape in Palawan (ESSC 2003). In Sarawak it has been used to define community boundaries and protect customary rights, often providing important legal evidence when these are disputed. The use of communal mapping helped the Iban people of Rumah Nor win a landmark legal victory over the Borneo Paper and Pulp Company in the High Court of Sarawak in 2001 (Utasan Konsumer, July 2001). The company had been granted a licence by the Department of Land and Survey to clear an area including communal land for planting fast-growing tree species, but this was amended by the court to exclude the communal land. This ruling stated that the rights extended not only to areas farmed, but to all forests, rivers and streams within one half-day’s journey from a village or longhouse, unless limited by the borders of other villages. This ruling had significant implications for other groups with native customary rights claims, especially in cases that have also been supported by communal mapping. The state government responded by introducing a new Land Surveyors Bill, which stated that only surveyors licensed by the Board of Land Surveyors may map and certify land boundaries, in effect making community mapping illegal (World Rainforest Movement 2001). At the time of writing, the status of such mapping in Sarawak remains uncertain, but the case does show how effective it can be and is also indicative of the Sarawak government’s attitude to customary communal rights. Land registration is often seen as an important requirement for land reform. In the Basic Agrarian Law of 1960 in Indonesia it was associated with attempts at redistribution by fixing ceilings on the area of land that could be owned and restrictions on absentee landlords. However, after the coming to power of the New Order government in 1965–6, land policies became more concerned with increasing productivity rather than greater equity and social justice (MacAndrews 1986). Land settlement, largely though transmigration, was promoted, often with adverse impacts on the indigenous communities and the natural environments of the areas affected. In other countries of the region, land settlement policies were also implemented and brought about changes in tenure and land use, with greater emphasis on individual ownership and the growing of perennial cash crops. There have, however, been changes in the structure of such land development schemes with the establishment of large estates dedicated mainly to the growing of oil palm. The clearing of additional land for oil palm and tree plantations has often been the cause of conflict with traditional landowners; in periods of drought it has also resulted in widespread fires and air pollution. It is significant that efforts to prevent and control these fires have often been hindered by uncertainty over landownership and boundaries. Land policies for both development and conservation need to provide security of tenure and recognition and delineation of rights to manage resources. Doubt and lack of clarification concerning these rights is likely to lead to disputes and administrative vacillation; under these conditions,



where it becomes difficult to enforce controls and regulations, environmental degradation results. This applies to many situations: the boundaries and by-laws of protected areas, species protection, the conditions and limits of logging concessions, and the clearing of forest for agriculture. This requires a comprehensive information base of land tenure and land use practices: hence the importance of retrieving and recording traditional knowledge of the type described in Chapter 5 in the case study of Kayan Mentarang. Research of this type is essential for successful policy formulation and project planning. It is also necessary for the preservation of the cultural identity of groups whose traditions and lifestyles are closely tied to their land and natural environment. The recording and definition of customary rights is necessary if local communities are to continue to have a role in the management and protection of common property resources, in particular the forests where the establishment of state control has often led to concessions to outside commercial interests. Legal recognition of traditional rights should help to avoid incursions by loggers onto customary land and avoid the conflicts that have often resulted. It can also provide incentives for customary groups to include their land in protected areas, as has happened in some of the case studies in Palawan, Sarawak and Papua New Guinea.

Protected areas Both biological and cultural diversity are threatened by the trends and processes associated with globalization, in particular the destruction and conversion of the forests, the commoditization of land and wildlife resources, the promotion of large-scale production of commercial crops for the global market, and the increased movement and resettlement of populations. In our case studies we have seen how many of the problems faced by protected area authorities and by local communities attempting to safeguard their resources and livelihoods have been external ones, reflecting these global trends and the political economies of their respective countries. The success of conservation policies has varied. There have been widespread failures in implementation and enforcement, especially in those Indonesian national parks plagued by illegal logging and poaching; however, there have been other examples that provide more grounds for optimism especially in the development of different forms of community participation. There has been an increase in environmental awareness in the populations of Southeast Asia. This has been stimulated by the first-hand experience of the impacts of traumatic events, such as the thick pall of haze and air pollution that spread from the forest fires in 1997 and 1998, and villages being destroyed by floods and landslides caused by indiscriminate logging. The local media and NGOs have increasingly highlighted environmental problems and helped to give conservation a more important place on the public policy agenda. The spread of education throughout the region and the development of specific environmental training and awareness programmes have also helped to create

Conclusion: land policies and conservation


a population that is becoming more informed of the benefits of conservation. New technologies have provided tools for land use planning and for the identification of fires and deforested areas by remote sensing, and for communication and the spread of information through the internet. The declaration of national parks as World Heritage sites has often helped to strengthen popular support for and awareness of these areas, in addition to promoting tourism and international assistance. Often, as in the case of the Subterranean River National Park in Palawan, nominations for World Heritage status have also been associated with an extension of the park boundaries and an increase in the area conserved. Other international categories, such as biosphere reserves and Ramsar sites, have generally received less publicity and support but have been part of an international network facilitating research and co-operation. Biosphere reserves seems to incorporate many of the values and methodologies that have been suggested during this book as promoting sustainable development and preserving biodiversity, such as zoning systems that include traditional land use as well as core conservation areas. They also provide for the retrieval of traditional knowledge and for alternative and innovative forms of resource management. They have special relevance in protecting the lifestyles of particular indigenous groups, such as the Penans in Sarawak or Siberut in Sumatra. However, the formal application of the concept in Southeast Asia seems to have been only a mixed success: at times they have duplicated other forms of protected area management while in other cases, for example Tanjung Puting in Kalimantan, the reserves have had difficulty in fulfilling their conservation objectives. The Ramsar Convention has been valuable in directing attention to the importance of wetlands, especially in those areas of Southeast Asia where the mangrove and peat swamp forests have been under threat. Trans-boundary parks and reserves have attracted publicity and government support as a means of very tangible international cooperation. Chapter 4 discussed the possibilities of a large internationally protected area in central Borneo building on the existing Lanjak Entimau/Betung Kerihun TransBoundary Biodiversity Conservation Area and the potential for linkages between other parks on either side of the Indonesian Malaysian boundary; there are similar opportunities for co-operation in the other large politically divided island, New Guinea. Marine areas offer further opportunities for cooperation, as in the case of the Turtle Islands between Sabah and the Philippines. A further development could be the declaration of an international protected area in the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea. At present sovereignty over these islands and their territorial seas is bitterly contested between the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China, all attracted by the strategic value of the area and its marine resources. The establishment of an international conservation regime would represent a peaceful solution to a long-standing problem. The last quarter of the twentieth century was a period when protected area coverage in the islands of Southeast Asia increased dramatically. In



Indonesia alone the proportion of land protected more than doubled, from 5.3 per cent in 1981 (Sumardja et al. 1984) to 11.8 per cent in 1997 (McNeely 2000), while in the Philippines the establishment of the National Integrated Protected Areas system resulted in an increase from a total of 93 to 209 protected areas (Sumardja 2000). During this period there has been considerable investment in protected areas and innovations in legislation and management, many of which have been aimed at increasing local community participation. However, although these developments have often been successful locally, they have not been able to prevent a general loss in biodiversity and impoverishment of the natural environment in the region as a whole. There remain gaps in the protected area network, in particular in the coverage of wetlands and the marine environment, but the capacity of the national and state governments to acquire or manage more land specifically for national parks and other types of reserves is limited. In the future, land use and conservation planning must incorporate both protected areas and the regions outside them. Within this framework, local communities will need to be given more responsibility for the stewardship of resources. Ultimately they should prove the most effective guardians of the environment, but for this to happen there need to be systems of land tenure that secure their rights and communal controls that ensure the sustainability of their resource management practices.


adat custom, traditional rules (Malay) alang alang grassland (Indonesia) belukar secondary forest (Malay) berjalai travelling on a journey, often to look for work (Iban) bilek family room in longhouse (Iban) cagar alam nature reserve (Indonesia) caingin shifting cultivation (Philippines) cukong businessman, often middleman in illegal logging (Indonesia) debus ceremonial dance showing resistance to pain (West Java) gaharu fragrant aloe wood garamut slit drums (Papua New Guinea) gonedau specialist fishermen (Lau Islands, Fiji) gotong royong co-operation and self-help at village level (Malay) gunung mountain hak pengusahaan hutan forest concessions (Indonesia) hak ulyat customary law on community and land relationships (Sumatra) hukum adat traditional law (Malay) humah shifting cultivation (Java) hutan lindung protected forest (Indonesia) jalai antu pathway of spirits: protected forest corridors (Iban) jermal fishing net/trap (Malay) kabupaten regencies, local government areas (Indonesia) kelompok resource management area (Kalimantan) kumurim sacred flute (Papua New Guinea) masalai spirits (Papua New Guinea) menoa traditional territory (Iban) molong conserving resources for the future (Penan) moros Muslim indigenous population (Spanish/Philippines) ndau ni nggoli master fishermen (Lau Islands, Fiji) orang ulu indigenous people from upriver areas (Sarawak) padi rice (Malay) pantang taboo, traditional prohibition (Malay) pentuang management of fishing rights (Maluku, Indonesia)



ples masalai home of the spirits, traditional protected area (Papua New Guinea) pulau island (Malay) pulau mali protected area (Iban) quanat underground irrigation tunnel repelita Five Year Development Plan (Indonesia) Sahabat Alam Malaysia Friends of the Earth (Malaysia) sasi traditional restrictions on fishing using closed season and areas (Maluku, Indonesia) sawah cultivation of wet rice (Malay) suaka margasatwa game reserve (Indonesia) tambu taboo, customary prohibition (Papua New Guinea) tana’ ulen traditional protected area (Kenyah, Kalimantan) tanah hidup cultivated land (Malay) tanah mati uncultivated land (Malay) tapa cloth made from tree bark (Papua New Guinea) tuba fish poison (Malay) trans-lok local resettlement (Indonesia) wantok person from same area or language group (Papua New Guinea) wilayah adat communal resource management area (Kalimantan) wilayah kerja work areas (Kalimantan)


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Aceh 113, 114 Acheson, J. 13 Adat 38, 79, 81, 82, 89, 153 Agenda 21 147 Aglionby, J. 81, 83, 84 Alas valley 113 Anak Krakatoa 113 Annapurna Conservation Area 26–7 antimony 88 Appell, G. 90 aquaculture 42, see also fish farming archaeological remains 78, 97 Ardrey, R. 3–4 Arfak Mountains 111, 112, 123–6, 127, 150, 151 Aripuana Indian Park 21 Aristotle 8 arowana, red (Schleropages formusus) 81 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) 68 ASEAN Committee of Environmental Ministers 50 ASEAN Declaration on Heritage Parks and Reserves 68 augury 91 Awa Forest Reserve 21 Bacuit and Irawan Watershed Reservations 104, 108 Bagiai Wildlife Management Area 136, 140 Bahau 78–9 Baiyer River Sanctuary 132 Bako National Park 75, 99 Bakun Dam 63, 93, 95–7 Bali 10, 43 Balui river 96, 97

banteng (bos javanicus) 78, 117, 119 Baram river 86, 87 Barnett, T. 40, 56 barramundi (lates calcifer) 137 Basic Agrarian Law of 1960 (Indonesia) 156 Basic Environmental Law 53 (Indonesia) 50 Basic Forestry Law1967 (Indonesia) Batang Ai dam 93 Batang Ai national park 75, 97, 98, 99 Batak 100, 108 Berawan 61, 98 Bidayuh 86, 87 Biodiversity: losses due to fires 48; of Arfak Mountains 124; of Irian Jaya 124; of Southeast Asia 35; threats to 48, 51–2 Biodiversity Action Plan (Indonesia) 111 biosphere reserves 20, 25. 67, 103 bird nests 40, 57, 82, 100 bird of paradise 35, 130, 131 Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park 149 Borneo Pulp and Paper Company 95, 155 Boserup, E. 41 Boyle, J. 63 Brandt Report 147 Brookes 36, 86, 87, 88, 89 Brunei 39–40, 88, 100 Buddhism 18, 27, 36, 54 Bugis 73–4, 77 Bukit Tawau national park 75, 149 Bukit Tewa reserve 149 Bukit Timah nature reserve 62 Bunaken-Manado Tua national park 111, 112, 113, 120–3, 127



Bunaken village 120, 121 Burial: chambers 78, grounds 94, jars 78 Butterfly farming 124–6, 131, 148 Caingin 37, 101 Calauit 103–5 Canawanga-Ransang Tao’t Bato Reservation 104,108 Cape Wom international marine park 132 Carrier, J. 14 cassowaries 137, 139 caves 57, 97, 100, 107 Centre for Remote Sensing and Image Processing (CRISP) 47 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) 102–3, 105–6, 108 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) 103, 109, 154 Chinese 38, 86, 87, 88, 89 Christianity 87,120, 125, 132 Cicero 5, 6 climate change 49, 51–2 coal 73, 74, 76, 88 cocoa 88, 92, 129 coffee 88, 129 common property resources 7–8; tragedy of the commons 8–9, 12 Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters 129, 130, 154 community participation 152 conservation: ex-situ 76; in-situ 17; linkages with development 23, 25–9, 111; traditional 10–12, 14–16, 54, 78–9 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 17, 18, 20, 67–8 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 51, 65–6, 125 Cook, Captain James 117–18 Cook Islands 14 coral reefs 51, 53, 105, 107,120, 122 Coron Island 103, 104, 105 corruption 40, 57, 77, 114–15 Costa Rica 19, 148, 149 Craven, Ian 124–5 Crocker Range national park 75, 149 crocodiles 81, 137; crocodile farming 137 cukong 119 Culture and Conservation project 80

Culture System 9, 38 Cyclops Mountains nature reserve 126 Danau Sentarum national park 74, 75, 81–4, 85, 154–5 Danum Valley conservation area 61, 75 debt-for-nature swaps 64 decentralization 24, 45, 50 deforestation 40–2, 101, 133; and fires 46; and transmigration 44 Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) 59, 135 Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 59, 60, 63, 102, 105 Devung, Simon 78–9 Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation 59, 80; see also PHPA dugong 120, 131, 139, 140 Dusun 61–72 Economic valuation 148–9 Eghenter, C. 78 Ekran 96, 97 El Nido 108; Managed Resource Protected Area 104,105; Marine Reserve 102. El Nino effect 46–7, 48, 74, 101 Embaloh 81 environmental awareness 111, 118, 156–7 environmental impact assessment 62–3, 96–7 Environmental Investigation Agency 65 European Union 28, 111, 113; Fire Response Group report 63 exclusive economic zone (EEZ) 13 Fagatele bay 16 Fauna (Protection and Control) Act (Papua New Guinea) 135, 141 Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) 43, 46, 92 fires 46–51, 73,74, 76, 101, 151 fishing 12–16, 53, 79, 81, 121, 122 140–1; illegal 101, 105, 107, 123; rights 24, 61 fish farming 127 flooding 115, 156 Ford Foundation 80

Index forest: concessions 40, 41, 55–6, 89, 93, 114; dipterocarp 78, 88; legislation 55–7; non-timber forest products 40, 79, 80 81–2, 148; protected 55, 56, 79, 82, 97; reserves 55, 97; royal game 18; see also deforestation, logging Freeman, D. 90 Freeport 123 Friends of Kutai 76, 151 Friends of the Earth Malaysia (Sahabat Alam Malaysia) 64, 93, 95 Gadikas, Birute 76 gaharu (Aquilaria spp.) 79, 80 Garu wildlife management area 136, 139–40 geographical information system (GIS) 80, 154 Global Environmental Facility (GEF) 64 global positioning system (GPS) 80, 154 gold mining 39, 77, 83, 123, 133 Grotius 12 Gunung Gading national park 75, 97 Gunung Honje range 116, 117–18, 119 Gunung Leuser national park 60, 67–8, 111–115, 126–7 Gunung Mulu national park 61, 68, 70, 97–8 Habibie, President 45, 50 Hardin, G. 8 Haribon 64, 102 Hatam 124–5 haze 46–51; see also fires Hinduism 27, 36, 45, 54, 117 honey 82, 83, 100, 108 Howard, E. 4 hunting 23–4, 61, 78–9, 98, 125, 137, 140–1; royalties 137, 138, 139 hydro-electric power 95, 96 Iban 61, 69, 73, 81, 86, 87, 90, 95, 150 indigenous knowledge 10, 77–81; see also traditional conservation Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act 102, 109, 153–4 Indonesian Constitution 153 integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) 28–9, 111, 126, 142, 151–2 International Seabed Authority 13


International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) 69 irrigation 10, 38, 149 Islam 36, 45, 54 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature, now known as World Conservation Union) 17, 21, 23, 58, 65 Jalai Antu 91 Javanese 38, 73, 77 Jimi Valley 135, 136 Kajong 96 Kakadu national park 25 Kalimantan 73–5 Kaltim Prima Coal 73–4, 76 Kalland, A.12 Kantu 81 Kapuas river 81 Karkar island 140, 141 Kayan 73, 78, 86, 90, 96 Kayan Mentarang national park 69, 75, 77–81, 154, 156 Kelabit 78, 86 Kenya 19, 148 Kenyah 73, 78, 80, 86, 96 Kinabalu 67, 68, 75 Kiwai 139 Krakatoa 117 Kuching High Court 95 Kuna Yala reserve 24 Kutai national park 74–6 Lake Dakataua 133 Land: acquisitions 129; boundaries7, 78, 128, 154 ; controllers 125; customary tenure 7–10, 38–9, 89–90, 93, 96, 128–9; disputes 47, 108, 128, 130, 133, 134; registration 38–9, 129, 154; settlement 42–6 91–2, 129, 155; tenure conversion 129 Land Code (Sarawak) 89, 93 Land Groups Act 154 Land Surveyors Bill 155 Lanjak Entimau wildlife sanctuary 75, 98 Lanjak Entimau Betung Kerihun TransBoundary Conservation Area 68, 98, 157 Lau Islands 15 Lembaga Alam Tropis Indonesia (LATIN) 119



Leopold, A. 7 Leuser: Development Programme 115; Ecosystem 113; International Foundation 113, 151; Management Unit 113 logging: illegal 40, 44, 60, 73, 74, 77, 114, 115, 118, 119, 152; resource rent and revenues 40, 88–9; roads 41, 85, 95; selective 40–1, 83 Long Island 141 Lorentz national park 67, 124 Lun Bawang 78 Madurese 45, 73, 77 Magellan 100 Mahakam river 74 Mahathir Mohamad 96, 103 Maine, H.8 Majapahit empire 36 Malampaya Sound 103, 104, 106 Malays 35, 81, 86, 87, 89 Maliau Basin conservation area 61 Maluku 16, 39 Manado 120, 121 Manado Tua island 120, 121 mangroves 33, 42, 74, 103, 106, 137: reserve 104 Manu biosphere reserve 25 Manus 14 mapping: community 80, 154–5 marine tenure 12–14, 39 Marshall Lagoon 131 Maxwell, W. 38 Maza wildlife management area 136, 138–9 McAdam national park 62, 133 medicinal plants 80, 81 megapode (Megapodius freycinet) 107, 131 137, 139–40 Mekeo 128 Melanau 86, 87 Menangkabau 38, 153 Meniado, Angelita 60 Merimbun heritage park 61–2, 68 Merpati Declaration 84 Minister of Environment and Conservation (Papua New Guinea) 134, 135, 140 Minnesota Zoo 118 Mojirau wildlife management area 136, 139 Mokoroa, P. 14 molong 94

monitor lizard (varanus spp.) 107, 131, 137 Monte Verde reserve 149 Mount Wilhelm 134, 135 Nanuk Provincial Park 133 National Haze Action Plans 50 National Integrated Protected Areas System 61, 102, 103, 105 National Parks Board (Papua New Guinea) 132, 133, 134 National Trust: Bahamas 19, Britain 19 Nature Conservancy 19 nature reserve(s) 57, 59–60, 97; management areas 124–5 Nepal 26–8 New Zealand government 118 Niah 57, 75, 97, 99 Ngaju 73 non-government organizations (NGOs) 19, 21–2, 38, 50, 55, 64–5, 83, 84, 95, 113, 115, 119 125, 142, 151, 152, 156–7 Oil 39, 73, 76, 88, 101 oil palm 41, 47, 51, 73, 85, 88, 92, 93, 133, 155 open burning 50 orang ulu 86 orangutan (pongo pygmaeus) 35, 48, 53, 69 74, 76, 81 97, 98, 113 Orangutan Foundation International 76, 77 osprey 141 Palawan 100–10; deforestation 101; environmental policies 101–3; protected areas 103–8 Pala’awan 100, 103 Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCS) 102, 109 Palawan Environmental Critical Area Network 102, 106 Palawan Integrated Areas Development Project 102 Palawan Strategic Environmental Plan 102 Palolo Deep 16 Panaitan 116, 117 Papua New Guinea 128–43; Constitution 135; history 36, 128–9; land tenure 128–130; national parks

Index 132–5; population 37, 128; traditional conservation 130–2; tropical forest action plan 134, 138; 142 wildlife management areas 135–143 participatory management 61, 82, 98 passion fruit 126 peat swamp 33, 42, 47, 73 Penans 61, 67, 73, 78, 88, 93, 96, 98 Philippines Constitution 135 plantations 38, 129; forest 41, 46, 73, 155; plantation redistribution 129–30 poaching 60, 77, 138 Pokili wildlife management area 136, 139–40 pollution: air 48–9, 95, 96, 156 (see also haze); beaches 122; water 52, 63, 96, 98 Pollution Standard Index 49 Ponam island 14 Potter, L. 33, 46 Proboscis monkey (nasalis larvatus) 76, 81 98 protected areas 17–25; classification 21–2; coverage in Southeast Asia 59–62; and indigenous peoples 22–3, 97–9; management boards 109 Proudhon, P. 5–6 Puerto Princesa 101, 102, 10; Subterranean River national park 67, 101–3, 107 pulau mali 91 Pulong Tau 69, 78 Rafflesia 97 Rajang river 86, 87, 95, 96 Ranba wildlife management area 136, 141–2 Ramsar Convention 20, 66, 157 rattans 40, 79, 82, 83, 94, 101, 108 reafforestation 41 Regalian System 38, 153 remote sensing 76, 80, 83 rhinoceros 35; Javanese 53, 117; Sumatran 53, 113 Riak Bumi 83, 84 rice 37, 87: hill padi 78; sawah cultivation 38, 78 Richards, A. 90 Rousseau, Jean Jacques 5 Rousseau Jerome 90 rubber 87, 88, 91–2 rusa deer (cervus timorensis) 137


Sabah 36, 37, 59, 61 Sabah Forest Development Authority (SAFODA) 41 Sabah Foundation 61 Sabah Parks Board 61 Sabah-Philippines Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area 69–70 Sagarmatha national park 27–8 sago 87, 88, 94 Sahul Shelf 33 Samunsam wildlife sanctuary 75, 98 Sarawak 36, 37, 86–99; chief minister 68, 92–3; land tenure 89–93; protected areas 59, 61, 97–9 Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Board (SALCRA) 92 Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) 91 Sarawak National Parks and Reserves Ordinance 98 Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance 98 Sather, C. 90, 91 seaweed farming 120 Shapiro, G. 60, 77 Shell collecting 14, 120, 122 shifting cultivation 10, 37–8, 41; see also caingin, swidden Singapore 62 Siwi Utame wildlife management area 136, 139 Soeharto, President 46, 50 South China Sea 96, 100 South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) 20 spice trade 36, 38 Spratley islands 157 Sri Vijaya 36 St Paul River 107 Sulu Sea 100 Sunda Shelf 33, 100 sustainable development 147 swidden 10, 37, 78, 82, 87, 91 Tabon Caves 100, 104, 108 taboos 11–15, 54, 79, 131, 137, 138, 140; see also tambu, tapu and traditional conservation Tagbanua 100, 105, 108 Talele nature reserve tanah hidup 38 tanah mati 3 tambu 11, 131



Tanjung Puting national park 60, 67, 75, 76–7 tapa cloth 8. 132 tapu 11 Taytay 100, 104 tea 88, 92 territory: in nature 3–4; Penan concept 39; in Sarawak 90–1 territorial seas 12–13 Ting Pek Khing 96 Tolai 128, 131 Tonda wildlife management area 66, 70, 135–9 Torrens System 38, 129 Torres Straits 135 totems 131 tourism 19, 26, 28, 76–7, 98–9, 107, 109–10, 114, 119, 120. 122, 123, 148 trans-boundary linkages 68–70 transmigration 43–6 tuba 79 Tubbataha Reef 103, 104, 106–7 turtles, collection of eggs 57–8, 106; conservation 15, 69–70, 97, 139, 141–2; freshwater 81, 82, 137 Ujung Kulon National Park 19, 53, 66, 111, 112, 115–23 Ukits 96 Ulu Temburong national park 61, 150 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) 17, 67 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 142 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention 12 Ursula Island 103–4 USAID Natural Resource Management Programme 122 Vandergeest, P. 39, 50 Varirata national park 62, 132, 136 VOC (Veerenigde Oostindische Compagnie) 36 volcanic activity 33, 43 133, 140, 141

Walhi (Indonesian Forum for the Environment) 50, 64, 74 wallaby 137 Wallace, Alfred 35, 124; Wallace Line 35, 100, 123 waste and vacant land 9, 38, 129, 133, 153 Wasur national park 70, 138 water supply 15, 119, 149, 150 Watut valley 133 wetlands 20; definition 66;functions 42,81; threats 42 White, Gilbert 3 wildlife: and climate change 51–2; illegal trade 51; over-exploitation 51; legislation 57–8, 98; see also biodiversity wilayah adat 79 wilayah kerja 83 Willaumez Peninsula 133 Wilson, E. 17 World Bank 28, 45, 63, 111, 114, 123, 134; report on transmigration 44, 45; review of ICDPs 29, 111, 126, 151–2 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) 17, 23, 147 World Conservation Strategy 17, 23, 147 World Heritage Convention 20, 66–7, 107, 108, 141, 157 Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) 28, 65, 102, 115, 118, 119, 124 Xingu National Park 24 Yalu 131 Yanomami reserve 21 Yellowstone national park 18 Yosemite national park 18 Zamindari 9 zero burning 50 zoning 27, 78, 80, 105, 108, 118, 122, 124, 125; buffer zones 23, 76, 82, 108, 111, 113, 114, 118, 119 139; core zones 108, 118