Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Reviewing Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas in Malaysia

The Global Diversity Foundation (GDF) is managing a project in Sabah entitled: Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Sabah, a Consolidation of Issues and Experiences in Relation to Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Resource Use. Component 2 of the project aims to compile a state-wide review of indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs) in Sabah, emphasising the identification of existing and potential ICCAs, and documenting communities’ experiences in establishing and managing ICCAs. One of the specific aims is to promote the traditional ecological knowledge and customary practices that are used or can be applied in the management of ICCAs, and inform the access and benefit sharing processes in the context of ICCAs and protected areas in general. In that context, Holly Shrumm and Harry Jonas met with leaders of the Bundu Tuhan community (who live adjacent to the Kinabalu National Park - pictured) to discuss their twin concerns about the possible designation of their community forests as a Forest Reseve, and their work towards the recognition of their land as an ICCA. The meeting addressed bio-cultural community protocols, the community's development plan and the proposal to include the community's land in a wildlife corridor. Natural Justice was subsequently invited to provide further input to the ICCA work, specifically to explore with GDF how the communities with which GDF is working can provide evidence to support the designation of their villages and/or surrounding areas as ICCAs.

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