Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsEaton P
EditorEaton P
Book TitleLand tenure, conservation and development in Southeast Asia
CityLondon etc.
Call NumberM 2005 A 660
Keywordscase studies, Economic development, environment, Excerpta Indonesica, forest products, indigenous population, INDONESIA, KALIMANTAN, land use, LANDSCAPES, national parks, Nature conservation

This chapter describes issues of land use, resource extraction, indigenous people's rights, and environmental degradation in Kalimantan designated as conservation areas, through case studies of four national parks: Kutai National Park, Tanjung Puting, Kayan Mentarang, and Danau Sentarum. Kutai and Tanjung Puting are relatively easily accessible and have suffered from illegal settlement, logging, and mining resulting in environmental degradation. Kayan Mentarang, on the other hand, has preserved much of its biodiversity and indigenous culture due to its relative isolation. Covering 1.4 million hectares, the area is inhabited by longhouse communities which practice traditional systems of land and resource use. Types of land tenure zones include 'tana' ulen' (protected forest, with some exceptions for purposes of traditional festivals); 'wilayah adat', where rights to collect forest products are determined by custom; and areas where local community members or outsiders who have obtained permission and payed a fee may collect commercial forest products. In a collaborative effort involving Indonesian and international governmental and non-governmental organizations, information is collected on land use, local knowledge, indigenous uses of non-timber forest products, and anthropological and historical data. In Danau Sentarum, an area of shallow lakes surrounded by peat swamps, similar attempts have been made to involve local communities in planning, management, and conservation. The author concludes that while the natural resources of Kalimantan have been a source of wealth for the Indonesian government and a number of business conglomerates, this has not been the case for the majority of the indigenous population. Illegal logging and other forms of resource extraction by outsiders have often disrupted traditional economies and resource management and land tenure systems. Traditional management and practices in the park need to be reinforced, and development plans in surrounding areas should also be taken into account to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.