Global Diversity Foundation

GDF has a dual mission. Through our regional programmes, we support indigenous peoples' and local communities' efforts to protect their biocultural diversity, and peacefully achieve just and autonomous decision-making regarding their territories, resources and futures. In collaboration with diverse institutions, we provide support for communities to elaborate their own research, development and advocacy programmes. Areas of specific focus depend on community interests, although they tend to be community access to lands and resources, community-led conservation, advocacy and campaigning for social and environmental justice, the continuity of ethnobiological and biocultural knowledge, and he...
Aug 13, 2013

Centre to Promote Ulu Papar Biocultural Heritage

View of the Crocker Range, Sabah
View of the Crocker Range, Sabah

* information taken from the Project Proposal on Community Biocultural Heritage Centre: in support of sustainable livelihoods in Kg. Buayan, Crocker Range, Sabah (prepared by Agnes Lee Agama)

The construction of a new building in Buayan village is now underway. While physical work began only last month, the concept of this building, what will soon be the Community Biocultural Heritage Centre, has been long in the making.

In 2004, the community of Ulu Papar started working with a group of partners in a project to document key ethnobiological resources important for their livelihoods and how these resources are used, managed and protected. Since then, through several projects and a series of activities – fieldwork, workshops, community exchanges, training courses, expeditions and travelling roadshows – community researchers have been trained to work with their community to map key resource areas and mark them on 3D models, conduct livelihoods assessments, record oral histories, collect botanical specimens of useful plants, and produce a series of participatory videos that share the concerns of their community. These collaborative initiatives, which carried on for 8 years, have been critical in promoting the role of the community in the conservation and management of Ulu Papar. The community thus launched a process to establish Ulu Papar as a Biocultural Heritage Site for Sabah, advocating for the long-term protection of the Ulu Papar landscape and the indigenous people who live there.

The Community Biocultural Heritage Centre, its first stage targeted for completion by the end of this month, will enable the community to establish Buayan as a hub for community-based conservation and environmental education for the people of Ulu Papar as well as for visiting groups such as students, field researchers, and tourists. Its design stemmed from the concept developed through earlier consultations with the community. Arkitrek, a local social enterprise focused on sustainable design, leads the project through its design and construction stages. The community has participated in different stages of its implementation since then, through initial gatherings with representatives from Arkitrek to discuss plans, roles and responsibilities, and the approval of the building design. Community members have also participated in the preparation of woven bamboo panels that will be used as building components, and the collection of natural resources that serve as raw materials for the building.

We wish to thank GlobalGiving donors who have contributed to the ‘Help Communities in Borneo Protect Their Heritage’ campaign facilitated by the Global Diversity Foundation, as funds have provided the means for community members to expend their expertise and time towards the project. This ties in with current efforts to revive and promote traditional handicraft among the Ulu Papar community as a potential alternative livelihood, and to record and showcase oral histories of the community.

Generating concept ideas during
Generating concept ideas during 'what if' workshop
Concept drawing
Concept drawing
Bamboo harvesting
Bamboo harvesting
Bamboo weaving workshop
Bamboo weaving workshop

Links:

Jul 29, 2013

Building knowledge on traditional handicraft in Buayan

Interview with a handicraft maker from Ulu Papar
Interview with a handicraft maker from Ulu Papar

As reported by Patricia John and Jenny Sanem, edited by Marina Aman Sham.

With the intention to revive traditional handicraft making in the Buayan-Kionop area, Patricia John and Jenny Sanem included it in their plan to interview experienced members of their community. In June, they conducted interviews with En. Sabatin Logunsing from Tiku – Buayan village and Puan Binjani Gorumpang from Buayan, with the key objective to collate a list of the types of traditional handicraft that are made using natural resources found in the area. As expressed by Patricia and Jenny, conducting interviews was a suitable method to use because it allowed them to interact freely with the interviewees, without any interruptions. Through the interviews, they learned about the various types of handicraft of the Buayan-Kionop area. Unfortunately, as they found out, not all of these crafts are still being used in their community.

En. Sabatin and Puan Binjani were very helpful and agreed to become trainers to teach the younger generation as well as any adults who may be interested in learning how to make the traditional handicraft found in Buayan. The interviews proved to be fruitful. Not only were Patricia and Jenny able to list down the types of handicrafts made, they also included the ‘ingredients’ (raw materials) used to make each one.

En. Sabatin Logunsing and Puan Binjani Gorumpang described 17 traditional products each, all made from resources found in the forests. These products consisted of equipment used in homes on a daily basis, fishing equipment, hunting equipment, musical instruments and traditional games. After a quick comparison, it was discovered that the total number of items listed was 27.

Two more community members have been identified as trainers – En. Joiwit Sabandok dan En. Peter Lasa. Once all interviews have been completed, plans will move ahead to conduct the training workshop.

Listing resources used in handicraft making
Listing resources used in handicraft making
May 15, 2013

Regreening 1800 square meters of garden space

Pruned Seville sour orange trees
Pruned Seville sour orange trees

After months of preparation and three weeks of intense work, we are happy to report that the initial stage of the Lalla Aouda Saadia garden’s rehabilitation is complete. Our current focus is the regreening of 1800 square meters of prime garden space at the heart of the school grounds. We started with the irrigation system: a technician repaired the pump’s electrical panel and fixed all of the damaged pipes. Well water is now ready to be distributed throughout the garden. Then the 54 Seville sour orange trees in the garden were pruned to allow more sunlight to reach the ground, which has been fertilized and leveled.

The girls actively participated in the restoration of their green space. Since the space is for and by them, changes in the garden are carried out only by consensus and with their consent. Supported by GDF, a landscape architect is currently drafting design proposals. The design that is chosen by the girls and the school staff will be the basis of the next stage of the garden’s rehabilitation. The proposals include creating a new fountain in the middle of the plot, laying out pathways leading to it and expanding the underground irrigation system. Aromatic herbs and ornamental plants could be cultivated in the garden beds among the paths.

Prior to the renovation, the orange trees were the only plants in the garden, but GDF is now ensuring the garden will be home to a wider variety of species chosen by the students. It will have a dynamic educational purpose in addition to being ornamental: the girls will learn about the traditional medicinal uses of the plants and how to care for the herbs and trees. Mohamed El Haouzi, GDF’s field coordinator who is in charge of the project, has noticed another impact: the staff and students of Lalla Aouda Saadia are cleaning and planting other areas of the school grounds.

(Edited by Thaïs Martin)

Images:

The pruned Seville sour orange trees are spread elegantly across the garden, providing fragrance and shade. (Photo: Thaïs Martin)

The rehabilitation was carried out with manual labor and local equipment including this wheelbarrow. (Photo: Gary Martin)

The condition of the garden before pruning of the Seville sour orange trees began.

Rehabilitation carried out with local equipment
Rehabilitation carried out with local equipment
Before pruning began
Before pruning began

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