This project empowers 30 community researchers to participate in preserving their biocultural heritage. Initiatives will strengthen their defense against competing global priorities for resources, defending their rights as original inhabitants of their ancestral domains. The project supports community-based initiatives: documentation of oath stones and other cultural heritage sites in Ulu Papar, and development of cultural tourism to enhance conservation of community forests in Bundu Tuhan.
The indigenous Dusun communities of Ulu Papar and Bundu Tuhan are faced with challenges that threaten the continuity of their lifeways which, for generations, have been interconnected with the land. Threats include both plans for development of a mega-dam that would flood Ulu Papar villages and destroy their history, biological and cultural diversity, and, protected area regulations that do not recognise indigenous governance of community forests in Bundu Tuhan.
Initiatives build on 8 years of work aimed to increase and revitalize knowledge of biocultural and historical significance of Ulu Papar and Bundu Tuhan, supporting sustainable livelihoods and water catchment conservation, and establishing participatory approaches, avenues and networks for community conservation. Community researchers will continue to strengthen channels of cooperation and avenues for discussion among communities and involved agencies, leading to preservation of customary lands.
Creating opportunity for indigenous community researchers to be actively involved in community conservation builds recognition and pride of the significance of their traditions. Enhanced competence in resource monitoring, management and outreach empowers them to be responsible in supporting long-term maintenance of their livelihoods and cultural heritage. Better communication between community members (1000 in 9 villages in Ulu Papar; 3000 in Bundu Tuhan) and officials promotes just solutions.
Total Funding Received to Date: $6,539
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $8,461
Total Funding Goal: $15,000
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
GDF International Program Director