悪評をこえて:――サラワク社会と「持続的森林管理」のゆくえ―― [in Japanese] Wipe Away the Notoriety::“Sustainable Forest Management Policy” in the Context of Sarawak Society [in Japanese]
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Southeast Asia has a rich ecosystem of tropical forest that has been rapidly degraded. Malaysian Sarawak, like other areas in Southeast Asia, is the target of international criticism for commercial logging that causes deforestation and destroys native people's livelihood. In fact, Sarawak still maintains a large portion of forested area and deforestation is not rapid compared to other areas in Southeast Asia. Abuse of minority people, who depend on the forests, through logging and development projects, is also commonly found in Southeast Asia. Therefore, it seems that commercial logging in Sarawak has been among the most criticized in Southeast Asia not only because of its environment impact, but also because of Sarawak's social and political framework. This article examines the socio-political structure in relation to forest resources in Sarawak and considers recent changes in both NGO and government policy.<br> Since the late 1980s, the Penan, a native people in the Upper Baram and Limban river basin, have blockaded logging roads to protest commercial logging. This movement attracted the commitment of foreign environmental activists to the international anti-logging campaign. Domestic NGOs alone were not powerful and easily suppressed by the government. The urban middle class is divided into ethnic clusters. Therefore, environmental degradation and the thread to Penan's livelihood caused by the commercial logging did not become a public issue in Sarawak, and the Penan had to rely on foreign activists.<br> Recently some changes are apparent. In the 1990s, the Sarawak government introduced a "Sustainable Forest Management" policy, including application for MTCC timber certification that actually started in 2002. NGOs and the native people's movement have shifted from physical methods, such as blockades, to waging legal battles, and more local NGOs are assisting native people. A major issue is still the government policy that does not recognize native customary rights in the natural forests. But it is also necessary to find temporary and practical solutions to improve native livelihood. For that purpose, persistent dialogue among all concerned should be continued.
- Japanese Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Japanese Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 46(2), 255-275, 2008
Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University