Accepted Paper:

Sedentarization and namadism: the political ecology of the hunter-gatherers in Sarawak  


Kentaro Kanazawa

Paper short abstract:

The state government of Sarawak is implementing the measures turned to sedentarization to some groups of hunter-gatherer, Penen. How does Penan consider the changes of their lifestyle and correspond with them? This paper examines the questions from an analytical framework of political ecology.

Paper long abstract:

It was reported 25 years ago that the nomadic hunter-gatherer Penan people in the Malaysian state of Sarawak were around 400. But in these 25 years commercial logging of tropical rain forests reaches even the deepest part of Borneo Island, and primary forests were almost logged exhaustively. After the logging roads were constructed, and external actors such as state government, timber companies and NGOs frequently came back and forth. The contacts between the Penan and outside peoples are on the rise. There are some people who expecting sedentary life now. In 1987, a report which was drafted by an advisory team from the Sarawak State Cabinet Committee on Penan Affairs stated that "the Penan practice sustainable use of resources in balance with the ecosystem, and their livelihood must be supported by rainforest conservation policy". However, the proposal of the advisory team was not adopted, and it was replaced with the development programs by the state government, and "community development services" such as the construction of the longhouses and the setting of the service centers came to be carried out to some groups instead based on the concept of "modernization of the lifestyle". While the forest environment is dramatically changing, how are the nomadic people continuing on with their life? This paper examines from an analytical framework of political ecology.

Panel P038
Sedentarization and concentration among nomadic peoples (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)