Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

2007, City Life in the Midst of the Forest: A Punan Hunter-Gatherers Vision of Conservation and Development

Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

2007, City Life in the Midst of the Forest: A Punan Hunter-Gatherers Vision of Conservation and Development

Article excerpt

Ecology and Society Vol. 12, No. 1, http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol12/iss1/ art18/.

The Punan Tubu, a group of hunter-gatherers in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, are used to illustrate the very real trade-offs that are made between conservation and development. This group has undergone various forms of resettlement in the 20th century, to the point that some are now settled close to the city of Malinau whereas others remain in remote locations in the upper Tubu catchment. This study is based on several years of ethnographic and household analysis. The Punan clearly favor both conservation and development. In the city, the Punan benefit from all positive effects of development. Child and infant mortality rates are very low, and illiteracy has been eradicated among the younger generation. However, the Punan complain that nothing in town is free. The older generation, in particular, resents the loss of Punan culture. Because of frustration and unemployment, young people often succumb to alcoholism and drug addiction. The Punan do not want to choose between conservation and development, between forest life and city life. They want to benefit from the advantages of both locations, to enjoy both free forest products and the positive aspects of modern life, to go wild boar hunting in the morning and watch television in the evening. …

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