Archive for September, 2012

Communal land titles beneficial ?

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s move to issue communal land titles to resolve ownership woes among the indigenous people has paid off.

It has ensured that they receive the land they had cultivated or lived in for generations, said state Land and Survey Department deputy director Lee Chung Khiong.

“From our standpoint, issuing the titles speeds up our work because one communal title would cover a large area but owned by hundreds of individuals,” he said at the start of a two-week Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) public inquiry on native land rights issues here yesterday.

Citing an example, Lee said the issuance of a communal title in the east coast Tongod district had enabled 1,022 people to gain ownership of 10,000ha of land.

“It is also a way to ensure that land owned by the natives could not be sold off,” he said.

Sabah is the first state in Malaysia to grant communal land titles instead of individual ones to ensure recipients, particularly the rural folk, benefit from land use.

Introduced in May 2010, the concept allows the state to jointly develop such land with the people.

In the past, many who received individual titles sold them almost immediately for quick profits.

Lee said there had been many such cases. “We know this had been happening because the people chasing for land titles are not the applicants, but the buyers.

“So, the selling and buying of land is already at the application stage,” he said.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam is chairing the inquiry sitting, which also comprises commissioners Jannie Lasimbang and Shaani Abdullah.

Also present was independent consultant Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, a former Suhakam vice-chairman.

via Communal land titles beneficial – Nation | The Star Online.


These lands meant for Communal Titles, says Dept | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Kota Kinabalu: Forest reserve areas that have been declassified as state land are meant for Communal Titles, including future development, for the benefit to the rakyat, according to State Lands and Survey Department Director Datuk Osman Jamal.

“The Government made a clear stand that any application whether by an individual or company for the said land will not be entertained,” said Osman. He was responding to a claim by villagers at Karamatoi Tengah and Angkawangan in Sook, Keninagu, that 560 acres of state land which they had supposedly applied for had been approved to a company.

Osman said he aware of the land in question and that the area was a forest reserve before being declassified as state land in December 2010.

On July 18, a group villagers from Sook claimed “a private company suddenly appeared showing their right to the said land”.

However, Osman assured that land in question would not be lost to any individual applicant as the Government had earmarked it for communal titles to be given to the villagers who had established their village there.

He said the Lands and Survey office in Keningau was tasked to investigate the claim by the villagers and found that a makeshift shelter was built by an unidentified person on the said land which was later found to belong to the worker of a company.

Osman said the company did submit an application immediately after the land was declassified as state land in 2010 but that no approval was given and neither would it be approved.

“I understand the feelings of the villagers,” said Osman, who said the presence of a makeshift shelter there may have misled them into thinking that someone had obtained the land.

Osman said a meeting was held between the Kenigau Land District Surveyor, Keningau Land Office, villagers who applied for the land and the company, where it was established that the company had violated the land ordinance by entering the land without permission and warned to stop.

“The company has obliged,” he said.

On the complaint by another villager who not selected as recipient of communal tile, Osman said the list of would-be recipients was screened by a committee comprising a District Officer, Village Heads (Ketua Kampung), District Chief, Native Chief and Assemblymen or his representative.

“The village chief, district chief and native chief head will identify whether the applicant is residing in that particular village,” said Osman adding that at times the screening committee has to stay up to 3am when it involved a few villages.

He stressed its not for the Land and Survey to determine who would be included in the communal title list but by the village head endorsed by District Chief and Native Chief.

The criteria for communal title is that the applicant must be a resident at the particular village, above 18 and married. He there were occasions when a villager was found to be from another village and thus their applications for CTs were rejected.

Osman said surveying has been completed for 18 villagers in Sook and the Department is in the process in preparing draft titles.

However, in the case of Kg Karamatoi Tengah, they refuse to be surveyed and insisted they apply and be given 2,000 acres as “their ancestors had been living in the area.”

via These lands meant for Communal Titles, says Dept | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia..

Where to Publish and where to get one

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XXI International Seaweed Symposium

The 21 International Seaweed Symposium will be held April 21-26, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. The symposium is hosted by the Indonesian National Organizing Committee comprised of leading scientists and business people from private, academic and public sector organization engaged in Indonesian seaweed science and utilization. This is the first International Seaweed Symposium to be held in Indonesia and the second to be held in the Coral Triangle (the 16th International Seaweed Symposium was held in Cebu, the Philippines, in 1998).

More Info: HERE

Resource Dependent Communities and Globalisation

Communities dependent on natural resources in modern society face a number of challenges, many of which have been created or worsened through the process of globalization.

Globalization does not bring all negatives to the community, however. The globalization process directly connects communities to world markets, international non-governmental organizations, and international financing. This connection gives the opportunity to communities to bypass state power and increase the relative importance of the local. Strengthening of local identity in the face of globalizing forces manifests itself in increased demand for indigenous language education, increased production of cultural festivals, and increased support for ethnic music. These efforts all take place through the realization of the importance of cultural diversity. Three processes that support the local have emerged through the globalization process: a) direct challenges to state power, b) “glocalization”, and c) the rise of alternatives.

Recognition by citizens that nationally-produced management was not necessarily locally relevant or effective has led to local ingenuity. For instance, state misinterpretation of ecological effects in the forest-savanna border led managers to produce policies against land degradation; however, instead of forest converting to savanna as assumed, villagers were maintaining the reverse dynamic. “That these problematic interactions have not had a more degrading effect on vegetation is owed at least partly to the effective resistance strategies which villagers developed” (Fairhead and Leach 1996 p.260). In another example, fair trade banana cooperatives in Equador were able to bypass state-sanctioned Dole distribution and participate directly in the global market. This enabled farmers to recover the cost of cropping and make a livable wage (Shreck 2002).

Globalization has been far from conflict-free. Escobar (2004) describes two sides of the globalization process. The first is the “economic-military-ideological” order that heightens already present marginalization and suppression of local knowledge and culture. The second balancing force is the emergence of self-organizing social movement networks to counter globalization and engage in the politics of difference. Colloquially, this second process has been termed “glocalization”.

The movements are in direct response to the perceived problems with globalization. Escobar describes these movements as being place-based and locally motivated but tied into transnational networks for support. For example, struggles for water sovereignty in Bolivia were aided by international efforts for indigenous rights that succeeded in electing Bolivia’s first indigenous president. His administration was quick to nationalize utilities and prioritize Bolivian needs even though that meant withdrawing from the global market (Swyngedouw 2004).

The global capitalist market also has a similar countermovement occurring, creating a rise in the existence of alternatives. For example, the World Bank has realized through Grameen Bank microcredit loans that investments made at the community level for small-scale, cooperative entrepreneurship are more effective than programs meant to enter communities into the global marketplace (McMichael 2004). They work through small loans to small groups of women to start a business in their communities. The reason they chose women is because women have been shown to more reliably invest profits back into the community

My Say: Many state promoted projects often replaced and disenfranchised the resource dependent communities

Read More: Here

Centre of Malaysian Indigenous Studies

Malaysian Indigenous Peoples consist of Malays, the Orang Asli in Peninsula Malaysia and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. There are already in existence, many institutions set up for Malay and Islamic studies but there is no national institution or academic centre that focuses on collaborative research on the other indigenous peoples, the Orang Asli and natives. Not only do these communities have rich and unique cultural heritage and traditions that need to be preserved, they have much to contribute to the general corpus of knowledge in terms of the indigenous arts, traditional knowledge and ecological biodiversity.

Historically, indigenous peoples have generally been the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society. A research centre dedicated to understanding their history and their needs will perhaps help to shape programs and policies that affect them, thus fulfilling the University Malaya’s university’s role to be relevant to community and the nation at large. The centre would also play a role in building indigenous capacities not only through research but through engagement with government agencies, and other academic institutions as well as the participation of indigenous communities themselves. To this end, the centre for indigenous studies was set up in 2004 to co-ordinate research done by various faculties and researchers on indigenous peoples’ issues.

Read More: HERE.

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