SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD OF THE COMMUNITY IN TASIK CHINI BIOSPHERE RESERVE: THE LOCAL PRACTICES

A. HABIBAH, J. HAMZAH, I. MUSHRIFAH

Abstract


Tasik Chini, the second largest fresh water lake in Malaysia, is the land of Aboriginals or Orang Asli typically known as Orang Jakun.  The Jakun community was highly dependent on the local ecosystem for their livelihood during the early years of their settlement in surrounding areas of Tasik Chini, particularly on the richness of the 12 sea or lauts of Tasik Chini. The mainstay of the economy  during  the last two decades was  mainly forest base activities including fishing, herbs gathering and hunting. Due to the rapid development in late 1990s, Tasik Chini has been reported to experience substantial  depletion of natural and cultural resources. The situations  have called various stakeholders to conduct  further researches, which in turn, drew that there is an urgency for the establishment of conservation and proper restoration plans as well as sustainable lake management plans. Most importantly, initiatives for nominating Tasik Chini  to be the pioneer Biosphere Reserve in Malaysia has attracted  many stakeholders including, the state government, University and NGOs. Definitely, this concept is very new among stakeholders and raises many questions. Moreover, little is known and ventured on topics of the Jakuns’ livelihood,  especially on matters concerning their preferences and practices in economic, social and  environment. Do the earnings in the modern economy raised the standard of living? Do they escape from poverty? Do they look forward to further developments? Based on a survey conducted in six kampongs of Tasik Chini in year 2007 and two consequent visits to  Kg. Gumum and Kg.Tg Puput in 2008 and 2009, this paper aims to uncover to what extent the dynamism of the livelihood of the Jakun community supports the sustainable livelihood. This includes the socio-demography, education, economic activities and their perceptions’ on existing development  as well as their future involvements and aspirations for Tasik Chini as the Biosphere Reserve. The findings revealed that the local traditions and activties as well as ecotourism  support the sustainability of Tasik Chini, while the penetration of the modern plantation economy has helped them to experience better livelihood. At the local understanding of the Jakuns, sustainablity means integraty of local tradition and modern economy as well as not depriving them to quality livelihood.

 

 

Keywords

Sustainable livelihood, Jakun, socio economy, wealth creation, local tradition   

 


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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online)

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