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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT, 2016 VOL. 12, NOS. 1–2, 14–23 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21513732.2016.1169559 Special Issue: Traditional knowledge for sustainable forest management and provision of ecosystem services Traditional ecological knowledge on shifting cultivation and forest management in East Borneo, Indonesia a b c c d Martha E. Siahaya , Thomas R. Hutauruk , Hendrik S. E. S. Aponno , Jan W. Hatulesila and Afif B. Mardhanie a b Environmental Management Department, Samarinda State Polytechnic of Agriculture, East Borneo, Indonesia; Management Department, Indonesia Management Science Colleges, Samarinda, East Borneo, Indonesia; Forestry Department, Pattimura University, Ambon, Moluccas; Engineering Department, Samarinda State Polytechnic, East Borneo, Indonesia ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 1 January 2015 Forest utilization of indigenous communities is intimately connected to experiences and Accepted 20 March 2016 knowledge arising from the interaction between people and their environment. The tradi- tional ecological knowledge of the Dayak Tunjung communities in East Borneo offers an EDITED BY interesting example of the interrelation between agricultural food production, forest manage- Leni Camacho ment and local culture. This study describes how the local villagers manage their rice KEYWORDS cultivation system combined with forest succession based on traditional ecological knowl- Rice; shifting cultivation; edge. Data were obtained through direct participatory techniques by interviewing key forest ecosystems; local informants about their practices and perception as well as field observations on farming knowledge; Indonesia; soil activities and forest management. Traditional ecological knowledge on food production and classification forest management has evolved over many generations but is degrading rapidly. The Dayak people base their practices on a shifting cultivation system of rice intercropped with other foods, while at the same time maintaining forest succession after abandonment. Traditional knowledge relates to ecological reasons for different shifting cultivation stages, selection of suitable cultivation plots, soil classification and culturally embedded ‘signs of nature’– which signs to look out for during which month of the year and which activities to undertake. Throughout Indonesia, traditional ecological knowledge can prove to be instrumental for future forest resource and conservation management. other subsistence strategies (van Vliet et al. 2013). 1. Introduction Additionally, access to land and other natural Human cultures have the ability to synchronize with resources must be guaranteed, and the carrying capa- their environment but also to modify their environ- city of the natural system should not be exceeded ment in order to survive. They are complex systems (Dove 1983). Most shifting cultivation systems blend that involve knowledge, belief, art, moral, law and any agriculture with hunting, fishing, gathering and other capabilities and habits acquired as member of resource-use systems in multi-niche strategies that societies (Garna 1996). Consequently, vast and long- make economic and social sense in many settings. standing knowledge of people in relation to interact- Typically, shifting cultivators incorporate perennial ing with their environments and responding to crops such as fruit, medicinal, nut and resin trees. changes is an integrated part of many indigenous Some shifting cultivation systems actually are forms and local cultures. A combination of knowledge, of agroforestry systems (Dove 1985; Alcorn 1990; practices and cultural traditions is usually passed Brookfield & Padoch 1994). down from generation to generation (Arkanudin Shifting cultivation has, for centuries, been a 2009). Such knowledge and practices often relate to dominant component of the agricultural systems of land use, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning upland Southeast Asia, and the use of fire is crucial in (Parrotta et al. 2016). these regions. For almost as long, shifting cultivation Swidden or shifting cultivation is an agricultural systems have been under pressure from external system practiced mainly in the tropics and very pre- actors, including governments, companies and con- valent in Indonesia (Angelsen 1995). It involves tem- servation groups, who have either sought to control porary cultivation of plots of land, which are then or eliminate shifting cultivation (Scott 2009). In East abandoned and allowed to revert to their natural Borneo (Indonesia), shifting cultivation is a common vegetation while the cultivator moves on to another practice for farmers to meet their own personal needs plot (van Vliet et al. 2012). This system can be main- and the needs of fellow villagers (Ave & King 1986). tained in the long term if it is able to adapt to and As is common throughout the whole of Southeast integrate with local conditions, and has the support of Asia, the shifting cultivation system is usually centred CONTACT Martha E. Siahaya firstname.lastname@example.org Samarinda State Polytechnic of Agriculture, East Borneo, Indonesia © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 15 1992). The cultivation system is often referred to as around the production of upland rice. In the classical uma-taotn. Starting from the first year, the Dayaks model, a wooded area of roughly 1 ha is selected for cultivation; trees and shrubs are felled and then cut down trees in the hema or forest in order to facilitate rice cultivation. Shrub removal and burning burned to improve soil fertility. A so-called Ladang (bolah urat) occurs in the second year and the year (swidden field) is planted with rice for 1 to several years, and rice is often intercropped with other useful thereafter (bolah eder). The farmers will continue to slash shrubs in the fourth year (bolah kuango) if the food crops such as chilli peppers, cassava or bananas. land still can be replanted with rice in the same place. When sufficient time has passed to restore fertility and reduce the weed population and agricultural Usually, after the fifth year (bolah kuako), the soil is no longer fertile for rice, so forest succession will be pests, the field will be cleared and then reused for allowed in the area (urat mangur, succession for cultivation. The ladang and fallow are traditionally controlled by the individual (usually male) by whom 2–4 years). Other forest succession stages are they were originally cultivated, or by his descendants. 3–5 years (urat pelega), 6–9 years (batakng mangur) and, This swidden model has historically been practiced finally, natural regrowth for 9–20 years (batakng by upriver indigenous Dayak groups (Inoue & Lahjie pelega). During the fallow period, farmers frequently 1990). monitor the overgrown area for key soil fertility indi- Sellato (2002) estimated that the Dayaks’ current cator species. Usually, the cultivation cycle can be shifting cultivation practices originate from at least restarted after a period of 15–25 years (Reijentjes two centuries ago, although Mering (1990) stated that et al. 1992). The cultivation system is an indigenous, the way of farming in various parts of Borneo has traditional system that is environmentally friendly been known to have occurred since 6000 years BC. and sustainable (Iskandar 1992). However, limited The Dayak Tunjung society is one of the few local information exists on whether these cultivation sys- communities in East Borneo that still depend on a tems still exist and to what extent they have changed. combination of shifting cultivation, fishing, hunting Given the paucity of information in the interna- and gathering with neighbouring communities for tional scientific literature on shifting cultivation sys- their subsistence (Dove 1983). Nowadays, most of tems in Indonesia, this study aimed to gain insight the Dayak people still practice shifting cultivation into the local traditional ecological knowledge of the with rice constituting the major crop in their farming Dayak Tunjung community in Linggang Melapeh systems. Because of the prominent and long-standing (East Borneo), with specific interest in differences role of rice cultivation in East Borneo, it involves a between older and younger generations, soil fertility tradition among the Dayaks that intimately follows indicators and general practices relating to forest the natural rhythms of the natural environment, management. Traditional ecological knowledge is resulting in a system of land use and natural resource defined by Berkes (2008)as ‘a cumulative body of management throughout the region that either knowledge, practice, and belief, evolving by adaptive directly supports or exists in harmony with rice cul- processes and handed down through generations by tivation (Sellato 2002). cultural transmission, about the relationship of living Rice cultivation can, perhaps contradictory, also beings (including humans) with one another and play an important role in forestry management, as with their environment’. A combination of participa- rice fields can be important in the first stage of forest tory assessment methods was followed, in order to regrowth (Colfer et al. 1997). Mackie (1986) sampled gain trust with local communities and acquire infor- the vegetation on newly abandoned rice fields, in mation in a natural, yet structured manner. Assessing order to better understand the beginning of forest traditional ecological knowledge will yield informa- succession. Several factors mattered for successful tion not only on local shifting cultivation practices forest succession, such as that previous vegetation but also on how traditions are faring under pressure should be 10- to 20-year-old secondary forest, soils of land-use change, economic development and should remain fertile and the slope should be lower modernization. than 40% (further reported in Colfer et al. 1997). Limited scientific information has been published on such rice cultivation systems and their intercon- 2. Methods nection with forest management. However, a study by 2.1. Case study area Iskandar (1992), written in Indonesian, provides an interesting description. According to Iskandar (1992), The research was conducted at the village of Linggang rice cultivation by the Dayak Tunjung community in Melapeh, sub-district of Linggang Bigung, West Kutai Linggang Melapeh can last up to 3–4 years per plot. It Regency, East Borneo Province, Indonesia (Figure 1). is a system that involves forest management activities This study was conducted between October and and in which each plot is evaluated and managed per December 2013. The village is located in the ancient year, depending on suitable soil fertility (Iskandar volcanic mountains (Plato Volcano) of Mount Aco 16 M. E. SIAHAYA ET AL. Figure 1. Map of West Kutai Regency, Linggang Melapeh Village, East Borneo, Indonesia. (115º32ʹ30"E–115º35ʹ0"E and 0º12ʹ30"S–0º10ʹ0"S) and in Indonesian) was also reviewed, in order to put our with an altitude of 200–415 m above sea level. interview and observation data in perspective. The total area of the village of Linggang Melapeh Data were collected through semi-structured amounts to about 13.800 ha and the main land-cover interviews and participant observation of key villa- types include medium density forest (1226 ha), low gers with knowledge of and experience with farm- density forest (1874 ha), forest plantation (112 ha), ing activities. Participants were all part of the tribes other forest types (867 ha), mixed farming (15 ha), that inhabit and dominate the region, namely mixed plantations (15 ha), residential area (104 ha), Tonyooi Rentenukng (Tunjung Linggang) in rubber plantation (2760 ha) and, finally, open area Linggang Melapeh village. The purpose of the inter- (11 ha). The soil types are derived from the old views was to make an inventory of local traditional volcano, middle and lower myosin. According to knowledge, that is, to allow the respondent to share Suharta et al. (2000) and Suharta and Suratman their knowledge freely. Data were collected and (2004), shifting cultivation in West Kutai has a high analysed in line with the theory of cultural capital potential for dryland agriculture. by Berkes and Folke (1994). We used a non-prob- West Kutai can be included in the Isohyets line, ability sampling design, which does not provide an which has annual precipitation ranging from 3.001 to equal opportunity for every member of the popula- 4.275 mm. The annual rainfall in West Kutai was tion to be selected into the sample. Sources of data 3064 mm in 2011 and 2980 mm (90% humidity), and interviews conducted were obtained through and the average temperature ranged from 22°C the village head Linggang Melapeh, as he appointed to32°C (based on data from the Ministry of some of the people who best understand the shift- Agriculture and Food of East Borneo in 2011). ing cultivation of the community in Linggang Melapeh (Figure 2). We terminated the sampling in accordance with Sugiyono (2012)whennoaddi- 2.2. Data collection tional information could be obtained from informants. First, basic data on climate, land cover, land use and As can be seen in Figure 2, our sampling strategy demographics were obtained from regional statistic started with (A) the head of the village, to several bureaus and grey literature. Available literature (mostly INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 17 Figure 2. Sampling strategy followed for data collection. Figure 3. (a) Forest land for cultivation, (b) dibbling activities, (c) Dayak’s shifting cultivation. 18 M. E. SIAHAYA ET AL. contract base for companies that have bought their land custom heads appointed by the village head (B, C, D), from them. The little shifting cultivation that is still who then appointed community leaders (E, F, G) and the elders (H, I, J). All informants where fully briefed practiced now occurs because some farmers still culti- vate the land they have inherited. For some of the Dayak of the focus and extent of our study. In addition, care community, farming activities can simply not be aban- was taken that all sampled data sources (informants) met the following criteria: doned because they have been inherited from generation to generation, and they cannot disown their own family. Moreover, many people still depend on farming for their (1) They master or understand something through the process of enculturation (i.e. knowledge own subsistence. The shifting cultivation system by the Dayak people has, in earlier studies, been proven to be and experience through being part of the capable of contributing to family substance while pre- community). (2) They were still recognized as being involved in serving forest resources (Arkanudin 2009). shifting cultivation activities. (3) They had sufficient time to provide information. 3.2. Perception on the forest and shifting (4) They were deemed to provide reliable cultivation systems information. The Dayak people, just like many other indigenous peoples (Ouédraogo et al. 2014; Camacho et al. 2015), 3. Results and discussion have a holistic view of the forest. For them, forests are not only just important for their livelihoods but 3.1. Demographics and trends in traditional also for sociocultural and religious aspects. Similarly, farming the Dayak people do not merely consider the forest Based on the data from the Central Bureau of Statistics as simply containing a variety of plants and animals, of West Kutai Regency 2013, the population of West but they also regard themselves as an integrated part Kutai in 2012, was 184.394 inhabitants. From year to of the forest. Our results also indicate that forest year, the number of people in West Kutai experienced habitats have become hereditary. Moreover, land an increase of population. Over the last several years, tenure and local customs have been established in the average population increase amounted to between local laws and agreements for all forest areas within 0.5% and 1%. Based on the demographic data of the Dayak’s territory (Widjono 1998). According to Linggang Melapeh village, 74% of the people are farm- Arman (1994), the Dayak people tend to choose ers, 15% are employed in the private sector, 6% are plants for cultivation that resemble forest species, civil servants, 3% are temporary government employ- such as rubber (Hevea brasiliensis sp.), Rattan ees and 1% are traders. (Calamus caesius spp.) and Borneo tallow nut The extent of traditionally farmed fields has (Shorea sp., known locally as tengkawang). This decreased in recent times. The decline of this traditional crop choice reflects the Dayaks’ close relationship cultivation area is due to the decreasing interest of the with the forest. young generation in farming. The young generation has Any shifting cultivation activity of the Dayak peo- increasingly sought higher education or employment in ple is always preceded by careful selection of suitable theformalsector, in ordertoensureafutureforthem- plots. Ukur (1994) explained that the Dayak people selves and their families. Ownership of agricultural land have never wanted to damage the forest, because is usually based on a system of inheritance. Our inter- forests, their soils and rivers are part of their lives. views showed that the higher the educational level, the According to Mubyarto (1991), the Dayak people use of cultivated land will be more effective and efficient. employ certain criteria before taking something On the other hand, when education level is low, the land from nature, especially the virgin forest. First, they use tends to be traditional. In addition, land concessions must notify the customary head of their purpose. have been granted for clearing the settlement areas, for Second, several persons are assigned to look for a instance, for road construction, large-scale oil palm suitable forest plot. They will spend time in the forest plantation development, logging, plantation forests and to ‘receive instructions’ or ‘obtain signs’ from nature, coal mining. According to our informants, this has led while also providing offerings. In addition, the tar- to degradation and deforestation on a large scale, as well geted forest area and their soils are carefully checked as a strong decrease in shifting cultivation activities. Of to establish whether it is suitable for cultivation or the traditionally farmed fields that still exist, production horticulture (see Section 3.3). Third, when the appro- is shrinking due to the disinterest of the younger gen- priate plot has been confirmed, an opening ceremony eration. Even if they have knowledge on how to conduct of the forest will be performed, as a sign of recogni- shifting cultivation, the younger generation mostly pre- tion that the forest gives life to them, and to ask for fers to relinquish their land to investors or to work on a the blessing and protection of the forest. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 19 According to the local communities, 10 types of (8) Hema – Forest succession aged 40–80 years. succession forests are known in Linggang Melapeh, O. sumatrana, M. triloba, M. gigantea, T. which mainly vary in time period and management orientalis and A. cadamba are no longer type: dominant, but instead Dipterocarpaceae are starting to dominate. (9) Hema’mentutn – These are forests with an age (1) Urat/Eder/kuango/kuako – Forest succession up to 500 years. Species of Dipterocarpaceae after the rice harvest in March. At this time, have reached diameters up to 120 cm. The arable land is already covered by some plant lower strata plants have almost disappeared. species, such as Macaranga hypoleuca, This forest is not touched by humans. Macaranga triloba, Macaranga gigantea and (10) Kohu’ – In this forest succession, the most Trema orientalis, but their heights remain common species are M. triloba, T. orientalis below 1 m. The length of this brief succession and other kinds of Lianas (woody vines), as phase is only 5 months, that is, between well as plants growing from the shoots of March and August, after which the vegetation stumps of felled trees. Each Kohu succession is cut down again. has different characteristics, often depending (2) Urat mangur – Forest succession between 2 on soil fertility and use history. and 4 years. Similar plant species as in (1) are found, but they can reach heights up to 5 m Shifting cultivation stages and forest succession per- on average. iods can, in combination, amount to decades, if not (3) Urat pelega – Forest succession between 3 centuries. From the above succession types, it can be and 5 years. Heights of plants such as M. concluded that the forest provides possibilities for the triloba, M. gigantea and T. orientalis have development of the Dayak culture, while the Dayak reached 10 m and those plants have started also constantly shape the forest for their management to bear fruit. As a result, bird species like the and cultural patterns (Arman 1994). Dayak commu- green pigeon (Treron sp.) and blue-rumped nities engaging in shifting cultivation have to have a parrot (Psittinus cyanurus) visit the plots to close relationship with the forest, that is, farmers forage. essentially contribute to long-term forest management (4) Keloako – Forest succession in between urat and traditional knowledge in relation to both cultiva- and batakng (5) lasting 5–6 years. The species tion and forest management. According to Ukur occurring are a combination of the two types. (1994), this knowledge system is one of the fundamen- (5) Batakng mangur – Forest succession aged 6– tal characteristics of Dayak culture. Widjono (1998) 9 years. The dominant plants are M. gigantea, has even stated that if the Dayak people would cease M. triloba and, to a lesser extent, T. orientalis their farming activities, their very identity as Dayaks and Anthocephalus chinensis. The trees reach an would disappear quickly, because they would be dis- average diameter of 40 cm and an average height connected from their ancestral cultural roots. of 25 m. During this period, Shorea sp. can begin For the cultivation of rice and secondary crops, the to grow, depending on the Dipterocarp seed Dayak Tunjung communities have developed a pat- source of surrounding ecosystems. tern of shifting cultivation that corresponds to the (6) Batakng pelega – Forest succession aged 9– condition of the nature (Figure 3). This pattern is 20 years. The dominant plants are Octomeles based on decades of subtle variations and trial and sumatrana and Anthocephalus cadamba; their error. The pattern can be found in Table 1. In 2013, average diameter is 80 cm and average height rice production amounted to 1395 tons, resulting can reach up to 30 m. M. gigantea and M. from 424 ha of dry paddy land. A major priority of triloba occurring here can also become thick, shifting cultivation is not only the productivity but but some individuals may have started to die. also the diversity of crops grown in addition to rice. (7) Hèma mangur – Forest succession aged 20– Various kinds of vegetables are grown, as well as 40 years. The name Hema refers to primary various fruit trees, the latter in a lembo or munan forest, which is an indication that some spe- (local fruit orchard). The kinds of fruits grown are cies from the existing primary forest have durians, jackfruit, rambutans, coconut, areca nut, returned, such as Dipterocarpaceae (Shorea banana and others. The trees are also a sign of land- sp. and Dryobalanops sp.) with a diameter ownership; if others want to ‘open the forest’ nearby, of 40 cm. In addition, some species of they must ask permission to the person who first Bombacaceae, Burseraceae, Fagaceae and opened the forest. Lauraceae occur, and species of O. sumatrana Some of the farmers that are still performing shift- and A. cadamba are still found but are not ing cultivation explained that the cultivation is part of dominant. 20 M. E. SIAHAYA ET AL. Table 1. Activities of Dayak Tunjung farmers related to shifting cultivation stages Information based on interviews and field observations conducted during this study. No. Activity Explanation 1. Boundary marking Mark the boundary of plot intended for shifting cultivation by cutting trees. 2. Undergrowth clear- Undergrowth clear-cutting, so that the undergrowth will dry easily and can be burned. cutting 3. Pole tree felling Trees with a diameter of up to 8 cm (pole trees) are cut in half by the use of a machete. It is expected that when larger trees are cut, they will fall on top of them and help them break completely. Pole trees cannot be felt at the same time with clear-cutting as it will hinder the process of drying the undergrowth. 4. Determine tree felling Felling trees in the same direction makes the work easier and safer and makes burning easier. Felling direction is direction towards cultivation area so that fires will not encroach cultivated fields. 5. Chopping the branches Cutting the branches so that trees and their branches will burn easily and no remaining trees will be scattered over the cultivated areas. 6. Burning activities The entire area is inspected and firebreaks are realized. This activity can be done by the owner and their families or together with owners of neighbouring areas. 7. Collecting wood After the burning process has been carried out successfully, remaining unburned wood is collected. 8. Rice planted by dibbling Dibbling is performed between 3 and7 days after burning. Usually neighbours are notified of this, because farmers usually arrange the schedule so that all the neighbours can participate in the dibbling activities. Sometimes secondary crops such as white pumpkin and cucumber are planted. 9. Weeding Weeding usually occurs 1–2 months after planting rice, mainly targeting previous cultivation. This will be done once or twice until harvesting. 10. Harvesting Rice harvesting is usually done around March–April. If the field is large, the owner will be assisted by family. 11. Separating the paddy Separating the paddy is an activity of separating the body and the stem, by trampling the paddy and stems on mats. 12. Milling rice Rice mills are now available in the village, but in earlier times a mortar and rice pestle was used. a Dayak Tunjung community strategy for maintain- Tunjung community, which is why they perform ing soil fertility and protection of insects, animals, traditional rituals before ‘opening the forest’ for fish and amphibians, as well as maintaining the river. farming, and give thanks to the Almighty after har- The farmers do not recognize the usefulness of addi- vest. This means that the Dayak people still have tional fertilizers, but instead opt for improving soil confidence in the presence of the spirits of ancestors fertility by rotation or shifting cultivation. This culti- as a guide during cultivation. The Dayak people have vation activity is usually carried out on a total of at developed an interesting set of traditional ecological least 5 ha per household. The Dayak Tunjung farmers knowledge, dealing with the names of the month and would be confused if forest sites were opened to the phenological, ecological and land-use indicators, monoculture agriculture and not left for forest suc- soil classifications and omens (known as Nyahu). cession, because there would not be sufficient food The simple soil classification system is provided in available for the community. Shifting cultivation Table 2. The Dayaks classify soil fertility by looking at activities are still allowed by the local government, plant indicator species. Soil type identification was because the Dayak Tunjung are not regarded as developed for farming purposes, and a farmer’s abil- exploiting the forest on a large scale, but rather as ity to correctly identify soil types is commonly subsistence farmers. regarded as a measure of farming success. From the The mentioned and observed activities in relation soil classification in Table 2, lingau soil is the most to shifting cultivation in this study resemble findings favoured soil by the Dayak Tunjung due to its high by previous studies on other Dayak tribes, such as by fertility. The lingau soil can be utilized for agricul- Dove (1988) in Kantu, West Borneo. Dove described tural purposes repeatedly, for up to 3 consecutive the following stages of shifting cultivation: (1) pre- years. In addition, the Dayaks give uniquely different selection of the plot, among others based on indicator names to the months of the year (Table 3) and relate bird species; (2) cutting shrubs and small trees with a each month to ‘signs of nature’, such as the call of machete; (3) felling the larger trees with a Dayak certain birds. Such signs of nature remind farmers of pickaxe; (4) first drying and afterwards burning the which activities should be carried out. cleared vegetation; (5) growing rice and other crops, Finally, for every activity, such as farming, hunt- fertilized by the ashes; (6) weeding the fields (except ing, fishing and even travelling, the local commu- the fields of primary forest); (7) protecting the fields nities carefully check omens from nature about from interference by animals; (8) harvesting the rice whether their activity would be approved by nature crops and (9) transporting the harvest to the home. or the Almighty. The Dayak do so, because they believe that all living beings or inanimate objects that exist in nature will assist man, just like man 3.3. Traditional ecological knowledge systems would help to keep their surrounding environment intact and healthy. Therefore, it is believed that all According to Coomans (1987), many local commu- living beings should be respected and preserved, for nities believe that only those who follow the legacy of the benefit of humans and other living things and their ancestors can be considered as living a mean- mutually beneficial. The omens by nature are known ingful life, without ‘sanctions of the divine world’. to the Dayak Tunjung nyahu. Knowledge of nyahu This belief is also firmly present among the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE, ECOSYSTEM SERVICES & MANAGEMENT 21 Table 2. Soil classification according to the ecological knowledge of the Dayak Tunjung communities in Linggang Melapeh village. Information based on interviews and field observations conducted during this study. No. Soil type Soil and land characteristics Vegetation 1. Lingau (fertile soil) The soil is fertile, moist, with much rain, black and Family of Zingiberaceae and Euphorbiaceae reddish soil. 2. Jaras (infertile soil) Land that has been used repeatedly and is now Eugenia sp., Eugenia cf. lineata, Phrynium sp., Pternandra infertile and arid. Very poor in soil nutrients, high rostrata and others from the family of Myrtaceae porosity. The formation of the jaras soil could be caused by the use of agricultural activities that have not allowed for succession. 3. Pasir (sand) Dominated by white sand, high porosity. Various kinds of orchids that grow on trees (epiphytes) and in the ground 4. Tora (moist soil) Moist soil, overgrown and dominated by rattan. Rattan group of Palmae, such as Plectocomiopsis geminiflora, Rattan grows at high density, which cannot be Korthalsia ferox and Caryota mitis, as well as from the group influenced by either humans or animals of bamboo 5. Tanah Paya (moist soil) Moist soil that is always flooded Eleocharis dulcis Table 3. Natural signs and related activities per month. Information based on interviews and field observations conducted during this study. No. Name of month Natural signs Activities 1. Katab (January) Fruit season Preparation of granary (Kelengkeng) 2. Kanam Fruit season Harvesting (February) 3. Pejanga’ (March) Fruit season Harvesting 4. Perdah (April) Rainy (Mahakam river floods) Repairing work tools such as pickaxe and machetes 5. Kẻhẻkng kasa Leaf litter on the forest floor starts to dry Making boundaries clear-cutting for the cultivation activities (May) (Ngẻrakng) 6. Pengẻrai (June) Forest soil hardens Tree felling and cutting 7. Hapit (July) The forest makes a sound because of the winds; Drying the felled trees and burning the fields summer season 8. Karo’ (August) Dry, hot, rains will start Burning the field or clearing the mehongkakng (ex-burnt) 9. Ketiga’ Birds are singing Rice planting (September) 10. Bemanuk Birds are singing Rice planting (October) 11. Lẻntokng Bird makes a ‘khok khok’ sound (sounds similar to None, no rice should be planted during this month, the harvest (November) throwing up) would fail definitely 12. Lẻokng Rainy season Weeding of paddy (December) has been handed over from stories about the experi- 5 ha per household. Generally, the fallow period lasts ences of ancestors, which means that lessons about between 15 and 25 years, but our study found 10 respecting and preserving nature are automatically different forest succession stages after abandonment, transferred to younger generations if the culture of ranging from several years to centuries. A shortened the Dayak Tunjung would be preserved as well. fallow period can be caused by decreasing community management areas. Increasing amounts of surround- ing forest have been designated by the government for 4. Conclusions conservation and concessions, such as for conversion to rubber plantation. This study provides information on traditional knowl- Our research also found that traditional farming edge relating to agricultural activities of Dayak is disappearing swiftly, mainly due to the declining Tunjung communities in Linggang Melapeh, East interest of younger people in farming. The young Borneo. The rice and secondary crop cultivation sys- generation has increasingly sought higher education tem is commonly referred to as uma-taotn and is or employment in the formal sector, in order to managed on an annual basis. Per year, farmers assess ensure a future for themselves and their families. whether cultivation can continue or not, based on In addition, land concessions have been granted for knowledge of soil fertility indicators that has developed clearing the settlement areas, for instance, for road over generations. After abandonment (fallow period), construction, large-scale oil palm plantation devel- farmers will cultivate other plots and leave the aban- opment, logging, plantation forests and coal doned field to allow for forest succession. Farmers mining. This has led to degradation and deforesta- usually check the succession area for occurrence of tion on a large scale, as well as a strong decrease in certain species that indicate fertility. The farmers do shifting cultivation activities. However, traditional not recognize the fertilizers so that the strategy to shifting cultivation is still practiced, because for improve soil fertility is by rotation or shifting cultiva- many of the Dayak community, farming activities tion. This cultivation activity is carried out on at least 22 M. E. SIAHAYA ET AL. deforestation: steps towards sustainable use of the amazon cannot be abandoned because they have been inher- rain forest. New York (NY): Columbia University Press. ited from generation to generation. With these tra- Angelsen A. 1995. Shifting cultivation and “deforestation”: ditional activities comes a wealth of traditional a study from Indonesia. World Dev. 23:1713–1729. ecological knowledge on soil fertility, forest man- Arkanudin. 2009. Sistem Perladangan dan Kearifan agement, forest succession stages and phenological Tradisional Orang Dayak Dalam Mengelola Sumber and ecological indicators throughout the year. In Daya Hutan [Shifting cultivation system and traditional wisdom of the Dayak people in managing forest addition, the Dayak believe that all living beings resources]. Available from: http://arkandien.blogspot. should be respected and preserved, for the benefit com/2009/03/sistem-perladangan-dan-kearifan.html of humans and other living things and mutually Arman S. 1994. Analisa Budaya Dayak. In: Florus DP, edi- beneficial. This entails that attitudes on and knowl- tor. Kebudayaan Dayak: Aktualisasi Dan Transformasi, edge of preserving nature are automatically trans- Jakarta: Grashindo Utama [The analysis of dayak cultural. ferred to younger generations, provided that the In: Florus P, editor. Culture of Dayak: actualization and transformation. Jakarta: Grashindo Utama]. traditional shifting cultivation culture of the Dayak Ave JB, King VT. 1986. Borneo: the people of the weeping Tunjung would be preserved. forest, tradition and change in Borneo. Leiden: National Various studies have proved that the local com- Museum of Ethnology. munities in Borneo are able to manage and utilize Badan Pusat Statistik Kabupaten Kutai Barat. 2013. forest resources in a sustainable manner, through Kecamatan Linggang Bigung dalam Angka 2013. Katalog bps: 1102001.6402, Nomor Publikasi: customary institutions. Throughout Borneo, Dayak 64025.1201. Diterbitkan oleh Badan Pusat Statistik communities have relied on forest resources for cen- Kabupaten Kutai Barat. [Central Bureau of Statistics in turies. Their culture is based on interdependence of West Kutai Regency. 2013. Linggang Bigung Sub-district nature and people, which has resulted in complex and in Figures 2013, Catalogue bps: 1102001.6402, vast knowledge systems. The capabilities of tradi- Publication Number: 64025.1201. Published by Central tional societies are closely linked to the amount of Bureau of Statistics in West Kutai Regency]. Berkes F. 2008. Sacred ecology. 2nd ed. New York (NY): local wisdom that persists in the societies. This can be Routledge. of crucial importance, because throughout Indonesia, Berkes F, Folke C. 1994. Investing in cultural capital for a new system has been introduced that puts the local sustainable use of natural resources. In: Koskoff S, editor. communities forward as central actors of future forest Investing in natural capital: the ecological economics management plans. Local wisdom in the form of approach to sustainability. Washington (DC): Island Press. Brookfield H, Padoch C. 1994. Appreciating agrodiversity: traditional ecological knowledge can prove to be a look at the dynamism and diversity of indigenous instrumental for future forest resource and conserva- farming practices: Environment. 36:6–11. tion management in Indonesia and other biodiver- Camacho LD, Gevaña DT, Carandang AP, Camacho SC. 2015. sity-rich countries. Indigenous knowledge and practices for the sustainable management of Ifugao forests in Cordillera, Philippines. Int J Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Serv Manag. 12:1–9. Acknowledgements Colfer CJP, Peluso NL, Chung CS. 1997. Beyond slash and burn; building on indigenous management of Borneo’s We would like to thank all informants who helped us by tropical rain forests. New York (NY): The New York providing information on the local wisdom and the shifting Botanical Garden Press. cultivation systems of the Dayak Tunjung Linggang Coomans M. 1987. Manusia Dayak, Dahulu, Sekarang, Melapeh in the village area. We would like to especially Masa Depan. Jakarta: Gramedia [Dayak people, past, thank Hefsi Nehemya Wanca who provided information present, future. Jakarta: Gramedia]. about shifting cultivation. In addition, we are grateful to Dove MR. 1983. Theories of Swidden agriculture and the the editors of the Special Issue on ‘Traditional knowledge political economy of ignorance. Agroforestry Syst. 1:85–99. for sustainable forest management and provision of eco- Dove MR. 1985. Swidden Agriculture in Indonesia. system services’ for giving us an opportunity to submit our Mouton, Berlin: The Subsistence Strategies of The manuscript, as well as to Alexander van Oudenhoven who Kalimantan Kantu. helped to edit this paper. Dove MR. 1988. Shifting in Indonesia: a case study in West Kalimantan. Yogyakarta: Gajah Mada University Press. Garna JK. 1996. Ilmu-Ilmu Sosial, Dasar-Konsep-Posisi. Bandung: Program Pascasarjana UNPAD [Social Disclosure statement sciences, basic-concept-position. Bandung: Postgraduate No potential conflict of interest was reported by the Program University of Padjadjaran]. authors. Inoue M, Lahjie AM. 1990. Dynamics of Swidden agricul- ture in East Kalimantan. Agroforestry Syst. 12:269–284. Iskandar J. 1992. Ekologi Perladangan di Indonesia, Studi Kasus dari Daerah Baduy, Banten Selatan, Jawa Barat. 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International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management – Taylor & Francis
Published: Jan 2, 2016
Keywords: Rice; shifting cultivation; forest ecosystems; local knowledge; Indonesia; soil classification
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