Eco-tourism along the 147 km Malinau - Ba' Binuang Road in Krayan

The appearance of the Malinau - Krayan road.

Along the Malinau - Krayan road, the scenery is enchanting in every direction. It feels like we're in a land above the clouds, with a refreshing coolness in the air. Every curve of the road holds not just beauty but a sense of wonder. 

Journey from Malinau to Krayan: an extraordinary natural attraction

Truly, the journey from Malinau to Krayan via this road has become an extraordinary natural attraction, brimming with charm and excitement. 

Don't believe it? 

Take this challenging cross-country journey. Throughout the 9 to 14 hours of travel, the sensation will never cease to amaze you.

Krayan, a customary territory of the Dayak community, owned and nurtured for hundreds of years, is now open to the outside world. The 147-kilometer road connecting Malinau to Ba' Binuang in Krayan is now operational. 

Although not yet perfect and still rugged and steep in many areas, this through road can already be traversed with double-gardan vehicles.

However, the opening of Krayan's isolation does bring some concerns. The local Krayan residents are beginning to worry. What will be the impact and influence of social changes brought about by the new road directly connecting Malinau and Krayan?

Gayam Mural guided by Dr. Apri

Recently, in Batu Ruyud, Ba' Binuang, Krayan (North Kalimantan), an exciting Gayam mural (casual discussion) led to a brilliant idea. 

Despite the participants being humble residents from Fe' Milau, Ba' Binuang, and Long Padi, they reached a collective solution to "counteract" the influence of external factors on The Hearts of Borneo, as the isolation that has long surrounded Krayan with the outside world begins to lift. 

This change is due to the opening of the 147 km Malinau - Ba' Binuang road, now accessible to two-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles.

Participants of the Gayam mural sat together, discussing the challenges faced by the Krayan community, particularly related to the opening of the Malinau - Ba' Binuang road in Krayan, North Kalimantan.

Gayam mural, an engaging open discussion delving into the future of social change in Krayan following the opening of the Malinau - Krayan road.

The newly accessible Malinau - Ba' Binuang road can now be traversed, though it still has extreme conditions in some areas. Dr. Apri, STP, skillfully guided the discussion, directing the conversation towards understanding that this new access brings both challenges and opportunities, in line with the Adversity Quotient concept by Paul Stoltz.

Participants reflected on the influx of outsiders into their pristine region. The indigenous Krayan people realized that the arrival of these newcomers not only brings external influences but also threatens various aspects of Krayan life, from the economy to culture and beliefs.

Ways to Stay Resilient

In a spirit of solidarity, they explored ways to remain resilient and preserve their identity. 

The discussion emphasized the importance of strengthening the local economy, developing education and cultural awareness, building robust local institutions, and ensuring sustainable infrastructure development.

The appearance of the road connecting Malinau to Ba' Binuang in Krayan spans a distance of 147 kilometers.

The Gayam mural participants recognized the critical role of collaboration and solidarity between local communities, the government, and other stakeholders. By uniting and working together, they believe they can face all challenges more resiliently.

Under the guidance of Dr. Apri, STP, everyone felt inspired and confident that with determination and hard work, they could overcome any obstacles and maintain the sustainability of the Krayan community, even as they become more exposed to external influences.

Don't mortgage your land

The land and territory of Krayan are precious legacies inherited from their ancestors over centuries. 

This commitment to preservation has been formalized through Village Regulations and a robust customary institutional system. It is not a decision taken lightly but a manifestation of a deep commitment to environmental sustainability and the community's way of life.

More than just formal regulations, the local belief is that the Kayan-Mentarang National Park is an integral part of their ancestral territory, not the other way around. This is not just a legal claim but a reflection of a deep-rooted relationship between people and nature, forged over centuries.

Facing external pressures, the local community has taken significant steps to preserve their identity. Language, beliefs, and culture are diligently maintained as integral parts of their ancestral heritage. The locals understand that preserving cultural diversity is key to ensuring their community's survival.

Control over the economy and basic needs, such as food staples and transportation, remains in the hands of the local community. They recognize the importance of managing their resources to meet the needs and interests of their community.

With consistent efforts to uphold traditional values, the Krayan community endeavors to maintain their cultural heritage. Simultaneously, they strategically manage their territory and resources to resist external influences and ensure their sustainability.

-- Rangkaya Bada

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