Management of Traditional Forests by the Dayak Community in Krayan, North Kalimantan

The Dayak people are the custodians of the land, earth, water, and air in Krayan, Nunukan Regency, North Kalimantan. They have proven themselves resilient in preserving the purity of nature.

The Dayak people have demonstrated for centuries, even thousands of years, their skill in preserving and maintaining the natural world. 

Why is this so? Because the Dayak people are a microcosm. Nature is the living refrigerator for the Dayak. Therefore, it is unthinkable for the Dayak to destroy themselves!

Turn your gaze to this map of Borneo. What does the landscape of Kalimantan look like? Those green areas are the homes, the dwelling places of the Dayak people. 

What does this mean? It means that the Dayak are the guardians and preservers of the Heart of Borneo!

The green areas of Kalimantan are inhabited by the Dayak people

Observe the red and green areas of Borneo. The green represents the settlements and traditional forests of the Dayak, while the red denotes regions dominated by industry, mining, plantations, and company-operated estates.

The green areas of Kalimantan are inhabited by the Dayak people. These green areas, encompassing settlements, homes, and traditional forests, represent a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.

The Dayak community, with a population exceeding 8 million, has preserved these forests for generations, making them their home and primary living space.

These green areas also hold immense ecological value, harboring various species and well-preserved ecosystems.

For example, Krayan in the Nunukan Regency of North Kalimantan is a green area inhabited by 95% Dayak people who inherit the tradition of protecting their ancestral land.

On the other hand, the red areas include mining, industrial, and plantation zones. These regions often become the primary focus of deforestation and environmental degradation in Borneo.

Mining, industrial, and plantation activities frequently contribute to the loss of forests and adverse climate change. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor, regulate, and limit activities in these red zones to protect Borneo's natural ecosystems.

A clear understanding of the differences between these green and red areas enables us to identify environmental challenges that need addressing and appreciate the role of the Dayak community in preserving Borneo's traditional forests and natural environment.

Moreover, this understanding forms the basis for developing policies and actions that support environmental conservation in Borneo.

Borneo indeed has a number of pristine and natural forests, but the exact percentage can vary depending on data sources and definitions used.

1. The Malinau - Binuang (Krayan) road, stretching 155 km, opens up the isolation of the Krayan region. It is hoped that this new road will not lead to deforestation in Krayan and that the area will remain as pristine as it is today.
2. The pristine natural ambiance of Krayan, at the end of the Malinau - Binuang road, on the cliffs of the Krayan River.

Approximately one-fifth of Borneo's green areas are the homes and ancestral lands of the Dayak people, who are the rightful custodians and heirs of the third-largest island in the world. Thus, blaming the Dayak community for deforestation and environmental damage in Borneo is both inaccurate and unjust.

However, an estimate that around 20% or one-fifth of Borneo's area remains pristine can provide a general picture of the level of natural conservation on the island.

It is important to remember that Borneo consists of three different countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Each country has its own conservation policies and efforts, and the level of natural preservation in each region can vary.

Dyak Preserving Borneo's Ecosystem

Efforts to conserve nature and manage forests sustainably are essential to maintaining Borneo's ecosystem and its biodiversity. These efforts are necessary to keep the environmental balance, protect endangered species, and ensure sustainable natural resources for the future.

As we know, Borneo covers an area of 743,330 km². To calculate the "green areas" that remain pristine, we can use the one-fifth comparison of Borneo's total area.

This means that only about 20% of Borneo's total area remains in its natural state. Thus, out of the total area of 743,330 km², only 148,666 km² remains as "green areas" unaffected by human activities and still in their natural condition.

The fact that most of the green areas in Borneo are inhabited by the Dayak community and constitute their traditional forests is very important. It highlights the crucial role of the Dayak people in preserving nature and their ancestral heritage.

The Dayak not only maintain environmental sustainability but also preserve their culture and traditions closely tied to the surrounding environment.

The management of traditional forests by the Dayak community

The management of traditional forests by the Dayak community can help maintain ecosystems, protect endangered species, and promote sustainable forest management. It also demonstrates the deep relationship between humans and nature and their commitment to protecting it across generations.

It is important to recognize and respect the role of indigenous communities like the Dayak in environmental conservation and maintaining the ecosystem balance in Borneo. Collaborative efforts with such communities can be key to environmental sustainability in the future.

Blaming the Dayak community for deforestation and environmental damage in Borneo is inaccurate and unjust.

The facts show that most deforestation and environmental damage on the island is caused by mining, industrial companies, and large-scale human activities. Indigenous communities like the Dayak are often the victims in this context.

"Post-truth" refers to situations where emotions and personal beliefs often influence opinions and perceptions more than facts and scientific evidence. This issue often arises in discussions about environmental and controversial deforestation issues.

It is important to understand that good policies, regulations, and conservation efforts should target companies and industries responsible for environmental damage.

Indigenous communities like the Dayak can act as protectors of nature and possess valuable knowledge in environmental conservation.

In this context, collaboration and support for indigenous communities and efforts to address the primary causes of deforestation are more important than unfairly blaming them.

Accusations against traditional farmers

Accusations against traditional farmers, who cultivate their own land and apply farming techniques practiced by the Dayak for thousands of years, can be considered a post-truth phenomenon that needs to be seriously addressed using objective data and facts. The Dayak are often scapegoated during haze, forest fires, or environmental damage.

In this post-truth era, Dayak scholars, researchers, and writers have a responsibility to counter accusations regarding environmental damage blamed on the Dayak in Borneo. This must be done by presenting data and facts that can provide a complete and accurate picture of the agricultural practices and environmental sustainability applied by the Dayak community.

Highlighting that traditional farming practices by the Dayak have a strong cultural heritage and have proven sustainable over thousands of years is crucial. These methods involve a deep understanding of local ecosystems, soil cycles, and biodiversity maintenance. Therefore, when facing negative accusations related to forest fires or environmental damage, it is important for Dayak scholars to provide a clear and data-based account of the farming practices they apply.

The Dayak face post-truth and accusations of deforestation

Collecting and presenting convincing data on the Dayak community's role in maintaining environmental sustainability can provide a deeper understanding to the general public. This includes information on conservation initiatives, participation in forest preservation programs, and other positive efforts by the Dayak to preserve nature.

By showing that the Dayak community is not only being blamed but is also an important actor in environmental preservation, Dayak scholars can combat stereotypes. They can shape a more accurate narrative.

This data-driven approach can be an effective tool in facing the post-truth era. In this era, information is often distorted or misinterpreted.

(Rangkaya Bada)

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