Last updated April 2010 
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Indonesia - Malinau, Kalimantan

Malinau KalimantanGunung Lumut - Kalimantan  |  Papua  |  Sumatra

Malinau is the site where the original set of methods for the MLA approach was developed. It is so far the most extensive survey (7 months of fieldwork, large area) and there have been several follow-up activities including the latest news from Malinau.

In 1996, the government of Indonesia gave CIFOR permission to carry out long-term research into sustainable forest management in Malinau district, East Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo. At the time, this rugged and forested area, next to the Kayan Mentarang National Park, was little known, but it was suspected to have a high value in terms of its plants and animals.

Malinau is still covered in lowland tropical rainforest, and so far mainly the more accessible areas have been logged. However, there is growing pressure from logging companies interested in this last vast stretch of forest and local government is eager to see some income from the district's rich natural resources. Twenty seven local communities live along the Malinau river and depend on the forests surrounding them. As land tenure is as yet unclear in Indonesia, they are increasingly losing out and see their livelihoods threatened. ITTO has supported several research activities in the area, among them a ‘biodiversity baseline study'. The biodiversity researchers of CIFOR, however, wanted to go further than ‘finding out what occurs and where'. Together with many partners, they developed a set of methods to assess the importance of this biological wealth to local communities, and to identify what steps are needed to maintain this biota in the future. The MLA survey covered seven small communities of Merap and Punan people, who make a living by growing hill rice (shifting cultivation), fishing, hunting, logging and/or collecting forest products.


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