Recognising the Role of Local and Indigenous Communities in Managing Natural Resources for the Greater Public Benefit: Case Studies from Asia and Oceania Region

  • Citation: Sangha, Kamaljit K., Simone Maynard, Jasmine Pearson, Pariva Dobriyal, Ruchi Badola, and Syed Ainul Hussain. “Recognising the Role of Local and Indigenous Communities in Managing Natural Resources for the Greater Public Benefit: Case Studies from Asia and Oceania Region.” Ecosystem Services 39 (October 2019).
    • Topics:
    • Movements for Inclusion
    • Keywords:
    • South-East Asia
    • Indonesia
    • Samin community
    • Central Java
    • Sukolilo village
    • cement industries
    • peaceful protest
    • indigenous people‚ indigenous rights
    • peaceful resistance

Many local and Indigenous communities across the globe afford ecosystem services to the wider global public through maintaining natural resources because of their duteous usage and astute management. However there is barely any recognition or financial support for them to continue maintaining or enhancing the flow of ecosystem services from their finely managed Indigenous and local lands. This paper offers insights using three case studies from the Oceania-Asia region—i.e. Australia, India and Fiji—that supports the highest Indigenous and local communities population. It describes the main cultural values and traditions, and land rights of Indigenous and local communities in relation to their natural systems, and the key issues and challenges that people experience in their respective regions. Lack of recognition of peoples’ land rights, unregulated and exploitative use of resources, and inequitable distribution of benefits that accrue to private (often corporate) enterprises from using natural resources were the common issues among all case studies. To support conservative use and management of Indigenous and local lands, this paper argues to establish monetary mechanisms i.e. Payments for Ecosystem Services, Green Funds, Common Trusts, etc. to enable Indigenous and local communities to continue managing natural resources for the greater public benefit.

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