Dayaks and Drones

Using GPS Drone Technology Community Mapping

Indonesia

Duration: 6:58


Available in 5 languages


Released: September 2014

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Even a well-managed, recognised forest faces constant challenges but innovative drone GPS technology, cooperative campaigning, local government support and eco-tourism are helping the Setulang people thrive. They have shown that community rights, the environment and development go hand in hand.

Setulang boasts clean water, sustainable fishing and hunting, building materials, fruit and traditional medicine, a ‘life bank’ for future generations. But by being in a heavily forested area they still face the growing threat of timber, oil palm and mining companies. The head of the village is looking to find new and innovative solutions to protect his land and a team of experts from West Kalimantan may have the answer. GPS based drones are being used for the first time to map community land and the results have been impressive.

  • Interesting facts & key figures

    • The Oma’lung tribe, part of the Dayak Kenyah, moved to Setulang in the 1960-70s from their previous village, which was very inaccessible. Setalung has a population of 900 people.
      Besides their settlement and agricultural areas, Dayak Kenyah also typically have a restricted customary area called Tana’ Ulen (restricted land). This was traditionally an area for the aristocratic family to hunt and fish and maintain a protected and abundant supply of natural resources, fresh water for the village, an environmental service. It is now governed by the council of village elders and leaders rather than one aristocratic family.
    • From 2000 until 2002, eight businessmen offered Setalung collaboration deals but the community rejected all of them. For its efforts to protect their forests from illegal logging, Setulang was awarded the Kalpataru Award in 2003 by the Indonesian Government, a prestigious national environmental award. They were also recognised in that year for the quality of their water, which is protected by the forests, in the Water Water Forum in Kyoto, also 2003.
    • Participatory mapping first started in Indonesia in 1992 as the international movement for community based natural resources management took off, and the Indonesian environmental movement turned to focus on reclaiming customary land rights. Conventional counter-mapping strategies combined community sketches with low resolution satellite images that were freely available. However the quality could not compete with government produced maps. Drone technology has vastly changed that. Drones are usually associated with their use as military weapons, but since 2006 the civilian use of autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles has been gaining pace

Who's Involved?

Consent

When decisions are made about their forests and ancestral lands communities have the right to free, prior, and informed consent. They should also be allowed to say no when governments and corporations threaten their livelihoods.

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