The Dayak Iban Way of Farming

Ancestral knowledge and traditional farming practices under fire

Indonesia

Duration: 12:56


Available in 4 languages


Released: August 2021

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For thousands of years the Dayak people of the island of Borneo have cultivated their land based on their traditional beliefs. They have developed cultivation technics, such as rotating from a field to another, leaving some fields for years to regain their fertility, and when the time comes, clearing by burning them so they can be cultivated again.

But now the situation has changed. Dayak farmers are being arrested for performing this cultural tradition, citing that they cause forest fires and haze pollution, whilst big corporations that have been suspects in these cases continue business as usual.

For hundreds of years, we have been farming

Before Indonesia was formed we’ve already been farming

Then came the companies taking the forest

Destroying the forest and ruining the nature

And we became their scapegoat

We only burn as necessary

We’re not greedy nor excessive

We farm as a way of life

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Recognition to Land, Territories and Resources

Communities need ownership over their ancestral land in order to protect forests. With no formal land title traditional communities often face serious conflict when trying to evict illegal loggers, poachers and land grabbers. Who will believe their claims without precise maps and legal title deeds?

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