The Dayak Iban Way of Farming

Ancestral knowledge and traditional farming practices under fire


Duration: 12:56

Available in 4 languages

Released: August 2021

Click to play video

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

Sign up to our newsletter Subscribe

Would you like to screen this film to your community?

Read our dedicated guide

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?

Learn More
Sign up to our newsletter Subscribe