KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is moving towards carrying out community-based enforcement of its forest resources with a one-day workshop being the first step in this approach.
The meeting to be held tomorrow will focus on using tagal hutan community-based enforcement for forests and how it could be a conservation tool for native culture as well as natural resources.
The discussions will tackle the fundamental question of whether this practice could be used through the development of a policy or legal framework, said Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (Jaos) secretary-general Jannie Lasimbang.
Tagal in the Kadazan language means prohibition and the system maintains harmony between users and their natural environment.
The spirit behind the system is collective ownership and responsibility, sustainable use of resources and maintaining balance of life.
The workshop would also delve into the potential of tagal hutan to address issues of inclusion among indigenous communities in conserving and sustainably managing their resources, as they have done for generations.
“It will look at past examples and the impact, both positive and negative, of turning this practice into law,” Jannie said, in noting that Sabah had widely adopted the tagal system for many rivers with successful results.
The workshop will be held at the Kota Kinabalu Forestry Department office at Lok Kawi here.
The department is jointly organising the workshop with Sabah Social Forestry Working Group (SASOF) that include Jaos, the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme Malaysia, Land Empowerment Animals People, Pacos Trust and Ridge to Reef.