For the past few years, there has been a rapid growth of palm and industry plantations in the Bangka Belitung Islands that threatens the culture and tradition of the native Jerieng Tribe. These indigenous people have been tirelessly fighting to keep their land and preserve their way of life.
Frustrated by Vietnam’s suppression of their language, history and faith, Khmer Krom monks are forced to migrate to Cambodia to pursue an unrestricted education. Some who return face hostile authorities who fear monks will stir up deep-seated ethnic divisions.
Indonesia’s decision to move its capital from Jakarta to a new city in East Kalimantan excluded local and indigenous communities from the planning process. Now, Nusantara—an internal colonial project in disguise—threatens their land, culture and livelihoods.
From Thailand to Indonesia, indigenous people who have lived off the land for centuries are struggling to preserve their forest homes and customs. But as states create national parks and forcibly evict forest-dwellers, their ties to ancestral land are cut.
The pandemic has strained reforestation work in Sabah’s biodiverse Lower Kinabatangan region, but locals continue to replant trees in an effort to secure their livelihoods, protect endangered species and regrow carbon-capturing rainforests.
Community conservationists in Selangor are working to save the Shah Alam forest from planned development by showcasing its threatened biodiversity, disproving government claims and building support. Can they repeat an earlier victory by other forest defenders?
A conflict over land granted to a eucalyptus pulp manufacturer by the Indonesian state threatens not only the livelihoods of the indigenous people who claim the forests, but also their ability to perform traditional rituals passed down across generations.
Deborah Augustin speaks to Febriana Firdaus and Leo Plunkett about their recent documentary, Our Mother’s Land. Febriana and Leo talk about their experience with this film and share their thoughts on the challenges women activists face in Indonesia when it comes to environmental activism.
From colonial tobacco plantations to state sugar interests, indigenous farmers in one North Sumatran village have faced recurring evictions and displacement. Indonesia’s drive to become sugar self-sufficient has left them homeless again.
On today’s episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Shaq Koyok, a contemporary artist from the indigenous Temuan community about his thoughts on the plan to degazette 97% of the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve in Malaysia, an area that not only has an important role to play in conserving biodiversity, but is also significant to the indigenous communities who rely on it to survive.