Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Forest is the Lifeline of the Penans

Penans are categorized into two main groups based on where they live : the Western Penans and the Eastern Penans.

Eastern group : The Penans from Kubaan-Puak Forest Management Unit - they live mainly in Baram and Tutoh regions.

Western group: they live mainly in the Belaga region of Sarawak, Malaysia.

This indigenous people of Sarawak used to live by the following nomadic culture:
  • Do not have permanent settlements,
  • Do not farm, living mainly by foraging forest resources.

Nevertheless, as of today, only a small group of Penans are nomadic.

The Penans are guardian of the forest because of the 'molong' system which lives in their blood - 'Molong' is the Penan's traditional social rules of managing the accessibility, distribution and ownership of the forest and its resources, only taking what is necessary from an area that is owned, or where these activities are allowed - it is the way the Penan community ensures that the forest and its resources are sustain-ably managed.

The Penans depends on the for basic needs - shelter, food such as wild sago, tapioca, fish and edible fruits as well as tools like traditional blowpipe and poison darts.

Penans also made handicrafts such as woven baskets, bags, mats and bangles.

Kubaan-Puak Forest Management Unit:

The forest of Kubaan-Puak has become an important turning point for the WWF's work in Sarawak. It is one of the corridors that will eventually connect two major protected areas in Sarawak, Mulu and Pulong Tau National Parks, as well as form a corridor that links these areas across state and international borders to Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan in the Heart of Borneo.

The Kubaan-Puak Forest Management Unit is a project which is based on the concept of High Conservation Values (HCVs) - the idea was to identify high conservation values in the forest and to protect, enhance or restore them against logging activities pertaining to the forest.

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