Indigenous Communities are at the Heart of Conserving Biodiversity and Protecting Mother Earth


On Earth Day, this photo essay celebrates the beautiful interdependence between indigenous communities and nature. It shows various indigenous communities from Malaysia and some of their customary practices that reveal their strong role in biodiversity conservation. Strengthening Indigenous Peoples’ rights over their territories, and supporting their traditional community conservation practices are fundamental for protecting Mother Earth.

Silad or Kapoi is a multi purpose plant traditionally used in building materials, traditional costumes, and in ceremonial practices.

Murut Tataluan community entering their community forest to gather wild honey bee.

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A Murut man repairing his fishing-net.

Men from the Sungai Lobu community displaying their fishstock. They practice the customary Tagal system, which is a unique way of traditional community conservation where fishing is prohibited at certain times and in certain restricted areas.

The Murut Tataluan community depends mainly on the forest and river for their livelihood.

A Sungai Tombonuo lady resting after gathering shells in the mangrove forest.

Their playground. Children from Dusun community running upstream to setup another down river ride.

Typical Dusun community style baskets and other forest product handicrafts.

A Dusun man gathering wild vegetables on his land.

”Linopot” a traditional style rice wrapped in “Doringin” leaf.

Community men catching fish, they only catch as much fish as needed for sustenance.

Children from the Dusun community really love their river.

Sungai Rumanau men demonstrate a traditional hunting trap for catching small game.

Thirsty?.. no problem. A Sungai Rumanau man drinking water from a tree vine.

A Sungai Rumanau man shows a traditional ladder for collecting wild honey.

Sungai Tombonuo youth collecting shells in the mangrove.

A Murut Man preparing “Ingkuun”- a traditional motif carved from wood for traditional ceremonies.

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