Customary Community of Dayak Iban in Sungai Utik Longhouse
Throughout a 40-year campaign to obtain legal recognition of land rights to their 9,504-hectare customary forest, the Indigenous Group of Dayak Iban Sungai Utik Long House have consistently defended their lands against illegal logging, palm oil production, and corporate interests, protecting an estimated 1.31 million tons of carbon. Known as the Sungai Utik forest guardians, the group lives in West Kalimantan in a 214-metre traditional long house that accommodates 318 people. The Dayak Iban sustainably manage their forest in accordance with customary laws — 6,000 hectares are reserved as protected forest and 3,504 hectares are reserved for crop cultivation managed in a traditional rotation system. This management system provides the group with food, medicine, and clean water. Valuing nature and cultural integrity over temporary wealth from the sale of their land, the Dayak Iban illustrate the power of sustainable indigenous management for climate change mitigation and human well-being.
Equator Prize Winner: 2019
Location: West Kalimatan, Indonesia
Ecosystem: Forests, Wetlands and rivers
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