Thu, Feb 06, 2014 - Page 5 News List

FEATURE: Indonesia seeks to protect ancient tribe on Sulawesi

AFP, TANA TOA, Indonesia

Bulukumba officials fear this ancient way of life could be wiped out if the Kajang are not given the right to manage their own lands, a move they believe would encourage the tribe to preserve its traditions.

They hope to use the court ruling passed in May last year as the basis for a local bylaw to give the Kajang this right.

The ruling said that indigenous people owned forest on their ancestral lands. Previously the state claimed ownership of all the country’s forests.

As with many such rulings made centrally in Indonesia, it still needs to be applied locally. Bulukumba officials argue the decision gives the Kajang the right to manage all their densely forested land.

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