The present article dwells upon the environmental issues Indonesians face and the issues indigenous people in this area are facing (as well as issues they are about to face). Kuhn reveals major controversies existing in the region (n.p.). The author notes that Indonesia, which is still regarded as one of the most forested areas, is at risk of complete deforestation as the economic boom requires such resources as land and wood.
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One of the major controversies is the lack of a proper legislature concerning land. Kuhn states that the government owns the land (n.p.). However, it is also noted that indigenous people regard land as their own as they claim their ancestors lived there for centuries. The government seems to ignore such claims as a lot of lands is being sold to entrepreneurs. Kuhn states that land is often sold without concession of indigenous people who live on the land.
Sometimes indigenous people do not even know the land has been sold. Kuhn claims that future generations of Dayaks may become homeless or criminals as they will not have the right to live on the land of their fathers (n.p.). It is noted that the problem is unlikely to be solved soon due to corruption, which is a characteristic feature of the Indonesian government. Reportedly, some Indonesian officials claim that the situation is not as serious as it may seem, but a number of anti-corruption incentives have been launched.
It is also noted that Indonesian officials have different views on the future of indigenous people. Some state that indigenous people should assimilate and become a part of the mainstream culture (economy, etc.). Others stress that indigenous people should choose their path on their own. They should decide whether they want to preserve and develop their culture, and in this case, they should be assisted, i.e., deforestation should be stopped.
The present article dwells upon the use of indigenous knowledge in water and land management in Australia. Notably, the Australian government recognizes the rights of indigenous people and their right to manage their land. McGregor et al. note that nowadays, people understand that Western civilization has failed to work out proper management of natural resources as environmental issues are becoming more serious over time (721). It has also been acknowledged that indigenous culture that has been developed throughout centuries contains specific techniques that can help develop proper natural resources management.
The authors reveal a number of effective techniques that have been used by indigenous people. These techniques are also used now. For instance, the authors depict the use of fire in wetland management. The technique is depicted in detail. Particular data on the effectiveness of the method are provided in the article. The authors state that this technique has proved to be effective as it considerably enhances biodiversity in the region (McGregor et al. 727).
It also addresses a number of issues associated with wetlands management. The authors conclude that the burning strategies used should not be generalized and used in other areas, as this can be dangerous due to the uniqueness of every region. However, the authors emphasize the necessity to combine indigenous knowledge and western science to work out effective strategies that could address major environmental issues. The authors also note that the indigenous people of Australia can contribute greatly to the development of the Australian economy and culture. It is stated that the experience of indigenous people should be integrated into Western culture.
Kuhn, Anthony. “A Battle Is under Way for the Forests of Borneo.” NPR. 2011. Web.
McGregor, Sandra, Violet Lawson, Peter Christophersen, Rod Kennett, James Boyden, Peter Bayliss, Adam Liedloff, Barbie McKaige & Alan N. Andersen. “Indigenous Wetland Burning: Conserving Natural and Cultural Resources in Australia’s World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.” Human Ecology 38.1 (2010): 721-729. Print.