Suitability of Resource Management based on Supernatural Enforcement Mechanisms to Local Socio-cultural Context: Toward self-directed resource management by the people who ‘coexist with supernatural agencies’
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Suitability of Resource Management based on Supernatural Enforcement Mechanisms to Local Socio-cultural Context: Toward self-directed resource management by the people who ‘coexist with supernatural agencies’

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The local people living in the forest interior of Seram Island, east Indonesia, have divided the primary forest into many small hunting grounds. When the number of animals decreases, owners of forest ...

The local people living in the forest interior of Seram Island, east Indonesia, have divided the primary forest into many small hunting grounds. When the number of animals decreases, owners of forest lots can impose a temporary prohibition on forest use, known as seli kaitahu. The villagers believe any violation of seli kaitahu brings misfortune upon a violator and their family from forest spirits and ancestors. This presentation, given by CIFOR scientist Masatoshi Sasaoka at the 17th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management in Malaysia in June 2011, explores how forest game resource use is controlled through the interaction between people and recognised supernatural agents, and how such management practices are suitable to the local socio-cultural context.

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Suitability of Resource Management based on Supernatural Enforcement Mechanisms to Local Socio-cultural Context: Toward self-directed resource management by the people who ‘coexist with supernatural agencies’ Suitability of Resource Management based on Supernatural Enforcement Mechanisms to Local Socio-cultural Context: Toward self-directed resource management by the people who ‘coexist with supernatural agencies’ Presentation Transcript

  • Suitability of Resource Management based on Supernatural Enforcement Mechanisms to Local Socio-cultural Context: Toward self-directed resource management by the people who ‘coexist with supernatural agencies’ ISSRM 2011 Malaysia Conference, June 2011 Masatoshi Sasaoka (CIFOR) & Yves Laumonier (CIRAD-B&SEF)
  • Backgrounds Socio- Social enforcement economic mechanism: purposes: • People monitor other• prevention of peoples’ conduct and resource apply sanctions (e.g., degradation punishment and• enhancement moral blame) against of resource the rule-breakers harvesting efficiency Supernatural• avoidance of enforcement resource mechanism (SEM): conflict • people believe that Religious supernatural purposes: agencies monitor human conduct and• appeasing and impose punishment reposing on violators, thus supernatural promoting agencies compliance with the rules
  • Backgrounds  Commons studies McCay and Acheson 1987; Bromley ed. 1992; Ostrom et al. eds. 2002; Dolsak and Ostrom eds. 2003, etc.  Anthropological studies focusing on IRM and local people’s view of the supernatural world Colding and Folke 2001; Hamilton 2002; Bhagwat and Rutte 2006; Virtanen 2002; Byers et al. 2001; Saj et al. 2006, etc.  Recent conservation report Schaaf and Lee eds. 2006; Mallarach ed. 2008, etc.  The focus of this presentation IRM controlling forest game animal use in the upland area of central Seram
  • Backgrounds: The Focus of this Presentation:IRM controlling forest game animals in the upland area of central Seram, Indonesia High dependency on sago • Sago contains little protein • forest game resources are indispensable for local subsistence Customary ban on game resource harvesting: seli kaitahu • the emic purpose of seli kaitahu  “to increase the number of game animals in the forest once their numbers decline”, and “to prevent poaching during the closing of the forest” Imposition of seli kaitahu with rituals • strong belief that if one violates seli kaitahu  the violator cannot succeed in trapping/hunting, and he or his family will meet with misfortune because of the punishment inflicted by supernatural agencies
  • Backgrounds “B type” IRM: Resource management based on the supernatural enforcement mechanism, that is practiced for socio-economic purposes The purposes of the rule are easily understood and accepted by the outsiders (e.g. NP, NGO staff) The enforcement mechanism is likely to be branded as “unscientific” , and its role is under- valued  Intervention by outsiders attempting to reorganize IRM into a more “rational” method may depress the self-direction of the local people in NRM To promote “self-directed RM by the local people” who coexist with supernatural agencies, outsiders need to understand how the people manage natural resources by close interactions with supernatural agencies, and what relationships there are between such practices and the socio- cultural context.
  • Objectives Describe how well-organized forest resource use is formed and maintained through interactions between humans and supernatural agencies Examine how IRM based on supernatural enforcement mechanisms is suitable to the local socio-cultural context
  • Study area and research methods Amani Oho (Fictive name)  Population:±320(±60 households)  Altitude:730mManusela National Park  Main subsistence and commercial activities: extraction of sago; shifting cultivation(taro, banana etc) ; hunting; collection of NTFPs (wild honey, parrots, resin etc.); migrant work to south coast  Access: 2-3 days on foot to North coast, 1-2days on foot to South coast Research  Period: 2003-2010 (total length of field work : 1 year 3 months)  Data collection methods: Key informant interviews, one-on-one interviews, group interviews, participatory mapping and participatory observation etc.
  • Outline The importance of forest game animals & trapping methods Supernatural agencies in the forest Norms to control forest use  Customary forest tenure  Social arrangements for unexclusive forest use  Temporal ban on hunting and trapping, seli kaitahu Supernatural enforcement mechanisms  Narratives concerning violations of seli kaitahu  Recent transition in forest resource management Discussion: suitability of IRM to the local socio-cultural context
  • The importance of forest game animalsSus celebensis Cervus timorensis Phalanger orientalis
  • Trapping MethodsTimor deer and Celebes wild boar Cuscus Weighted noose, sohe Natural or artificial gap Spear trap, hus panah
  • Supernatural agencies in the forests Awa Mutuaila HumanSira tana
  • Norms to control forest use Customary forest tenure  Kaitahu: primary or old secondary forest used as hunting grounds  Forest area is divided into more than 250 forest lots  Each kaitahu belongs to a certain individual or group, kaitahu kua
  • Categories of kaitahu according to the scale of kaitahu kua Lohuno Kin-group Soa forest Private forest Type of forest forest (kaitahu (kaitahu Discrepant Total Kaitahu (kaitahu (kaitahu soa) perorangan) lohuno) keluarga) Number of the forest 8 48 133 63 5 257 lots Percentage 3% 19% 52% 25% 2% 100% Source: Field research. Note 1: In addition to the forest lots listed in the table, there were three village forestsowned communally by all villagers and a village church forest owned by the villagechurch. All these forests are Agathis damara-dominated forests, which have beenmaintained for resin extraction.Note 2: “Discrepant” stands for the forest lots whose recognition of tenure status isdiscrepant.
  • Folk categories of kaitahu according to the history of forest rights inheritance and transfer Number of Type of kaitahu Description forest lots Forest inherited by the ancestors through patrilineal lines fromKaitahu mutuani 180 • generation to generation Forest given gratuitously by the right-holding individual or aKaitahu nahunahui 22 group that obtained some support or aid as a return for it. Forest given by a person who was injured or came down with an illness in a forest, or by the relatives of a person who died inKaitahu katupeu 4 the forest to person(s) who carried the injured/sick person or the dead body to the village. Forest gifted by the bride’s side to the groom’s side as a returnKaitahu helia 10 gift for a majority of the bride’s price. Forest given gratuitously by the bride’s father, brother, orKaitahu fununui 7 relatives to the bride.Kaitahu tohutohu Forest purchased in old dishes (matan), textiles, and money. 21 Forest confiscated from a man who commits adultery with aKaitahu rela 5 married woman, or from his farther, or relatives, as a fine.Kaitahu tukar Whose forest right was exchanged between two kaitahu kuas 2Source: Field research
  • Social arrangement for unexclusive forest use Villagers can hunt or trap game resources in the “forest of Maka saka (custodian) others”‖(forest they do not own) if they obtain permission from the kaitahu kua, especially by the maka saka (the custodian of the forest) Kaitahu kua Kaitahu kua is not socially allowed to reject (forest-right holder) the request of others to use their forest Kaitahu kua can refuse the request only in the case that forest is still under the condition of siniha—a condition where Potential users the population of game animals is yet to recover (non-right holders) ➔ Access to kaitahu is open to non-owners under control of kaitahu kua Number of Forest use types households %Households using only their own forest 26 59Households using only the ‘forest of others’ 12 27Households using their own forest and the ‘forest of others’ 2 5Source: Field research.
  • Temporal ban on hunting/trapping: Seli kaitahu  The emic purpose of seli kaitahu  “to increase the number of game animals in the forest once their numbers decline”  “to prevent poaching during the closing of the forest”  Rituals in seli kaitahu: praying to awa, sira tana, mutuaila  Local people’s belief: the violator of seli kaitahu will surely meet with misfortune
  • Temporal ban on hunting/trapping: Seli kaitahu Forest lots closed by the imposition of a seli kaitahu Number of Forest under selikaitahu or not % forest lotsForest under seli kaitahu 203 79Forest used as a trapping/hunting site 40 16Forest which was not used and not subject to 3 1the ban of seli kaitahuUnknown 11 4Source: Field research.
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms: Narratives concerning violations of seli kaitahu (1/4)Case 1 Supernatural enforcement mechanism:One day, in 1986, A. Li. and his brother in law Z. A. Enforcement mechanismwent hunting together to Akalautotu, a forest where people believecollectively owned by the sub-clan that Z. A. supernatural agenciesbelonged to. After that, they entered Aimoto, monitor human conducts andanother forest of the sub-clan to hunt cuscus. impose punishment to the violator, thus it promoteHowever, seli kaitahu had been imposed on the compliance with the rulesforest.A. Li found cuscus hiding in a deep tree hollow. To catch the cuscus, he cut downthe tree at the root. Since arboreal vines were twined around the trunk of thetree as well as the next tree, the tree was pulled by the vines and fell down to theground. A. Li was crushed to death under it. The village head of Amani oho, Ym.A., and a village elder F. Li. said that if they had asked maka saka to remove selikaitahu of Aimoto, he would have never met with such an accident.[Source: Interviews with Y. A.(63, male); F. Li. (71, male); A. Li.(50, male) in 2004]  The structure of narratives : misfortune experienced by the rule- breaker or their family members connected to the violation
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms: Narratives concerning violations of seli kaitahu (2/4)Case 2One day in 2006, D. A. set sohe in a forest namedPahitasia Tuetue after lifting the ban of seli kaitahu onthe forest. They closed the forest for about 5 years byimposing seli kaitahu. While setting sohe, D. A. foundmany new totoi (incisions made in a trunk of a treeused as steps to climb the tree) in several trees with atree hollow used by the cuscus as a shelter. Thisindicated that there was someone who conductedspear hunting, thus violating seli kaitahu.Half a year before lifting the ban of seli kaitahu, a malevillager had engaged in hunting in a forest adjoiningthe Pahitasia tuetue. D. A. assumed that the manhunted forest game animals in the Pahitasia tuetue.
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms: Narratives concerning violations of seli kaitahu (3/4) (cont’d)Case 2 (cont’d)D. A. did not report the infringement to latu nusa, the head of the adat laworganization, responsible for the resolution of adat law infringement, becauseno one can identify the poacher and if we try to find out the infringer,relationships among villagers will worsen. D. A. said “even though we don‘tknow when it will happen, the time (when supernatural agencies bring aboutthe infringer a misfortune) will surely come, so we should only wait for it” .About 6 months later, the wife of that man had extremely hard labor whenshe gave birth to a baby. D. A. thought of it as a sanction imposed bymutuaila, awa, and sira tana.[Source: Interview with D. A.(33, male) in 2007] Agents expected to play roles in monitoring forest use and punishing the violator of a customary ban are not people but supernatural agencies
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms: Narratives concerning violations of seli kaitahu (4/4) Supernatural agencies play significant roles in their “explanation system” that presents an interpretation of a cause of a misfortune Every time an unfortunate event occurs, such a narrative giving a version of the interpretation on its cause is developed and discussed  the reality of the supernatural forces is reinforced
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms:Recent transition in forest resource management (1/3) Several villagers started to apply church sasi (sasi gereja) to forest resource management (the first application by the village head in 2005 ) Church sasi:Resource management system where the church plays a significant role in imposing the prohibitionencompassing spatial and temporal prohibitions on harvesting crops, and gathering other resources from the forest, tidal zone, or marine territory of a villagewidespread among local communities that accepted Christianity in the 19th century [Harkes and Novaczek 2002]
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms:Recent transition in forest resource management (2/3)Case 3Sewatinueni and Ahahae (forests collectively owned by a clan that Y. A.belong to)had been used and managed by Y. A. He has recognizedthat someone is engaging in trapping/hunting in these forests forseveral years. Therefore, Y. A. imposed a sasi greja on these forests inOctober 2005. It was the first sasi gereja against forest use in Amanioho.The imposition of sasi greja was not because Y. A. no longer believedin the effectiveness of seli kaitahu. According to his explanationsmutuaila and natural spirits sometimes inflict akeake (punishment) onthe offender long after seli kaitahu is broken, whereas, in sasi greja,the Christian God punishes the sasi breaker shortly after theinfringement. Y. A. imposed sasi greja on these forests in order tohave the poachers meet with some punishment as soon as possible.
  • Supernatural enforcement mechanisms:Recent transition in forest resource management (3/3) (cont’d)Case 3(cont’d)In December 2006, a half year after placing the sasi greja, Y. A. requestedopening the sasi in both forests to the village church council. After theannouncement of the removal of the sasi in the Sunday service, his son-in-law went trapping in the forest and found several new totoi (incisions madeby machete in a tree trunk to climb the tree). This indicated that someonehad conducted spear hunting for cuscus, thus violating the sasi greja.Y. A. suspected X, who was known as the master of tree climbing, ofpoaching in the forests, since many totoi had been made in huge trees, whichordinary people hesitated to climb. In addition, X had caught many cuscusesand had sold them in the village.X had also suffered from terrible malaria and hovered closely between lifeand death in October 2006. The misfortunes of X were interpreted aspunishments inflicted by the Christian God as the consequence of hisviolation of the sasi gereja[Source: Interviews with Y. A. (63, male), H. Li.(28, male), and Y. Li. (36, male) in 2007]
  • Discussion: suitability of IRM to the local socio-cultural context (1/3) In Amani oho, actors who are expected to monitor resource use and inflict a punishment on the violator :supernatural agencies IRM based on supernatural enforcement mechanisms (SEM) in Amani oho apparently does not have society bear a high cost in monitoring and sanctioning  fairly practical and effective (?)
  • Discussion: suitability of IRM to the local socio-cultural context (2/3) The local people’s tendency to avoid discord within the community because of a strong fear of sorcery [Sasaoka 2008] Strong hesitation to point out others’ errors under face- to-face situations[c.f. Their attitudes to contradictory versions of the accounts of forest tenure]  No intention to resolve the discrepancy through direct dialog and negotiation  Strong feelings of shame/constraints (mukae) in trying to assert the legitimacy of the recognition to the opponent under a face-to-face situation IRM based on SEM serves to prevent any discord among villagers that may arise from the enforcement process, since people do not directly accuse or punish the violator  Such characteristics of the IRM appear to be quite suitable for the socio-cultural context
  • Discussion: suitability of IRM to the local socio-cultural context (3/3) As illustrated in case 3, instead of exerting himself to form a more “rational” management system against the repeated violation of seli kaitahu, Y.A did try to reinstate the order of forest use by applying a new system based on SEM supported by the people’s belief in the Christian God This case implies the local people’s tendency to establish and maintain order in forest use depending on the forces of supernatural agencies (?) As long as the forest tenure is secured and the cultural homogeneity does not degrade, they may continue their efforts in forming and maintaining the well-structured forest use in their close relationships with supernatural agencies (?)
  • Concluding Remarks The local people’s belief in supernatural agencies has had a significant influence in the arena where the norms to control forest use have worked. The IRM, not having people involved directly in enforcement has the aspect of being suitable to the local socio-cultural context where people have a strong disposition to avoid social discord Further research is still needed, particularly in examining the effectiveness of IRM based on local peoples views of the supernatural world, taking cultural resilience into consideration
  • Thank you