HUNTER-GATHERERS’ CULTURE,       A MAJOR ATTRACTION AND HINDRANCE TO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT:                THE CASE OF THE P...
Ecotourism:        a way to conserve and developindigenous communities and their environment?  • The concept:    nature-ba...
BorneoA major attraction:primary forests andheadhunters
Existing experiments:       30 years of Culture and Nature Tourism                      in SarawakMajor attractions:• Natu...
Existing experiments:     30 years of Culture and Nature Tourism                    in SarawakImpacts:• Employment: river ...
The quest forauthenticity
East-Kalimantan:“untouched wilderness” and “traditional peoples”
East-Kalimantan: major attractions• Pristine forests• River safaris• Traditional culture• Noble savages,  traditional Daya...
Pristine forests
River safaris
Long houses
Traditional  culture
Hunting
andgathering
East-Kalimantan: numerous hindrances• Bad accessibility• High costs• Absence of  infrastructures,  lack of comfort,• Risks...
East-Kalimantan: numerous hindrances• Bad accessibility• High costs• Absence of  infrastructures,  lack of comfort,• Risks...
A major hindrance: Punan cultureImmediate return-systems or “Enjoy  the present, tomorrow is another  day”• Means no plann...
A major hindrance: Punan cultureThe value of sharing… it’s natural to ask for a share from somebody who has more   than yo...
A major hindrance: Punan cultureA vanishing culture• No traditional music and dances• No loincloths but jeans• TVs, videos...
East-Kalimantan: a reality far from expectation
Conclusion:               Ecotourism and development?•   An untapped opportunity•   But a huge lack of infrastructure and ...
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Hunter-gatherers’ culture, a major attraction and hindrance to tourism development: the case of the Punan of East Kalimantan

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Ecotourism has potential for development and conservation, but there are notable and seemingly unsolvable hindrances inherent in physical limitations (lack of infrastructure etc.), and in the tension between the expectations of tourists and those of indigenous peoples. This presentation discusses the potential and pitfalls of ecotourism using the Punan of East Kalimantan as a case in point.

IRD/CIFOR scientist Patrice Levang gave this presentation together with Miyako Koizumi (University of Kyoto) at a session titled ‘Local populations confronted with societal changes of tourism’ at the 13th Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology, held on 20-25 May 2012 in Montpellier, France.

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Hunter-gatherers’ culture, a major attraction and hindrance to tourism development: the case of the Punan of East Kalimantan

  1. HUNTER-GATHERERS’ CULTURE, A MAJOR ATTRACTION AND HINDRANCE TO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF THE PUNAN OF EAST KALIMANTAN Patrice LEVANG and Miyako KOIZUMITHINKING beyond the canopy Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology Montpellier, 20-25 May 2012
  2. Ecotourism: a way to conserve and developindigenous communities and their environment? • The concept: nature-based tourism managed by indigenous communities results in conservation of natural resources and in increased development. • Basic assumptions: indigenous groups are inherently environmentalists; they want to continue to live in harmony with nature. A major unsolvable contradiction
  3. BorneoA major attraction:primary forests andheadhunters
  4. Existing experiments: 30 years of Culture and Nature Tourism in SarawakMajor attractions:• Nature: pristine, virgin, untouched forests, rivers, waterfalls• Adventure: longboat ride, river safari, rapids, skulls and remnants of headhunting• Authentic culture: long houses, noble savages, exotic, primitive, traditional, untouched by the modern world, close to nature
  5. Existing experiments: 30 years of Culture and Nature Tourism in SarawakImpacts:• Employment: river transportation, handicrafts, low qualified jobs in hotels and restaurants, cultural shows and performances, guides, porters…• Construction of an “authentic culture” that suits tourists’ expectations: no development artifacts, traditional houses and clothes…• Total control by tour operators: play the game or be put off the tourism map; always looking for more authentic longhouses…
  6. The quest forauthenticity
  7. East-Kalimantan:“untouched wilderness” and “traditional peoples”
  8. East-Kalimantan: major attractions• Pristine forests• River safaris• Traditional culture• Noble savages, traditional Dayak and Punan hunter-gatherers• Etc.
  9. Pristine forests
  10. River safaris
  11. Long houses
  12. Traditional culture
  13. Hunting
  14. andgathering
  15. East-Kalimantan: numerous hindrances• Bad accessibility• High costs• Absence of infrastructures, lack of comfort,• Risks, insurance, health,• No efficient tour operators
  16. East-Kalimantan: numerous hindrances• Bad accessibility• High costs• Absence of infrastructures, lack of comfort,• Risks, insurance, health,• No efficient tour operators
  17. A major hindrance: Punan cultureImmediate return-systems or “Enjoy the present, tomorrow is another day”• Means no planning, no preparation, no savings…• Increasing rates, decreasing quality• The good boat is not available but we have another one• Absence of accountability• The money for the fuel is finished, give me more money• The food is finished, give me more money
  18. A major hindrance: Punan cultureThe value of sharing… it’s natural to ask for a share from somebody who has more than you also means: Give me your shirt!
  19. A major hindrance: Punan cultureA vanishing culture• No traditional music and dances• No loincloths but jeans• TVs, videos, HP…
  20. East-Kalimantan: a reality far from expectation
  21. Conclusion: Ecotourism and development?• An untapped opportunity• But a huge lack of infrastructure and capacity• An inherent contradiction : development without (visible) change• The solution: fooling the tourist, but how long will it last?• As usual, the Punan will be on the losing side

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