Land and Cultural Survival: The Communal Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Asia

Publication | September 2009

Nine experts examine the vulnerabilities and opportunities of indigenous peoples based on case studies from Cambodia, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines,

Development in Asia faces a crucial issue: the right of indigenous peoples to build a better life while protecting their ancestral lands and cultural identity.

An intimate relationship with land expressed in communal ownership has shaped and sustained these cultures over time. But now, public and private enterprises encroach upon indigenous peoples' traditional domains, extracting minerals and timber, and building dams and roads. Displaced in the name of progress, indigenous peoples find their identities diminished, their livelihoods gone.

Using case studies from Cambodia, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines, nine experts examine vulnerabilities and opportunities of indigenous peoples. Debunking the notion of tradition as an obstacle to modernization, they find that those who keep control of their communal lands are the ones most able to adapt.

Contents 

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • International Law and Indigenous Peoples' Rights
  • Communal Land Management in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines
  • Law Reforms and Recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Communal Rights in Cambodia
  • Access to Natural Resources: Case Studies of Cambodian Hill Tribes
  • Land Development Policies and the Impoverishment of Indigenous Peoples in Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Tribal Land Issues in India: Communal Management, Rights, and Displacement
  • Indigenous Peoples' Forest Tenure in India
  • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006: A Charter of Forest Dwellers' Rights?
  • Index