Empowering oil palm stakeholders in Sabah
Indigenous Communities in Central Sabah depend on oil palm for 33-50% of their household incomes of only RM1500/month; and 20% is grown illegally in plots claimed in Forest Reserves, threatening their watersheds and Sabah’s biodiversity. Communities need to legalize land holdings, and grow and diversify their incomes without degrading forests.
Collaboration between Sabah’s Forestry Department (SFD), forest concession holders and Indigenous communities can enable transition out of oil palm in Forest Reserves into diverse ecologically-grounded enterprises (community ecotourism, red durian, etc.) so as to improve livelihoods while restoring watersheds and finding mutually-agreeable solutions to Indigenous land claims while stewarding forests.
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Enable five Dusun Indigenous Communities growing oil palm in Forest Reserves in Telupid & Tongod Districts of Central Sabah to begin to transition out of oil palm into diverse environmentally restorative livelihoods and enterprises in collaboration with Sabah Forestry Department and other stakeholders.
The project focuses on two Class I (Totally Protected) Forest Reserves (Lipaso and Ulu Telupid) and a Class II (Commercial) Forest Reserve (Trus Madi-FMU-5) with a total of 652.37 ha under oil palm being grown by the proposed village community partners of Malapi, Kopuron, Maliau, Langkabong and Linayukan.