Perspective on Forest Management
Keywords:Community Forestry, Qualitative Research Study, Orang Asli Jakun, SEPPSF, Forest Conservation
Community forestry offers many perspectives on the forest management system. It has become an avenue for special collaboration between state, scientific communities, social enterprises, businesses, and local communities, as well as a means of promoting practical solutions in forest conservation. Furthermore, it becomes an arena where forest people can participate in forest conservation projects, improve their livelihoods and manage forest projects via their own traditional knowledge. Inspired by its unique features, the researcher carried out a qualitative research study of community forestry with the hope of exploring its possibilities in the South East Pahang Peat Swamp Forest (SEPPSF). In this regard, the researcher employed research methods that consisted of interviews, focus group discussions and field observations. The interviewees were asked to reflect on current forest management practices in SEPPSF. Other participants included government officials, social activists and researchers. This study found that the SEPPSF offers a unique opportunity for collaborative forest care. To achieve this vision, however, there is a need to resuscitate the following three important elements of community forestry in SEPPSF: community empowerment in forest care; community land security; and community consultation for forest related activities. In addition, this study recommends two contemporary models to prompt effective forest governance: a short-term community forestry project in SEPPSF and a long-term community forestry project for the Orang Asli. It is anticipated that this paper will provide a fresh perspective on collaborative forest management. Furthermore, it is hoped that its findings parallel increasing calls for holistically sustainable forest management in Malaysia.