The political ecology of tenure struggles in Sabah

Brian Long

Studenteropgave: Speciale


In this report I explore a new forest policy seeking to implement a sustainable forest management through a so called Sustainable Forest Management License Agreement (SFMLA) and a new Forest Enactment seeking to establish a kampung hunting license and honorary wildlife warden model, in terms of the affect these policies have had on access strategies on a local level. This I have done through a case based study in Sabah, in which I have interviewed State officers, logging contractors (FMU holders), a local NGO and villagers in the community of Kg. Sinungkalangan (picture in front). It is by comparing the present development with the historical development of land tenure regimes, in terms of natural resource policies and land management schemes and their effects on a local level, I have been able to uncover the dynamics of tenure struggles in Sabah in a politicised perspective. A scenario in which different actors through various institutional set-ups seek to negotiate and re-negotiate access to natural resource through an array of strategies. Looking at how a changing policy climate affects the strategies of State officers, FMU holders and local communities, through an understanding of the many ways in which different actors acquire access to resources by benefiting from various institutional set-ups and symbols, have allowed me to critically assess how these new policies have affected the way in which various actors seek to access and benefit from natural resources on a local level.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatGeografi, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2006


  • political ecology
  • natural resources
  • Sabah
  • land tenure
  • Malaysia
  • forest resources