HEIKO FAUST, ROBERT WEBER
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Geography, Department of Social and Cultural Geography, Germany
The Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi represents uniqueness in biodiversity with a huge number of endemic flora and fauna species. However, increasing logging and expansion of agricultural land into the national park endanger the biodiversity and a sustainable land use. In order to understand the current process in the region, the cultural and historical aspects of natural resource management are indispensable. As a result of an empirical qualitative study carried out within the frame of the collaborative research program SFB 552 -- STORMA, cultural and socio-cultural impacts turn out to be a crucial factor for changes in natural recourse management in the Lore Lindu region.
The investigated region hosts three different local ethnic groups: To Kaili, To Kulawi, and To Napu. Moreover, spontaneous migration within the region and from other parts of the archipelago, as well as local and inter-island resettlement programs led, in the course of time, to a complex patchwork of ethnic groups. These ethnic groups are distributed heterogeneously over the Lore Lindu region and within its villages. Thus, ethnic stratification and the distribution of social and cultural power build up diverse schemes of land use patterns by merging cultural impacts of varying strength. The introduction of new crops (e.g. cacao) and land use practices (e.g. use of fertilizer, field size enlargement) as well as the transformation of agro-economic structures (e.g. expansion of wage labor systems) by migrants from outside the study region are only two major fields of this study. However, also the direct and indirect effects of the Dutch colonial rule (e.g. enforcement of the production of cash crops like copra or the abolishment of livestock consuming ceremonies) can be regarded as cultural impacts. The empirical evidence reveals the decisive relevance of cultural aspects in terms of natural recourse management in the Lore Lindu region.
Keywords: Ethics, cultural factors, land use, biodiversity, Sulawesi