This project entailed participatory resource monitoring of the Buayan-Kionop Community Use Zone (CUZ) in the Crocker Range Park in Sabah, Malaysia from August 2007 to July 2009. A Resource Catchment Assessment Team comprising representatives from GDF, Buayan-Kionop Community Research Assistants, Sabah Parks and PACOS was formed to accomplish this, a team trained to plan, design and implement participatory resource monitoring of subsistence activities in the Buayan-Kionop CUZ. These included – as part of the general community resource monitoring – the opening of new agricultural fields, hunting of specific animals including bearded pig and various deer species and the gathering of non-timber forest products such as rattans.
Named Participatory Resource Monitoring of Community Use Zones in the Crocker Range Park, this project follows on from the achievements of the preceding Darwin Initiative project (2004-2007) to document ethnobiological resource use patterns in Buayan-Kionop. It built upon the shift in Sabah Parks policy defining CUZs in ways that can balance community livelihood needs with the biodiversity conservation priorities of the Park. Formerly restricted to delimitation according to cultivation sites, the Buayan-Kionop CUZ will now be delimited to accommodate community subsistence needs ranging from hill and wet rice agriculture, subsistence hunting and freshwater fishing, and the gathering of key forest products.
The partnership between Sabah Parks and the local community in Buayan-Kionop sufficiently matured to enable the negotiation of a Buayan-Kionop CUZ Management Agreement that will act as the central mechanism for governing the CUZ. In part, this policy decision to recognise community resource rights was based on our investigation of local people’s use of resources and landscapes as portrayed in the Buayan-Kionop Resource Catchment Area GIS that was developed through community-based ethnobiological research in the preceding Darwin Initiative project.
A key aspect of field research focused on strengthening the capacity of our Community Research Assistants to carry out community-based monitoring of subsistence activities, both inside the Buayan-Kionop CUZ and in adjacent areas outside the Park. Using Participatory GIS and Participatory 3-D modelling approaches, the project pursued the development of the Resource Catchment Area GIS into a versatile monitoring tool that is accessible to both conservationists and community members alike. Project monitoring results were presented and jointly reviewed at regular CUZ Management Workshops, thereby generating systematic feedback to inform aspects of the CUZ Management Plan.
Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) Trust