Poverty within watershed and environmentally protected areas: the case of the indigenous community in Peninsular Malaysia
“Indigenous people” have been acknowledged as among the poorest and most socio-economically and culturally marginalized all over the world. This paper explores the socio-economic status of the indigenous people and their poverty profile within watershed and environmentally protected areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The findings of the study indicate that the “indigenous community” is likely to be poor if they live in environmentally sensitive and unprotected areas as compared to families under the new resettlement scheme. Inadequate access to basic education and employment contributed significantly to their poor economic status. The findings further reveal that the indigenous community is facing difficulties in receiving access and support in terms of basic needs such as housing, education, economic livelihood, and other social infrastructure. Moreover, the regulatory structure for the management of watershed areas as well as the emphasis for commodity crops such as palm oil and natural rubber have indirectly contributed toward the poverty level of the indigenous people.
KeywordsIndigenous people (Orang Asli) Socio-economic status Environmental protected areas Poverty Malaysia
The author(s) would like to thank University Malaya (UM) who has generously funded this study under the research grant FL001G-13BIO (Marketing Survey Strategy Compounds).
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