Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Non-timber forest product dependence among the Jah Hut subgroup of Peninsular Malaysia’s Orang Asli

  • Colleen J. Howell
  • Kurt A. Schwabe
  • Azizan Haji Abu Samah


Non-timber forest products (NTFP) represent key sources of cash and subsistence income for millions of rural and indigenous peoples living in tropical developing countries throughout the world. The current study investigates the use and significance of NTFP within a sample of Peninsular Malaysia’s Orang Asli (indigenous people). Data collected via household surveys across three sampling phases reveals that more than 75% of the population is actively engaged in NTFP collection. Household responses indicate diversity in both the types and uses of products collected. NTFP collection participation, frequency of collection, and collection reliance are found to be significantly negatively related to village proximity to the market, as well as to income level relative to the Malaysian poverty line. When collection variables are examined by different product categories, relationships with market access and income group are variable. Implications for different approaches to forest conservation and rural development are discussed.


Jah Hut Malaysia Non-timber forest products NTFP Orang Asli Poverty 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colleen J. Howell
    • 1
  • Kurt A. Schwabe
    • 1
  • Azizan Haji Abu Samah
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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