, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 271–284 | Cite as

Indigenous knowledge for natural resource management: a comparative study of Māori in New Zealand and Dusun in Brunei Darussalam

  • Rohana UlluwishewaEmail author
  • Nick Roskruge
  • Garth Harmsworth
  • Bantong Antaran


Indigenous people often exclusively depend on the natural resources available within the ecosystems where they live, and commonly manage their resources sustainably. They have developed, and continue to develop indigenous knowledge systems which encompass sustainable management of natural resources. This study compares indigenous knowledge of natural resource management developed by two different communities in two different environments—Maori in the temperate environment in New Zealand and Dusun in the tropical environment in Brunei Darussalam, and comparatively evaluates the role of indigenous knowledge in sustainable resource management in three categories of knowledge such as spatial and seasonal distribution of natural resources, sustainable harvesting, and habitat management. The comparison reveals that despite the differences in environment and the great geographical distance between the two communities, there are remarkable similarities between the two knowledge systems in concepts, principles, strategies and technologies used in natural resource management.


Indigenous knowledge Natural resource management Sustainability Sustainable harvesting Habitat management 



The first author wishes to thank the Institute of Natural Resources, College of Sciences at Massey University for offering a position of Visiting Scientist in June/July 2004 and the Postgraduate Studies and Research Committee of the University of Brunei Darussalam for granting research leave to conduct this study. He also wishes to express his gratitude to all the Dusun informants who were so patient and cooperative. Dr. Trevor King, who kindly made editorial comments deserves a special note of thank.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rohana Ulluwishewa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nick Roskruge
    • 1
  • Garth Harmsworth
    • 2
  • Bantong Antaran
    • 3
  1. 1.Massey UniversityPalmerston North New Zealand
  2. 2.Landcare ResearchPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  3. 3.Brunei MuseumsBandar Seri BegawanBrunei Darussalam

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