COMMUNITY INITIATIVES TOWARDS PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION OF PRIMARY FOREST IN JAGOI
Bung Jagoi at Mount Jagoi is the ancestral village of the Jagoi Bidayuhs in Bau District. The 13 dilapidated houses and ceremonial center are the only reminder of the past culture as most moved downhill. The 400-hectare nearby forest is the only primary tropical rainforest housing rich biodiversity apart from supplying clean water to the five villages below. Surrounding areas are experiencing rapid land development while on-going prospecting activities for quarrying and minerals posed major threats to this area. Through the proposed project entitled “Community initiatives towards protection and conservation of primary forest in Jagoi”, the communities in Jagoi wish to protect the nearby community forest as well as to revive the cultural heritage of the area comprising of the traditional village with ceremonial houses and sites at Bung Jagoi.

This forest houses a rich array of floral and faunal biodiversity as well as a source of streams that supply clean potable water for at least five villages below. The locals from immediate villages especially Duyoh and Bogag collect natural resources from these areas to sell to tourists at their respective stalls along the roadside. Tourists flock in great numbers during weekends and public holidays to a nearby border town, Serikin1, and would stop to buy these wares. Some tourists also ascend Mount Jagoi to visit Bung Jagoi on the way. The one-hour climb is also good for the exercise and fresh air apart from the enjoying scenic view of the places below.

The proposed project aims to protect the remaining forest so that they can continue to provide the existing services and complementing tourism in Serikin. The documentation of the natural resources and traditional knowledge are vital not just to justify the area to be protected for biological diversity conservation but in promoting responsible eco-tourism in the area.

Objectives – The objectives of the project are:
• To have a clearer and more definite community forest boundary within Mount Jagoi
• To document and map the biodiversity and cultural resources there as local heritage and for future generation
• To enable the community to protect and conserve Bung Jagoi forest so that it will continue to serve the community in various aspects

Project Activities

The project activities apart from setting up of project sub-committees, putting up action plan, date line, project costing and budgeting are as follows:
• Awareness talks/dialogues with the local communities on importance of conserving the intact forest as source of clean water supply, herbal medicines, and wild animals in addition to prevention of soil erosion, an icon for Bung Jagoi, as well as natural heritage,
• Survey of perimeter of Bung Jagoi forest area to establish boundaries of the area between traditional/communal-owned and private-owned lands,
• Survey of natural resources within the area, document and then map them
• Geo-referencing and marking or tagging trees/plants of conservation status as well as natural features of historical and eco-tourism value
• Having a small seminar on findings of the environmental (biodiversity, natural resources, natural features, and socio-economic) surveys
• Training local communities in tourism related skills such as handicraft making, home-stay programs, tourist guides, small business administration, and promotion of eco-tourism
• Setting of jungle trails to places and natural features of attraction and for eco- tourism purpose e.g. Spring well, waterfall, caves and underground streams
• Setting-up of pit-stops/sheds (rest area) at strategic points along these trails
• Set up regulations on protecting the area and find ways of their proper implementation in consideration of the communities’ needs and aspirations.

Expected outputs

Among the expected outputs are:
- The proposed community forest reserved around Bung Jagoi will be clearly defined through completion of the perimeter survey
- A more established herbal garden which can be used as a source of material for medicinal, food, and cultural
- Environmental profile of the area comprising of information on community forest and components therein (trees, plants, herbs and animal, natural features) which can be used for conservation and tourism products apart from socio-economic and cultural uses.
- Restoration and upgrading of basic infrastructures (trails, signages, etc) and ancestral and ceremonial houses
- A proper tourist information center
- A more organized and established tourist attraction spot which complement nearby Serikin, an already famous and established border trading post
- Locals are more organized and cohesive in deciding the wise use of their natural resources thorough awareness programs on the prudent use of their resources and environment
- Those involved in the project management and operation will have more knowledge and experience related to the project and thereby enable them to make the project sustained even after the project end

The project beneficiaries
The direct beneficiaries of the project will be the residents in the five nearby villages who will continue to enjoy supply of clean water supply from intact natural source. Those who have their houses at the ancestral village and locals who have skills in park-guiding, food, handicraft and other tourism-related products will benefit from tourists. The indirect beneficiaries will be the various stakeholders above.
 

Project Snapshot

Grantee: JAWATANKUASA PEMBANGUNAN KAWASAN JAGOI
Country: Malaysia
Area Of Work: Biodiversity
Operational Phase: Phase 4
Grant Amount: US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash: US$ 20,001.00
Co-Financing in-Kind: US$ 111,667.00
Project Number: MAL/SGP/OP4/Y3/RAF/2011/01
Start Date: 4/2011
End Date: 3/2014
Status: Project Terminated Before Completion
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
Bung Jagoi is an ancestral village of the Jagoi ethnic Bidayuhs in Bau District, Sarawak. The Jagoi community has recognized the area as a community reserve so that no further cutting of timber and forest clearing for farming etc are allowed. Hunting of wildlife has also been prohibited.
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
The local communites from nearby villages especially Duyoh and Bogag will collect natural resources for sale to tourists at their respective stalls along the roadside as tourists flock in great numbers during weekends and public holidays to a nearby border town, Serikin1, and would stop to buy their wares. Some tourists also ascend Mount Jagoi to visit Bung Jagoi on the way and guides are provided a token fee for their services.