Ecological disturbances: Negotiating indigeneity and access to land in Indonesia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Indonesia’s current president Joko Widodo wants to develop Indonesia from its margins, with mixed results so far. One target area for capitalist investment are the Aru Islands in Maluku Province, Eastern Indonesia. Such investment plans rarely cater for cultural needs or analyse their social compatibility. Governments, investors and local population groups invoke diverging ecologies. Government and investor argue that nature must be adapted to the economic needs of the islands’ inhabitants so that the area can finally prosper. For people indigenous to the area societal relations and cultural meanings are more important; for them, such capitalist intrusions cause the disturbance of an ecological balance that is deeply ingrained in the cultural and societal set-up of indigenous livelihoods. Given existing power relations in Indonesian politics and the weak legal standing of indigenous people, such clashes are often reduced to a hegemonic state against oppressed marginalised people, which overlooks or ignores power struggles and divergent interpretations within the respective parties. This chapter focuses on these tensions within the Aruese adat community and follows the pluralisation and diversification of indigenous ecologies in response to outside interventions that threaten to drive a wedge between those supporting and those resisting the investment plans.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlural Ecologies in Southeast Asia : Hierarchies, Conflicts, and Coexistence
EditorsTimo Duile, Kristina Großmann, Michaela Haug, Guido Sprenger
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2023
ISBN (Electronic)9781003368182
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 360702578