Malaysia: Sabah's Tagal system – a tourism catch

STEPHANIE LEE The Star 15 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s unique Tagal system and the people’s way of life here have caught the attention of Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

Nazri, who was in Tamparuli district for tourism activities such as white water rafting, said he was impressed with how the locals here still preserve their native practices despite the rapidly changing world.

“From my visits to the many pla­ces here today, including the Kiulu River and village as well as the Poturidong Tagal, I can see that the people here are very proud of their culture,” he said.

Nazri said the Tagal system was also a unique way of taking care of nature by not fishing at certain times or in certain restricted zones.

Tagal means “do not” or “no need” in the Kadazandusun language.

It is a simple yet effective traditional approach to good stewardship of the river and those caught breaching this law can be fined.

“The many traditions and the way of living, dating back to centuries ago, are still being used here and this is amazing,” he said yesterday.

Nazri said he was also impressed with how Sabahans were not ashamed of their heritage or language by naming villages and even tourism events based on local names, such as the Kiulu white water rafting and Poturidong Tagal.

“And again this is another attraction that I am sure people around the world would be very interested to see and experience themselves.”

He said Sabah, being rich in culture and natural resources, was truly the gem of tourism in Malaysia.

“Tourism and culture are important elements for tourism and Sabah has it all and I will personally see that the ministry provides assistance and support to community based activities to lure more visitors here.”

Nazri said they were also propo­sing the use of “back to nature” as this year’s tourism campaign theme.

Toward this end, he promised to do all that was necessary to bring more tourists to Malaysia, specifically Sabah this year.

“I want to work with all the airlines in the world to promote Sabah and our country,” he said.

‘Tagal hutan’ approach towards forest conservation in Sabah
RUBEN SARIO The Star 15 Feb 16;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is adopting community-based enforcement to safeguard its forest resources in a one-day workshop.
The course will focus on the “tagal hutan” community-based enforcement and how it can be used as a conservation tool for native culture as well as natural resources.

“The discussions will tackle the fundamental question on whether this practice can be used through the development of a policy or legal framework,” said Jaringan Orang Asal secretary-general Jannie Lasimbang.

'Tagal' in the Kadazan language means prohibition and the system maintains harmony between users and the natural environment. The spirit behind the system is collective ownership and responsibility, sustainable use of resources and maintaining balance of life.

The workshop will delve into the potential of “tagal hutan” as a means to address issues of inclusion of indigenous communities in conserving and sustainably managing their resources as they have done for generations.

“It will look at past examples and the impact, both positive and negative, of turning this practice into law,” said Jannie, noting that Sabah had widely adopted the tagal system for many rivers with successful results.
The workshop will be held on Feb 17 at the Kota Kinabalu Forestry Department office at Lok Kawi near here.

The department is jointly organising the workshop with the Sabah Social Forestry Working Group of which Jaringan Orang Asal is a member.

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