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Management of Local Resources within Globalised Market

0900–1030, Thursday 14 April 2016, L6

Fitri Y Hasibuan
Conservation International Indonesia

Fitri Y Hasibuan
Conservation International Indonesia

Fitri Y Hasibuan
Conservation International Indonesia

Pursuing development comes at a cost, wherein there are unavoidable sacrifices for increased production and consumption levels, such as environmental destruction and exploitation of indigenous knowledge. Current research suggests that human well-being depends on various factors including the level of income and natural capital. Central to narratives of globalisation are continuing concerns for socio-economically disadvantaged communities. This panel discusses three studies that seek to examine the historical and contemporary changes to the natural economy and environment, particularly in reference to the management of local resources in Southeast Asia.

One of the most significant current discussions concerning globalised markets is the distribution of costs and benefits in industries heavily dependent on natural resources. One key policy question is, ‘how valuable to whom?’ Following this argument, the first study analyses the case of mining in West Papua, East Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara and discusses ‘resource curses’ in the forms of corruption and unequal distribution of benefits. Aside from the issue of redistribution, the globalised market may also fuels urbanisation and urban migration that eventually exacerbates the impacts of disasters, such as floods. The second paper examines preferences of urban (and low-urban) communities in the Philippines and estimates the ‘value’ for flood prevention. The last paper tracks the significant contributions of indigenous tribes in Java in the development and codification of botanical knowledge in Island Southeast Asia. The study argues that the professionalisation of botany during the nineteenth century appropriated indigenous botanical knowledge while marginalizing the participation of local tribes as ‘guides.’


Paper 1: Overcoming Resource Curse: Case Study of Indonesia Mining Sector

Olivia D Purba
The Australian National University

Indonesia is one of few resource rich countries that survive from resource curse. The key policy for Indonesia in successfully turns the curse into blessing is to channel the large inflows of resource rent revenues to improve agriculture and manufacture sectors. However, mining sectors in Indonesia shows that the country has not completely escape from the curse. Rampant corruption and high disparity of development especially in resource rich provinces such as West Papua, East Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara shows that the country is still vulnerable to the trap of the curse. The unequal benefit sharing to local community that is aggravated by environmental damage and human rights violations by big mining companies creates local conflicts that have affecting the development of Indonesia’s mining sector and its overall economic performance.

This paper’s main argument is that first, to what extend have a natural resources been a factors into conflicts in mining rich areas in Indonesia? Second, the paper also seeks to identify recommended policy for Indonesian practitioners and policy makers to escape from resource curse symptoms in relations to corruption, disparity of development and unequal benefit sharing?

The aim of this paper is, (1) to provide analysis using economy political perspective to identify possible solutions to escape from resource curse symptoms; (2) to identify lessons learned from Indonesia’s economic policy and give recommendation to resource abundant ASEAN countries on how to overcome the resource curse.

Paper 2: Disaster or disastrous spending: willingness to pay for flood prevention in the Philippines

Cheryl Joy Fernandez
James Cook University

Co authors:
Riccardo Welters
Natalie Stoeckl

Flood is one the most damaging hazards in the world, impacting ecological systems and economies in numerous ways. Governments around the world have developed programs that attempt to mitigate their impacts. However, investment and spending are constrained for most disaster-related programs, particularly in poor and/or developing countries. The key policy question is thus: how much flood mitigation expenditure should be done? Economic assessments of demand for flood mitigation measures (and of their ‘value’) have been used to help answer this question but most of this research has been undertaken in developed countries and it is not clear if results can be transferred to other contexts. Moreover, most studies do not have access to individual household flood damage data and do not control for interrelationships between key demand drivers (which include flood damages). As such, demand may under or over estimated.

Using a carefully designed contingent valuation (CV) survey, I surveyed households in Metropolitan-Iloilo (MI) region in the Philippines about recent flood damages (within the last five years) and asked about their willingness to pay (WTP) to prevent that type of damage in the future. I found that households were willing to pay around ₱107.74 (US$2.39) per year – significantly less than the annualised value of damages incurred. My findings suggest that towns should invest around at least ₱22,967 (US$510.38) per household a year to control flood impacts. Respondents’ WTP was influenced by previous flood damage, education, income, attitudes, and occupational multiplicity. If proven to be robust, my findings may provide important evidence/input to regional and local decisions regarding planning of flood mitigation and related programs.

Paper 3: Colonizing Knowledge: Plant Hunters and Indigenous Guides in Southeast Asia, 1800-1846

Carey McCormack
Washington State University

This study uses the personal correspondence and published travel narrative of English botanists such as Nathaniel Wallich and Hugh Low to reveal the significant contributions of indigenous Southeast Asians in the development and advancement of scientific knowledge of Island Southeast Asia and the Malay Peninsula. This analysis will problematize the Eurocentric narrative of discovery as a primarily white male endeavor and instead argues that discovery could only occur with the assistance of a vast network of knowledge and exchange from the Malay Archipelago and the Peninsula. Chinese immigrants, colonial wives, indigenous tribes, and European assistants made up a significant part of this network, but botanists such as Wallace often excluded these people from their public narrative of “discovery.” Early plant collectors in Southeast Asia relied upon local knowledge and assistance in the form of trail guides, hunters, hosts, and interpreters. The primary sources written by British botanists reveal the central role indigenous people played in the collection and diffusion of plant specimens and knowledge, a fact that many historians often ignore when discussing colonial botany in Southeast Asia. However the prevailing narrative in the primary sources focus on professional botanists and medical doctors as the only experts in scientific knowledge. This silencing of native assistance in botanical publications was representative of the marginalization of indigenous engagement in the scientific community despite the increased use of native guides by British botanists. The professionalization of botany inevitably favored European knowledge over Southeast Asian knowledge, an issue that continued into the mid-twentieth century.