This thought-provoking collection of case studies sheds light on the challenges and unintended consequences of community-based mapping, and will be of practical value to those planning, implementing and assessing similar mapping initiatives. It includes:
'Community-based mapping: a tool to gain recognition and respect of Native Customary Rights to land in Sarawak' (by M. Bujang, from p87) is of particular interest to Forest COMPASS. This explains that although the indigenous people of Sarawak do have recourse to press for their Native Customary Rights (NCR), large portions of their traditional land are not officially demarcarted and are at risk of covnersion to palm oil plantations and industrial forests.
In a landmark decision in 2000, the community of Rumah Nor won their case against a pulp and paper company and the state government. Participatory mapping provided crucial evidence to support the claim. In response, however, the government passed the Sarawak Land Surveyors Ordinance of 2001, which regulates land surveying activities, making it more difficult for communities to assert claims for NCR, and community-based mapping has since been labelled as subversive. This case study looks at how community mapping has not only continued in this exceptionally hostile legal context, but has continued to be used in court to support land claims.