Lubuk Tajau, the Village of the Mentuka indigenous people

A beautiful village, beautiful in nature, lined with hills that surround Lubuk Tajau village. The air is still fresh in the morning with cold temperatures, coupled with the chirping of birds, adding to the beautiful morning atmosphere of Lubuk Tajau Village. It is a beautiful morning to see the community together on the farm/fields, with the cheerful faces of women and men, some are walking, some are using two-wheeled vehicles. Good conditions in the lives of the Mentuka indigenous people who remain loyal to protect their customary territory so that it is still maintained and sustainable.

To go to Lubuk Tajau village is not too far away, from the provincial capital it can be reached in approximately 8 hours by road. From the district capital just 2 hours, if not heavy rain. Kampung Lubuk Tajau is included in the administration of Sekadau Regency, Nanga Taman District. The area is 64.25 km², with a composition of 499 families, 917 women, 997 men, a total of 1914 people. Kampung Lubuk Tajau is divided into 4 administrative sub-villages, Lubuk Tajau, Kibang, Seraya and Kenore.


The power of custom is one of the breaths of the indigenous people of Mentuka, Lubuk Tajau village, they believe that by managing natural resources wisely without destroying biodiversity they can still meet the needs of life, culture, medicine and even be able to send their children to college. Rice is the staple production of the community, where the rice production is used for their own needs, if there is excess, the new product is sold to the community around the village. Apart from rice, the community also grows vegetables such as chilies, forest mustard greens, large eggplant, tamarind eggplant, and other vegetables. Tap hard that is produced without destroying which is managed by itself, which increases community income such as rubber trees, types of production in the form of a bowl, oil palm plantations and forest plants that are still abundant, which is Tengkawang.

Tengkawang Community Production

The indigenous community maintains biodiversity, Lubuk Tajau Village to meet the source of electrical energy, using waterfalls that are still well preserved. In addition to meeting the clean water needs of the community in Lubuk Tajau village, abundant water is also used as a source of clean water for the community in other sub-districts and district capitals. People also raise cows, pigs, chickens, and other livestock that we can find in the village.

Source of clean water and a source of micro-hydro-electric energy.

The threat awaits

Areas that are still heavily forested have provided benefits to the indigenous Mentuka community, but from the perspective of the company and the government, they are considered neglected or untouched. The fact is that the source of clean water for the community in the district capital comes from the Lubuk Tajau village. However, the existing facts are still considered by the government to be windy. So that the government and corn plantation companies had time to socialize with the community to open land for corn plantations because there was still a large area of ​​forest land that had not been cultivated. Because the community has started to become aware there has been the rejection by the indigenous people of Lubuk Tajau village.

Not only companies engaged in the maize commodity, but threats also come from oil palm plantations, although this is not a direct threat, the impact of the opening of the border area with Lubuk Tajau village which is feared will pollute the river and oil palm plantation companies could slowly enter the customary area of the Mentuka customary community. In addition, outside the Lubuk Tajau customary area, there is also a community of gold mining where the people are not known, this is also a concern for the community. So that the government and one of the NGOs came with the Kopi program to Lubuk Tajau village, but the community did not respond, why did not the community respond because mining was not from the community and had not entered the Mentuka customary area, then the community preferred Tengkawang and Karet because it was already available and no longer destroying or cutting down trees to plant Coffee trees. In addition, the indigenous people in Lubuk Tajau village do not have a tradition of farming coffee. If there is only behind the house and that is for family needs only.


Food Defense in the midst of the Covid pandemic

Since the Covid 19 pandemic occurred, panic has occurred everywhere due to the government’s unpreparedness to face the Covid 19 pandemic which is contagious. Yes, to the point that at the beginning of Covid 19, central government officials made the Covid 19 virus a joke. Apart from that, all indigenous peoples who still have good customary territories with biodiversity are able to survive the Covid disaster, especially regarding their food security, as well as survival that still adheres to customs. From the Covid disaster until now there has been no news from the village leadership who often communicates with us (TF Team) saying that there are people who have been affected by the Covid 19 virus. Only the impact of panic (from the recent increase in covid cases) has affected us so it doesn’t can go to Lubuk Tajau village, due to raids and village and customary leaders also told the TF team not to go to the village first until the situation is completely controlled by the government.


In the future with indigenous peoples

Communication and discussions with the leaders of the indigenous people who are also the Head of the BPD of Lubuk Tajau Village and as a youth leader were quite intense, and before the new Covid 19, it was arranged to return to Lubuk Tajau village to hold meetings and identify the potential of non-forest agriculture which can be an economic alternative.

In addition to identifying biodiversity on forest land where the results of the identification will be conveyed to the community, in addition to clarification and verification, it is also to convey that the wealth of the Mentuka indigenous people must be preserved, protected, cared for with strong customary provisions, which can be stated in legal provisions. custom. Strengthening and advancing customary law is one of the agendas that have been compiled together, especially since threats are in front of the eyes both from outside and from within.

Increasing the capacity of the community in farming needs to be promoted without having to bring new things such as chemical fertilizers, but to prioritize the potential that exists in the community. Likewise, perennial agriculture such as rubber etc. besides helping to strengthen gender-based customary and village institutions. The initial agreement delayed due to the pandemic is a spatial mapping of indigenous territories that was planned a few months ago, this will be done after the situation calms down.

Existing agricultural production for market access is mainly rubber, tengkawang, and fruits. Of course, it is necessary to build an institution that can manage it through cooperatives and also Bumdes. In addition, of course, provide good post-production management training in accordance with market and/or factory needs.

Last word

Indigenous peoples who still have indigenous territories that are rich in biodiversity are sure to be able to survive crises, including economic crises, epidemics, and climate crises. This also cannot be separated from the roles of enlightened indigenous leaders who have big dreams for the survival of their people. The role of Teraju Foundation’s companion is a catalytic role that encourages and realizes the shared dream of how indigenous territories that are still rich in biodiversity are maintained and provide benefits to communities in indigenous territories and the world. Of course, by increasing the capacity of indigenous peoples and being able to produce future leaders from among young people and women who continue to try tirelessly to protect the customary territory from threats both from outside and from within.

This work needs to get support from the government in this case is a policy that protects indigenous peoples and their territories. Support from donor agencies that care about and are concerned about human rights, in this case, indigenous peoples, as well as organizations or institutions that care about and are concerned with biodiversity in order to respond to climate change.


May 2021

Bung Tomo

No Comments

Post A Comment