Questioning Sustainability: The Reselience of Local variety of Rice in the Dayak Community of central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Semiarto Aji Purwanto, Sutji Shito

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Far from the enthusiasm of development programs run by the Indonesian government since 1967, the Dayak community in the interior of Kalimantan tropical forest was significantly abandoned from the changes. There was not much programs for the interior because the focus of development mostly was in Java island. Consequently, the Dayak life as shifting cultivator that has been practiced for centuries. Our ethnographic research found that today they still maintain the knowledge and keeping the existence of local variety of rice. While in Java, these varieties have been replaced by a more-productive-and-resistant-to-pest varieties, the Dayak still maintain more than 60s varieties. From the biodiversity's perspective, it is a delightful news; while from the cultural perspective, the persistence of their custom regarding to the practice of traditional cultivation is fascinating as well. The paper will explore the effect of how a neglected area, which was disregarded by development programs, sustains their culture and biodiversity. Using critical ethnographic analysis, we also would like to discuss the concept of sustainability whether it needed for the development programs, for thw changes into a modern civilization, or for the sake of the local to survive.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event5th International Conference on Sustaible Development (ISCD) - IT, Rome, Italy
Duration: 1 Jan 2017 → …


Conference5th International Conference on Sustaible Development (ISCD)
Period1/01/17 → …
Internet address


  • Sustainable development, local knowledge, rice, critical ethnography, Kalimantan, Indonesia.


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