Bukit Dua Belas National Park
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|In Jambi, central Sumatra, there are many communities of the forest tribe that calls itself the Jungle People or Orang Rimba. These communities are scattered throughout the national parks in Jambi. One of the main territories of the Orang Rimba is the Bukit Duabelas National Park which is 60,500 hectares and spans three regencies: Batang Hari (65 percent); Tebo (20 percent); and Sarolangun (15 percent). The Orang Rimba have lived in these forests for as long as they can remember, with each community having a leader called the Tumenggung.|
The Orang Rimba population in this area recorded by a survey in 1998 is 1046 individuals.
The Orang Rimba fulfil their daily needs by hunting inside the forests using traditional weapons like bow and arrows, spears, etc. Besides hunting, they also collect resin, red dye from the fruits of rattan trees, and the rattan itself, to sell to the villagers whom they call “people of the light” for money which they would then use to buy goods for their families. Agricultural fields (huma) have become an alternative source of income for some Orang Rimba, with some families planting rubber trees, vegetables, etc. on a small scale as an addition to their forest based livelihood. When exploiting the forests they choose which trees are mature to prevent any possibility of forest degradation. The Orang Rimba have strong cultural values which they want to protect and preserve.
The effects of modernization have intimidated local wisdom and human rights systems of the Orang Rimba. Interventions by the many parties have treated the Orang Rimba as objects, not as subjects with the right to be involved in the management of Bukit Duabelas National Park. Outsiders often assume that the Orang Rimba are a threat to the National Park, and they have become scapegoats for intellectuals seeking to explain degradation of the National Park. The increasing intervention of outside parties has caused an increase in social conflicts such as: human rights violations; eradication of cultural values; segregation of Orang Rimba communities and the violation of their right to use and manage their customary lands within the National Park. The Orang Rimba have been exploited by foreign donors, while they receive no educational support from the government.