Indigenous communities in the Eastern Malaysian state of Sabah play a critical but poorly recognised role in the stewardship of the region's abundant ecological and natural resources.
How are we helping
Supporting PACOS Trust's project to foster greater recognition and resilience of indigenous groups and their practices in natural resource stewardship.
About the project
The Partners of Community Organisations in Sabah (PACOS Trust) is seeking to improve the vital role that indigenous peoples of Sabah play in monitoring and stewarding these resources. State recognition of their roles in protecting indigenous peoples and community conserved areas (ICCAs) has not been consistent and this grant will help to remedy that.
The focus of the work will be to increase the resilience of the traditional practices, protocols and customary laws that indigenous peoples already use to conserve and protect the resources. The people will be supported in documenting their customary institutions, to aid with the development of plans and priorities for increasing their recognition, for greater dialogue between community organisations and government institutions and for the increased participation of local indigenous peoples’ group leaders in regional and international networks. The PACOS Trust also wants to support local groups with participating in international policy development on indigenous peoples’ issues, such as the bi-annual sessions of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The project will also be supported by Natural Justice, a South African organization that has a strong track record of providing legal and legislative support to civil society organisations working on indigenous peoples’ issues.
The PACOS Trust recognises the expertise of indigenous peoples in natural resource stewardship and the importance of their involvement in a sustainable solution to addressing challenges. By building a strong role for indigenous peoples in the policies of the conservation and restoration of the local ecosystems, habitats and species, the PACOS Trust will forge constructive engagement between the people who know these resources the best and the groups and powers that can help preserve their future.
The PACOS Trust is a community-based organisation dedicated towards supporting indigenous communities in Sabah. PACOS Trust would like to see peaceful indigenous communities, united and well equipped with the knowledge and expertise to manage their resources and opportunities to support a comfortable life. Its mission is to improve the overall quality of life of indigenous communities.
The Foundation is the Commonwealth's agency for civil society. We support people’s participation in democracy and development by providing grants, platforms for civic voices and opportunities for sharing expertise.