Discipline: Cultural and Ethnic Studies, Forestry
The study determined the congruity of Community Based Forest Management to cultural practices of Sama people. It was found out that the goals and strategies of community Based forest Management are more inclined to economic and political aspects. Its specific goals and strategies deviate from its core strategy that is to recognize and respect the customary and traditional rights and privileges of the indigenous people. Its forest management concept is contradictory to Sama’s forest protection and care, and spirituality as confirmed by the indigenous rituals and the community’s high confidence in tribal leaders. The People’s Organization and external agencies erode people’s communal sharing practices and commitment to their cultural values. While Community Based Forest Management allures alliances and financial gains, promotes security of tenure and sub-contracting schemes, deputizes PO members, adheres to transparent allocation of monetary transactions and to profit-making through commercial plantation, prices the forest resources, aggresses reforestation through plantation system, the Sama cultural practices on the other hand manifest the values of sharing, commitment and respect to the environment, assert no ownership of forest resources, emphasize people’s commitment to respect, protect and care for the environment, value non-commercialization and non-offering of the forest resources to global competitiveness, and encourage forest self-replenishment through non-excessive extraction scheme. Based on this, it appears that Community Based Forest Management interest is incongruous with the Sama cultural practices, thus it is not valid and not feasible in as far as such context is concerned.