The project created awareness about indigenous peoples’ comprehensive knowledge about the use of rainforest plants by disseminating the results of a ground-breaking qualitative ethnobotanical study conducted in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
The study, performed by Dr. Hanne Christensen, showed that two small tribal communities are know more than 2,000 different forms of utilization of more than 1,140 plant species. The plants are used for a multitude of purposes including food, medicine and the production of various household items.
The project comprised the popularisation and publication of these findings in a comprehensive and well-illustrated book entitled “Ethnobotany of the Iban and Kelabit”.
Without such publications, the detailed knowledge about plant species found among indigenous peoples might get lost. The book was published and launched by the Chief Minister of Sarawak in 2002, and was very well received.
The book is a joint publication of the Forest Department of Sarawak, Preferred by Nature, Denmark and the University of Aarhus, Denmark.