Indigenous Peoples in Protected Areas and Equitable Conservation: Recent Legal and Policy Development in Malaysia

Main Article Content

Izawati Wook


Respect and recognition of the rights of the indigenous peoples are acknowledged as indispensable for sustainable and equitable conservation of protected areas. Corresponding to this, in Malaysia, significant changes have also been seen in the relevant laws and policy statements in the last few years, providing for greater recognition of the needs and rights of the indigenous peoples in the management of the protected areas. This paper provides an overview of the Malaysian laws and policies on protected areas affecting the rights of Malaysia’s indigenous peoples, the Orang Asli, with a focus on the recent changes in the relevant laws and policy statement. However, without adequate legal support and recognition as landowners, the effort to meaningfully include the indigenous peoples in the management of the protected areas may be hampered. A concrete legal change needs to take place, specifically through legislation to formally recognize and acknowledge the rights of the Orang Asli communities to their customary land. This may lead to a change of perspective towards the Orang Asli as landowners and pave a new foundation for creating new relationships to create a genuine partnership and meaningful involvement of the communities in the management of the protected areas.

Article Details

How to Cite
Wook, I. (2023). Indigenous Peoples in Protected Areas and Equitable Conservation: Recent Legal and Policy Development in Malaysia. Asian Journal of Law and Policy, 3(2), 49–64.
Research Articles


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