Malaysia: community management of resources

Nasiri Sabiah

Nasiri works with communities in managing their resources. Photo by Conor Ashleigh (

Nasiri Sabiah is a Dusun Rumanau from Kg. Alab Lanas, Sook Keningau. Nasiri works with PACOS and explained that PACOS has been involved in community empowerment since 1987 although they were formally established in 1997. They do a lot of work on gender awareness wherein the role of women in passing on traditional knowledge to the younger generation is encouraged as they are the  knowledge keepers. They also advocate organic and traditional farming and indigenous peoples rights.

One of the methods they use in advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples is in the management of resources, known as the ‘tagal’ system. The term tagal is a Kadazandusun term which is used for sustainable and traditional fisheries management. Nasiri’s presentation included a video showing of the tagal system and other projects featuring sustainable management of community resources (forest, rivers, land).  The video showed how PACOS, together with the fishing communities and communities living alongside the river, were able to clean up the water systems and manage their rivers. This  was an eye opener for many participants, including those from the North. They were impressed and asked if the system was supported by the Government and replicated elsewhere. Nasiri explained that the Government used the same method and replicated the ‘tagal’ system and introduced it to other districts. However, it was not successful as they desecrated it, and corrupted the system with the introduction of beauty contests and more.  Nasiri would be happy to share the videos and other programs groups can mirror and reproduce around the world.

–> Visit this page again, we will upload videos and other documentaries from PACOS for the inspiring work they do with the communities on sustainable management of resources