Community Use Zone (CUZ)

History of CUZ (Community Use Zone)

The Crocker Range Park Management Plan was prepared in 2006 by Sabah Parks with technical assistance from The Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation Programme (BBEC) Phase I (2002-2007), a technical cooperation project between the Malaysian Government, represented by the State of Sabah, and the Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The plan introduced the concept of a Community Use Zone (CUZ) as a management option to address the issues concerning local communities living and utilizing resources within protected areas. CUZs were intended to be collaboratively managed by Sabah Parks and such local communities.

CUZs can be defined by Sabah Parks as “areas where existing cultivation and forest resource collection are found to occur inside the Parks and where traditional human activities will be allowed to continue under the supervision of the Parks Authority”. The objectives of such prescribed zones are to balance the existing local communities’ needs and conservation, encourage participation of and collaboration with the local communities in Park management, and protect the cultures and traditional knowledge of the local communities.

On paper, CUZs legalize community access to resource areas within the Park and provide avenues for local community participation. The legal framework for the establishment of CUZs was approved by the State Legislative Assembly in the 2007 amendment to the Parks Enactment. Under this amendment, Sabah Parks then had the mandate to zone sections of the park as CUZs for co-management.

Source : Practices and Lessons on Collaborative Resources Management in Sabah, Malaysia. Case Study in Ulu Senagang - Mongool Baru Village