The Bunong Indigenous Peoples Can Predict the Climate Change Through their daily livelihood,

Mondulkiri is one of the four north-east provinces of Cambodia. It is one of the largest provinces in Cambodia (14,682 km2), but with the least population (some 56,000 people). The ethnic Bunong consists of the majority (52.24per cent), while the rest being lowland and other ethnic groups (Try et al. 2009).

The province is known for its rich natural resources, with large areas of forests and conservation areas. However,recent years have witnessed rapid changes in the province’s landscape as a major part of the land has been converted into economic land concessions, mining and large scale agroforestry plantations. The Bunong people who live in the province for centuries are often blamed for causing forest fires and forest degradation.

The Bunong have long practiced traditional farming and used forest to support their livelihood and cultural system. They are mostly animist, believing in powerful spirits that inhabit a wide range of natural objects or sites. Many ceremonies are observed to ensure good relationships with these spirits, including sacrifices and libations.

Their main farming activity is non-irrigated shifting cultivation (Miir) of upland rice and other crops. Forest is burned before cultivation and ceremonies are performed before and after the farm is cleared. This type of slash and burn, when it allows sufficient time in-between for the forest and ecosystem to regenerate, is not considered destructive to the natural environment (Maclnnes 2007).

As their agricultural practices depend largely on natural environment, the Bunong people have developed their own ways of predicting natural phenomena, borrowing wisdoms of the fellow wildlife which habituate the same forest – such as the Bengal Monitor, King Cobra, Long Ant, and Wild Rooster (see Bourdier 2009).

The Bunong believe that there will be drought when a King Cobra lays eggs close to a stream. If the tails of young Bengal Monitors are whiter around April before the onset of the wet season, then that means there will drought during the upcoming supposedly wet season.

CONTENTS 275 E-Discussion on Climate Change and Human Development

When more black colour is observed in Bengal Monitors’ tails in the months of April and May, then the Bunong people would predict more rain, which may possibly lead to flooding. In some parts of Mondulkiri, locations of the nests of Long Ants are also believed to indicate possibility of floods: the higher on a tree and the further away from water they build their nests, the more likely that there will be flood. Similarly, when Wild Roosters lay their eggs on tree stumps or other higher ground and not directly on the ground, then you can expect a flood will come (*).

People also learned to observe behaviours of rains, dry spells and air flows. When a long (2-3 weeks) drought in otherwise normally wet season, followed by continuous rains with wind for 4-10 days, then they would expect a lot of insects would come to annoy them, taking their crops away.

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Posted on July 12, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. (Bunong är ett folk som heter Bunong) om vi pratar om Bunong här så en långa historia, så jag vill vissa lite om Bunong historia så för två tusen år tidigare Bunong var en största land perioden kung Jayavarman I så kollas man Bunong är Funan, Funan de betyder samma sak namnet av Bunong här. nu vi kan utreda Bunong folk och Bunong geografis var är Bunong just nu jo just nu där i Thailand,Laos och hela i Vietnam och i Cambodia nu är Bunong geografis. så bevis Bunong kung perioden Jayavarman är där i Siam Reap Angkor wat preah Vihear och till Thailand Phnom Roung och till Laos Wat Phu och till Vietnam är där i Angkor wat heter man Champa kung Jay Indravarman Jaya Indravarman och kung Jayavarman De är Bunong Indravarman och med Jayavarman De är kusin. så det är bevis museum Bunong så vi kan ser på Angkor wat Saim Reap Prea Vihear där så Bunong kultur man brukar använda för män man kan använda höftkläde och Öronhänge så vi kan ser ut bilda kung Jayavarman här han också använda Öronhänge och höftkläde. så Bunong är riktigt stamland men nu Bunong har ingenting rättighet Bunong hemland så Thailand, Laos och Vietnam tagit allt, så det är en olaglig Vietnam,Laos ochThailand göra mot Bunong

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