Dryland Sustainable Livelihoods

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  • Title: Dryland Sustainable Livelihoods: Role of Clan and Customary Laws in West Timor, Indonesia
  • Author(s): Yenny Tjoe
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social, and Cultural Context
  • Keywords: Sustainable Livelihoods, Clan Belief, Subsistence, Village Head, Drylands, Meto People
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 2325-1115 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-114X (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1115/CGP/v13i01/1-19
  • Citation: Tjoe, Yenny. 2016. "Dryland Sustainable Livelihoods: Role of Clan and Customary Laws in West Timor, Indonesia." The International Journal of Sustainability in Economic, Social, and Cultural Context 13 (1): 1-19. doi:10.18848/2325-1115/CGP/v13i01/1-19.
  • Extent: 19 pages

Abstract

Subsistence farming is one of the essential features of dryland regions to support people in coping with drought and rainfall variability. This paper examines the livelihoods of Atoin Meto, a tribal community that practices subsistence corn growing in dryland West Timor. It discusses the role of clan system and customary laws in the livelihoods of this tribal people. This study finds that the role of the Meto clan system and customary laws is twofold: It has contributed to reducing livelihood vulnerability in the region via the management of community forest resources and maintenance of members’ rights to access farmland and natural resources. On the other hand, it also provides the opportunity for a misuse of power by official village heads and hinders the process of development. Qualitative data were collected through group interviews, in-depth key informant interviews, and participant observation. This finding implies that in order for this tribe to increase its capacity for sustainable rural development in dryland regions, future development policy for this region needs to find ways and means to improve local governance and replace corrupt village officials.