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Commodification of Nature on the Plantation Frontier

  • Noboru IshikawaEmail author
  • Ryoji Soda
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Abstract

The studies in this volume provide an ethnography of a plantation frontier located in the Kemena and Tatau river basin catchment in central Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Using a transdisciplinary approach that draws on the expertise of both natural scientists and social scientists, the key focus is on the commodification of nature that has turned the local landscape into anthropogenic forests. Looking into the interfaces between capitalism and the natural system, we document and analyse the transformation of a space of mixed landscapes and multiethnic and multispecies communities, for the most part driven by trade in forest products, logging and the cultivation of oil palm. How have new commodity chains emerged while older ones disappeared? What changes are associated with such shifts? How are material cycles and food webs altered as a result of large-scale land-use change? What are the relationships among these three elements—commodity chains, material cycles and food webs? Attempts to answer these questions lead us to go beyond the dichotomy of society and nature, and enable us to uncover complex relational entanglements of the two worlds abruptly and forcibly connected by human-induced changes.

Keywords

Sarawak Plantation frontier Tropical biomass society Commodification Anthropogenic forests 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Southeast Asian StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Literature and Human SciencesOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan

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