Livelihoods, Vulnerability and Marginalisation of a Bajo Community in Wuring Laut, Eastern Indonesia

  • Frances Every

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU

    Abstract

    This thesis considers the livelihood activities, vulnerability factors and associated issues of marginalisation and social exclusion that impact on a fisheries-dependent Bajo community in Wuring Laut, Flores Island in eastern Indonesia. The research examines four topics: 1) the livelihood strategies of Wuring Laut Bajo 2) the causes of vulnerability which affect realisation of livelihood benefits derived from two key activities; small pelagic fishing by purse seining and the trade in fish by women traders; 3) community vulnerabilities associated with natural hazards, related to an earthquake and tsunami; 4) Bajo access to resources and aid through fishing cooperatives. These are considered
    within the social systems and livelihood contexts of the community. The research found that the primary causes of vulnerability were increased social exclusion and marginalisation linked to inappropriately targeted post-natural disaster intervention; continued exposure to risk from earthquakes and tsunamis; limited capacity to derive benefits from the purse seine fishery due to exploitative economic relationships; exclusion from fishing cooperatives and government aid to support and improve existing livelihoods and participate in – and deriving benefits from – small-scale tuna and pelagic fisheries. A cumulative impact of these vulnerabilities is inhibited capacity for livelihood diversification. The findings highlight the fact that many interventions and government aid programmes devised to alleviate poverty and improve resilience in natural resourcedependent communities fail to account for social, cultural and local political factors that influence livelihoods and may actually increase vulnerability and poverty. These findings have implications for other small-scale marginalised coastal fishing communities in the Indonesian area of the Coral Triangle Region and the study of vulnerability of other maritime and semi-nomadic landless groups from Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.
    Date of AwardJan 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorNatasha Stacey (Supervisor), David Mearns (Supervisor) & Owen Stanley (Supervisor)

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