The aim of this study was to estimate of the value of Orang Asli traditional ecological knowledge among the public in the Peninsular Malaysia through the application of a choice experiment (CE), which was utilised to directly assess the economic value of the sustainable management of the natural resource that is provided by the Orang Asli. The remainder of the paper is organised as follows. The theoretical background is outlined in section two. In section three we describe the data used in terms of CE and model results in section four. Finally, conclusions and future directions are presented in section five.
Orang Asli are the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia. They consist of at least 18 ethnic groups generally classified for an official purpose under three distinctive groups, namely Negritos, Senoi and Proto Malays. These ethnic groups are in a range between a few hundreds to more than five thousand. Orang Asli are not a homogeneous group, therefore, they have diverse cultures,…show more content… However, we focused specifically on three major attributes, namely documentation of medicinal plants and knowledge of their use, traditional forest-related knowledge and conservation of natural forests. These attributes were broadly based on the ecosystem services identified in line with the CBD and Malaysia’s National Policy on Biological Diversity 1998. Indigenous knowledge and practices pertaining to medicinal plants are of particular relevance because there are more than 2,000 species of medicinal plants in Malaysia of which, about 200 species being used by different ethnic groups including, Orang Asli (Salleh & Latiff, 2002). In addition, there is also rising demand for traditional medicine products, especially in the primary health care and cosmeceuticals (Nicholas,