Strengthening Food Security among Indigenous community in Sabah, Borneo Malaysia


This project is supported by the PAWANKA Fund aim to promote nature farming to address the current high use of chemicals in food production and to strengthen food security among Indigenous Communities in Sabah. Thru this project, it will also address some major issue faced by Indigenous Communities such as food security issues, loss of territories and traditional knowledge in Sabah.

3 main objective of the project:

  • To document traditional food sources and situation of food security among Indigenous Communities in Sabah.
  • To set up and operate pilot farming as a learning centre addressing food security for Indigenous Youth from the rural areas at PACOS training centre in Lomunu.
  • To implement community awareness and training workshop on nature farming and food security.

Activities carried out from September 2019 – July 2020:

  • Baseline research on traditional food sources and situation of food security at:
    • Gana village, Kota Marudu
    • Wasai village, Tamparuli
    • Kipouvo village, Penampang
  • Food processing and soil fertility training at:
    • Kipouvo village, Penampang
    • Kibunut village, Penampang
    • Togudon village, Penampang

Through this project, PACOS hopes to establish a pilot farming plot from community learning centre where traditional knowledge on farming as well as new nature friendly farming methods can be transferred, practiced and promoted to youths and adults.

Strategic Support to Territories and Areas Conserved by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (ICCAs) in Malaysia


This project is supported by the SGP ICCA Global Support Initiative (GSI) and is undertaken by PACOS Trust in collaboration with Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), community organizations in Indigenous communities and 2 Malaysia-based staff and members of the ICCA Consortium. Conducted from January 2017 to January 2020, it aims to:

  • Improve understanding of the national situation of ICCAs,including identifying existing emblematic ICCAs and encouraging more community organizations to enhance their conservation efforts;
  • Promote appropriate policy and legal recognition of ICCAsby identifying gaps and opportunities in the existing policy and legislative framework; and
  • Support up to 10 community organizations to apply for their own SGP proposals on the basis of self-determined funding priorities.

In order to achieve these objectives, the project has taken the approach to identify ’emblematic’ and potential ICCAs in the 3 regions of Malaysia and to support these potential ICCAs by building the capacity of community organizations and providing technical support and guidance so that they may be able to prepare their own SGP-ICCA proposals. In addition, the project also tried to promote dialogue, awareness and understanding around ICCAs through community and public outreach as well as support the development of a national strategy for ICCAs and the emergence of a national ICCA network through engagement with stakeholders.

Supporting Rural Communities Towards Entrepreneurship Development in Sabah

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Under the CIMB based funding program, the main objective of this program is to provide skills training on food processing such as Tumeric, Moringga, Ginger and making animals feed. This program also help Indigenous communities to come up with a packaging and branding products by them that can be used for marketing.

For a period of 12 month, communities who are planting tumeric, moringga, and ginger can process their produce so that they have longer shelf life and those who are doing animal rearing (chicken, fish, pig) can produce their own feed. We hope that thru this program, community can develop a packaging products that is ecofriendly and attractive to customers. Sales booth is set up to promote products from PACOS’s community programme to the consumers.

Main target participant for this program are from the School of Experiencial  & Entrepreneurship Development (SEEDS) and to our Community Learning Centre in Sabah.

‘Empowering Indigenous Peoples to access their rights and increase Indigenous Women in Decision-Making Process’ by EU

Traditional Territorial workshop in Pongobonon village

The Head village of Terian, Penampang explaining their territorial traditional area to determine their boundaries within each village (2018) – Leadership capacity building and training workshops to strengthen leadership and organisational capacities for Peoples’ Organisations (POs)

This project funded by the European Union aims to enhance the capacity of Indigenous communities to contribute to governance and collective rights and development processes in Malaysia and will be carried out for a period of 36 months, from January 2020 to December 2022. To achieve this, there are two specific objectives: To increase Indigenous Women’s participation in decision-making processes: and to empower Indigenous Peoples (IP) to better access their rights and engage in local development and governance. The activities under there objectives are as below:

Specific objective No.1: To increase Indigenous Women’s participation in decision-making process.

  • Ending child marriage campaign and law reform; and
  • Training for women community leaders.

Specific objective No.2: To empower Indigenous Peoples (IP) to better access their rights and engage in local development and governance

  • Production and dissemination of materials on IP Rights and issues affecting them;
  • Campaign events/activities on Indigenous Peoples Rights and issues affecting Indigenous Peoples;
  • Developing community mechanisms for IPs in identifying, analysing, and specifying their development needs and related concerns;
  • Events to strengthen solidarity and exchanges among Indigenous Peoples; and
  • Leadership capacity building and training workshops to strengthen leadership and organisational capacities for peoples’ organisations (POs)

Through this project, PACOS with the support of the EU and collaboration with various government agencies, NGOs and Peoples’ Organizations, will be able to promote inclusive and empowered Indigenous communities in Malaysia so that they have better engagement in local development and governance as well as contribute directly to 4 Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 5 – Gender Equality; SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities; SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; and SDG 17 – Partnership for the Goals.

United Nations Democracy Fund


United Nations Democracy Fund or UNDEF supports project to strengthen the voice of civil society, to promote human rights issue and encourage the participation of all group democratic processes. One of the main objective of the projects/programme is to increase participation and representation of Indigenous Youths in community and traditional leadership structures in order to transform their decision-making processes.

In partnership with PACOS, as an organisations that has been working with Indigenous community and also with youths for years, included 10 area (10 parlimentary seats in Sabah, by district – Kudat, Beluran, Penampang, Kinabatangan, Silam, Kalabakan, Keningau, Tuaran, Pensiangan & Kota Belud) for this programme, from May 2017 to May 2019.

Among the activities carried out in this programme are:

  • Baseline survey
  • Training of trainers
  • Cascade Youth Council Training
  • Youth Council Establishment
  • Voter Registration and Education Training
  • Advocacy & Awareness Raising Activities
  • Community Development Initiatives
  • Advocacy Campaigns / Awareness Event on Indigenous Youths Rights

Books for Asia


Books for Asia (BFA) is the largest and longest-running program of its kind in Asia. Founded by The Asia Foundation and operating in 18 countries, it aims to donate books to communities of all ages in order to encourage reading, hone critical thinking skills and shape understanding of the world and the many opportunities within it. The donation of up-to-date books encourages a more educated population better equipped to fight poverty, disease, and injustice, and work towards peace and prosperity.

PACOS has been managing BFA in Sabah since 2011 and has distributed many books to various parts of the state. As of October 2014, PACOS had received three shipments of 28,152 books which were distributed across the difficult terrain of Sabah with the help of various partners including Government Primary and Secondary Schools, CLCs, and other non-government organizations such the Mobile Court which visits rural areas within Sabah to provide legal aid. The books were also distributed to University Malaysia Sabah library as well as the Sabah State Library,

Kivatu Nature Farm (KNF)

PACOS encourages farming (especially organic farming) and agriculture as one of the means of socio-economic growth for indigenous peoples. KNF, which is situated in PACOS headquarters itself, aims to be a model farm as well as a training centre for communities who wishes to learn about farming and agriculture. It also acts as a propagation venue for various traditional plants, flowers, vegetables and citrus trees of which seedlings are then sold to the community at a low price.

Training on organic farming is also held in KNF where sustainable farming is taught. During this training, community representatives learn skills such as fertilizer making, natural farming and herb planting.

Outreach Programme


The Outreach Programme is a series of projects that bring volunteers into the most remote parts of Sabah to raise awareness of clean water and health as well as building new community learning centres.

Exclusive partnership with Raleigh International as well as other voluntary bodies enables larger projects under the Outreach Programme such as the installation of gravity water pipes in villages where clean water is hard to reach and the construction of CLCs in the villages. The projects under the Outreach Programme are carried by volunteers alongside village communities.

Gravity water pipe installation brings water to communities without it.

Gravity pipe installation brings water to communities without it.

Other projects under the Outreach Programme also benefit communities. The main idea of the Outreach Programme is to engage in volunteerism while learning about and connecting with communities in grass roots level.

Tagal Project (Fish Conservation)


PACOS encourages communities to use existing traditional systems such as river fish conservation (tagal) as a way to manage their resources sustainably. To aid in the management of their resources, community resource maps are prepared by the communities with support from PACOS.

This project is part of the Natural Resource Management.