Estate crops more attractive than community forests in West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Langston, James D., Riggs, Rebecca A., Sururi, Yazid, Sunderland, Terry, and Munawir, Muhammad (2017) Estate crops more attractive than community forests in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Land, 6 (1). 12.

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Abstract

Smallholder farmers and indigenous communities must cope with the opportunities and threats presented by rapidly spreading estate crops in the frontier of the agricultural market economy. Smallholder communities are subject to considerable speculation by outsiders, yet large-scale agriculture presents tradeoffs that they must navigate. We initiated a study in Sintang,West Kalimantan in 2012 and have returned annually for the last four years, buildingthe baselines fora longer-term landscape approach to reconciling conservation and developmenttradeoffs in situ. Here, the stakeholders are heterogeneous, yet the land cover of the landscape is on a trajectory towards homogenous mono-cropping systems, primarily either palm oil or rubber. In one village on the frontier of the agricultural market economy, natural forests remain managed by the indigenous and local community but economics further intrude on forest use decisions. Conservation values are declining and the future of the forest is uncertain. As such, the community is ultimately attracted to more economically attractive uses of the land for local development oil palm or rubber mono-crop farms. We identify poverty as a threat to community-managed conservation success in the face of economic pressures to convert forest to intensive agriculture. We provide evidence that lucrative alternatives will challenge community-managed forests when prosperity seems achievable. To alleviate this trend, we identify formalized traditional management and landscape governance solutions to nurture a more sustainable landscape transition.

Item ID: 50568
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2073-445X
Keywords: conservation development tradeoffs, smallholder agriculture, agricultural market frontiers, community-based forestry, landscape approach
Additional Information:

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Funders: Centre for International Forestry Research
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 10:05
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 100%
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