Environment Panel



Challenges of Long-Term Conservation Initiatives in Productive Forest Landscape in Indonesia

Défis des initiatives de conservation à long terme dans les paysages de forêts productives en Indonésie


Saturday, October 23, 2021


09:00 – 10:45

VenueVenue 2Venue 2


Landscapes in the tropics are changing rapidly. We report on long-term collaboration programs with partners and communities in the islands of Indonesia. Governance and decision-making processes influence the changes in these landscapes. Conservation in Indonesia is still not deeply rooted in understanding the link between people’s behaviour and social-ecological systems that would shape the future of the landscapes. We try to build long-term relationships with actors in landscapes and understand how their behaviour influences conservation and development outcomes. What would be the way forward in these changing landscapes? Would an integrated approach be significant component of the puzzle to reach more sustainable landscapes? How will these changes impact on peoples’ ability to deal with challenges such as COVID-19. We will have four panelists to discuss their experiences in different islands of Indonesia at different stages of development—with conservation of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods as the main goal.

Chair/Président: Agni Klintuni Boedhihartono, Department of Forest and Conservation Science, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia; Director, Tanah Air Beta, Bali, Indonesia

Discussant/Intervenant: Jeff Sayer, Department of Forest and Conservation Science, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Event poster


Seram, an Island in Transition: More Small-holders Forest Enterprises or Conservation as way Forward?

Emilio Valeri and Adinda Rizky, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

In these challenging times, communities on Seram Island, in Maluku, seek different alternatives to improve their livelihoods. After several years of observation and work with local communities, we have observed changes in cultivation and marketing of spices, essential oils, and other traded goods. What could be the best way forward? Can markets drive the future of an island in transition? The Government of Maluku is trying to revive the idea of Spice Islands trade and essential oils that are known originally from the Maluku Islands. These may provide opportunities for communities in the islands of Maluku, but can they compete with the demand for land for agriculture, biofuels, mega food production, and mining? Investment coming into the island includes cacao, oil palm, sugar cane, and shrimp farming and this will change the land use system and the culture of the island with its important and high endemic biodiversity. How have traditional communities fared in the face of COVID-19 in comparison with communities connected to global supply chains?

The Political Ecology of Infrastructure Investment in Eastern Indonesia

Rebecca Riggs, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Tanah Air Beta; James Langston, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia; Tanah Air Beta

Major investments in roads, ports, estate crops, and other extractive industries are driving change in eastern Indonesia. We report on our observations of the broad-based sustainability impacts of these investments in North Sulawesi. In Indonesia, infrastructure has been correlated with improved scores on the Sustainable Development Goals. Our observations raise questions about governance challenges facing local communities as they navigate the opportunities and threats brought by infrastructure investments. Local governance that historically managed development and conservation according to the parameters set locally are now in flux as landscapes change. In North Sulawesi, local governance regimes either contest or cooperate with external governing actors, which include both the government and market players arriving with investment programs. Power differentials raise concerns of inclusion, and therefore the suitability of investments for sustainability and accumulation of local benefits. We reflect on the challenges posed by externally driven investment and the complexity of managing conservation and development trade-offs at the landscape scale. We explore how local actors might play a stronger/more strategic role in governing infrastructure development to capture benefits and mitigate risks for current and future aspirations. We seek to integrate lessons learned from Sulawesi into future research agendas, contributing to innovative models of governance for sustainable and inclusive development.

Rethinking Community-based Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation in the Time of the COVID-19 pandemic: Case Study from Central Kalimantan and Riau

Rumi Naito, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, University of British Columbia

The current COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges to biodiversity conservation. It has caused a global economic recession and created crises for all sectors. Because today’s conservation initiatives are firmly tied to the global economy, the pandemic has also negatively impacted many projects on the ground. This sheds light on an urgent need to rethink current practices in biodiversity conservation and transition to more sustainable approaches. Here, we present two cases of community-based biodiversity conservation projects in Indonesia. One is an example of a failed attempt, and the other demonstrates sustainable approaches. We critically discuss how each project was designed and implemented, what factors led to each outcome, and what we can learn from these experiences. Based on the data collected through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, field observations, and demographic records at these two sites, we highlight five key factors to sustainable outcomes in community-based biodiversity conservation: 1) strong support from local stakeholders, 2) effective communications, 3) community involvement and leadership, 4) clear benefit mechanisms, and 5) local-based socioeconomic development. Moreover, this study suggests an integrated approach to simultaneously achieving these factors by drawing insights from various disciplines including psychology and sociology. The implication of this study should apply to a wide range of conservation projects beyond regional and contextual boundaries.

Conservation Concessions Could be the Way Forward for Restoration and Protection of Peatland Forests?

Noviyanti Nugraheni, Sebangau National Park, Kalimantan, Indonesia; M. Iqbal Firdaus, Restoration Ecosystem Concession, WWF, Jambi, Indonesia

Conservation Concessions have been an interesting approach that tried to restore and conserve ecologically important high conservation value areas in productive landscapes in Indonesia. Several NGOs and private sector companies have applied this Conservation Concession model with support including government, donors, and companies. Here we will discuss case studies from a Ramsar Wetland site and the Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan, Bukit Tiga Puluh in Jambi, and the Kampar Peninsula in Riau. We present lessons learned from peatland restoration led by different organizations in a national park, a site led by WWF Indonesia, and a site run by a private company. The integrated production-protection models show a potential way to achieve environmental as well as social and economic objectives. Would this be a new model of partnership between the private sector, government, and communities to reach more sustainable forest management goals? Have people in these areas been better able to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic?

CCSEAS Conference 2021 | ccseas@yorku.ca