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Enrichment planting with native species to increase the economic value of selectively-logged rain forest.

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 09:11 AM
Contributors: David R. Peart

Indonesia is faced with the need to sustainably harvest forests to support communities while maintaining forest diversity and integrity. This report focuses on the ecological and economic aspects of alternative forest management in Indonesia, particularly in West Kalimantan. In this region, people clear land to stake claim on the parcel. The motivation to do this stems from the fear that the government will claim it for another use, such as an oil palm plantation, if it is not already in use. Commercial logging is also a significant cause of deforestation. Shifting cultivation causes relatively little deforestation in comparison. Local people need economic return in order to continue to practice sustainable management. Buffer zones around forest preserves provide an example: if the zones are not large enough to provide economically and ecologically sustainable products, then people tend to exploit them by choosing to liquidate the valuable but less sustainable products within them. It may be possible to log these areas with low-impact methods in order to increase their value to communities and therefore increase the chances that people will manage them well. In addition, the long-term value of these areas could be further increased if they were planted with economically valuable tree species in areas that are disturbed during logging extraction. Species growth traits are described, which reveals that some may be good candidates for this type of work. In order to succeed, increased training of Indonesian participants, professionals and academics is highly recommended. Institutions such as universities and herbariums should be boosted as well, and collaborations with regional institutions should continue. Attention should be given to the diversity of local communities and their practices to avoid making oversimplifications about their culture and current capabilities. Dissemination of project results should continue locally and abroad.

Author(s): David R. Peart

Publication Date: 1996

Location: Asia

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