TBI in Indonesia works towards the improvement and implementation of landscape level conservation planning and the natural resource governance of forested lands allocated to villages and communities in Indonesia, with a current focus on the Ketapang and Kayong Utara districts in West Kalimantan Province.
The Ketapang and Kayong Utara districts have experienced rapid expansion of oil palm plantations and other land-based investments at the expense of forests and peatlands. Oil palm expansion has led to conversion, degradation and fragmentation of forests, with severe consequences for biodiversity, including the endangered Borneo orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). The governance of natural resources in both districts is still challenging, and existing policies, regulations and multi-stakeholder processes have not functioned effectively. The participation of local communities in land-use decision making processes is limited. Unclear land tenure contributes to poor landscape governance, many communities experience tenure insecurity, and conflicts over tenure are common.
In many parts of Indonesia, including in Kayong Utara and Ketapang districts, the establishment of large-scale oil palm plantations, followed by the uncontrolled expansion of smallholders, continues to occur at the expense of forest and peat areas. Through our work in partnership with various landscape actors, we aim to contribute to a climate smart landscape, while also providing a model of climate-smart landscape development that can be applied in other areas of Indonesia.
What we do:
Establish essential ecosystem areas (KEE) to integrate oil palm plantations in the landscape while effectively protecting and connecting High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) areas.
Develop income-earning models that link peatland conservation and restoration with sustainable development.
Develop a model for independent oil palm smallholders to improve natural resource governance, based on sound village-level planning, with special attention to the role of women and youth.
Support the development of alternative livelihoods in forest-margin communities in the form of sustainable NTFP extraction and forest-ecosystem-service-based entrepreneurship.
Together with village and district governments in Ketapang and Kayong Utara districts upscale participatory and (gender-) inclusive natural resource and land-use planning.
Facilitate the development of community-forest schemes and improve the capacities of local stakeholders to develop and implement community forest management plans.
Build capacity among smallholders and communities to develop their climate-smart ideas into business propositions, and to encourage finance providers (local banks, credit unions but also external investors) to invest in such activities.
Contribute to a large scale shared vision of conservation and development priorities in Gunung Tarak Landscape based on the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach.
Support Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and communities to coordinate their strategies, and influence government and oil palm companies to establish, conserve and manage high value areas.
Strengthen the knowledge and capacities of CSOs, CBOs and government actors on the HCV concept through training, facilitation and technical assistance.
Provide technical training and facilitation in alternative livelihoods, spatial planning and other skills to community members.
Support local CSOs and community-based organisations to increase their lobbying and advocacy skills.
Tropenbos International works in Indonesia through its local network partner Tropenbos Indonesia. Visit their website for more information: www.tropenbos-indonesia.org
Tropenbos International has been operating in Indonesia since 1987 with a field site in East Kalimantan and from 2007 it has expanded its operation nationwide. In 2017, Tropenbos Indonesia became a legal national entity of Indonesia and a member of the Tropenbos International network.
In the past years the main focus of TBI's work in Indonesia has been the promotion of the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach. TBI has provided policy-relevant and evidence-based information and build the capacities of policy makers and corporate actors on the application of HCV approach for the sustainable management of plantation forests and oil palm plantations in Indonesia. TBI facilitated the establishment of the HCV Network Indonesia and supported HCV Resource Network in the development of HCV guidance at landscape and jurisdictional scale.
TBI has contributed to the preparation of a large-scale government programme for Social Forestry and provides assistance to Village Governments to apply for the Social Forestry permits. At community level, TBI has worked on forestry management by developing alternative livelihoods to reduce communities' dependency on forests.
Through its Social Forestry (SF) programme, the Indonesian government can grant permits to communities to use and manage lands on state-forestland (Kawasan Hutan). To accelerate the programme’s implementation, the government developed a map that indicates the areas that are potential or suitable for Social Forestry schemes. Tropenbos Indonesia explored criteria and methods to identify potential areas for Social Forestry in West Kalimantan Province with explicit attention to the feasibility for communities. We propose that the principles for identifying areas with potential for Social Forestry can be further improved by explicitly considering lands that have long been managed by local communities, for example as agroforests and mixed gardens, including those that fall within company concession areas.
The Essential Ecosystem Area (KEE) is a new conservation category in Indonesia, which provides opportunities to protect forest cover outside of protected areas. It is potentially important for conservation, because much of the country’s unique biodiversity is found in production landscapes. So far, the socialization and development of KEE’s has been rather slow. In this brief we reflect on recent experiences with KEE implementation in Ketapang district, West Kalimantan. Around 2017, several palm oil companies worked together to establish a KEE, but they failed to adequately involve a mining company that had a concession in the same area. When the mining company started operations in 2018, the KEE was in jeopardy. Only after a period of intensive negotiations, the various parties reached an agreement. The experience highlights the importance of proper stakeholder consultation. An important role for civil society organizations (CSOs) is to facilitate the process leading up to multi-stakeholder discussions, which includes building awareness among individual stakeholders. Based on the Ketapang experience, we recommend that the national government stimulates KEE development by providing incentives to district-level governments, for example by enhancing special purpose funds (DAK) to support KEE management from the line ministries. The national government can also provide incentives to the private sector in the form of property-based tax relief or exemption. Finally, well-managed KEE’s should be nationally registered and part of the Indonesian commitments related to the Aichi targets and the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.
This article reports on a comparison of three institutional models for smallholder oil palm plantation in Ketapang District, West Kalimantan and an assessment of the level of inclusivity and the relative impacts. Findings include the opportunities to overcome barriers due to lack of inclusivity by intensifying the role of village government.
Article published in the ETFRN news 59 'Exploring Inclusive Palm Oil Production'
One major land-use development in the Gunung Tarak Landscape (GTL) in West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia has been the expansion of oil-palm plantations since the early 2000s, at the expense of forest and secondary regrowth areas.
The areas of High Conservation Value (HCV) identified at the landscape scale in GTL show a substantial decline between 2000 and 2016, with the relatively stable areas being only in official Protected Areas and Protection Forests; some of the losses resulted in ecological disconnection.
Identified HCV areas in GTL are a useful reference for further conservation planning, including the establishment of ecological corridors at a landscape scale and also for more detailed HCV identification in OPMUs.