Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

 
1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)/CBD Ecosystem Approach Case study
Project Title MALINAU, INDONESIA
Date of Publication
Project Status Ongoing
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Indonesia
Regions
Funding Source
 
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement Currently, one of the key objectives is to improve district co-ordination of forest management in the Malinau catchment through improved stakeholder participation, conflict management, development of land-use plans, and monitoring. Another objective is to seek to increase local people’s access to and control over forest benefits through economic development initiatives that contribute to district incomes and participation in district decision-making.
Project Description This case-study is being conducted in the Malinau catchment in Malinau District, East Kalimantan, an area of approximately 250 000 hectares. The area is covered mostly with primary and secondary forests, and is of considerable global value for biodiversity, being part of one of the largest contiguous blocks of forest left in the tropics. Most of the area has been allocated to logging concessions, though extremely rugged terrain means that much of the area is currently inaccessible. There are areas of shifting agriculture and some coal mining. The area has undergone rapid change in the last five years through the opening up of roads, expansion of mining, decentralisation (shifting the balance of power and introducing many new actors in the logging and governance arena), and high in-migration as a result of new economic opportunities. When the research was initiated in the middle to late 1990s, the key perceived problems were related to industrial logging by large state companies. Damage to the local environment through this activity, concerns about the sustainability of timber supplies from the permanent forest estate, and the lack of benefits reaching local inhabitants guided much of the early research. With the implementation of Indonesia’s decentralization reforms in 2000, small-scale logging became rampant throughout Indonesia, especially in Malinau (as the district is close to markets in Malaysia). The result has been extraordinarily high levels of intense, unsustainable timber extraction and conflict. Lack of benefits to local inhabitants remains a key problem. Unsustainable logging has shifted to a new order of magnitude, and lack of capacity and financial resources at the district level have limited any serious attempt to manage natural resources. Local values of biodiversity are often different from those held by the global community, but many species and habitats valued by local people have global significance. Local communities have complex relationships with their environment that need to be understood and taken into account in decision and policy making.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices. This principle is so widely accepted by the partners in this case-study that it is of little use in guiding implementation. The problem is that there are some serious trade-offs amongst different stakeholders. Local people want part of the revenue from the harvested forest resources, while in some cases they want to protect the resources. The district government may promote conservation, but they are working with the small-scale operators in highly destructive operations. The large-scale concessionaires have adopted relatively good forestry practices, but the funds generated have not benefited local people. National level players still believe that they have the option to manage the timber estate, though they have all but lost their previous power. What is “societal choice” in this arena? Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level. This principle needs to be more nuanced to be useful. Decentralisation in Indonesia has led to numerous problems at the district level and below. Districts have become the main centres of power and this has not been to the benefit of forests in Malinau. The EA needs a principle that recognises the need to have different components of management at different levels. Principle 3: Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems Given the huge size of the area, in this case, we also need to consider the impacts on global processes (e.g. carbon cycles). Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context. Any such ecosystem-management programme should: (a) reduce those market distortions that adversely affect biological diversity; (b) align incentives to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use; (c) internalize costs and benefits in the given ecosystem to the extent feasible. The first sentence in this principle is such common knowledge to the partners that it does not add value to the case-study. The forests are integral to the timber industry and also used for a variety of non-timber forest products. While many of the latter are for subsidence, there are also some very important marketed forest products (e.g. edible bird nests, eaglewood and rattan). The solutions proposed in the principle are important for this particular case-study, but implementation is usually well beyond the brief of the local actors. Thus, for example, subsidies on fuel are making timber exploitation, even of marginal species in marginal sites, economically viable. It seems unreasonable to expect local people to forego the timber values that they can derive from the forests. The only option may be biodiversity payments to local people by those who want the biodiversity conserved. The project implementers are exploring this option. Finding buyers for biodiversity in village settings is not easy, however, given that there are official ‘protected’ areas where the transaction costs would be much lower. Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach. AND Principle 6: Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functioning.One could imagine a situation where logging operators could apply these principles. However, in the case-study area the small-scale operators have no interest in any form of sustainable management. Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. This seems to be a useful principle, but should be defined as ‘multiple scales of analysis and intervention’ to solve particular problems. The EA shows excessive optimism in terms of installing hard boundaries. There are overlapping claims by national government, large-scale concessionaires, small-scale concessionaires and local people. Principle 8: Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term. There seems little hope of implementing long-term objectives in the case-study area given the short-term needs of local people and the commercial interests of logging operators. Principle 9: Management must recognize that change is inevitable. The partners in the case-study work fully recognise this. The corollary espoused by the EA is that one needs to employ adaptive management. The large-scale logging company does not recognise this, having in place an immovable concession plan for 20 odd years, while the small-scale operators don’t implement any kind of management. It is difficult to say that local people employ adaptive management – they are highly adaptive, but active management of natural resources is limited. We prefer the term participatory action research. Annual meetings are conducted at community and district level to reach consensus on the nature of the problems and a vision for the annual research and development plan. Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity. The importance of use is recognised and various initiatives have been conducted to promote better conservation methods and less destructive logging methods. Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices. Attention was paid to giving priority to local perspectives, in exercises to value biodiversity, and in empowering the communities. For indigenous rural communities, their needs and perceptions remain hidden to outsiders unless a specific effort is made to uncover them. Where external decisions have local impacts, the concerns of local communities are often overlooked and undesirable impacts, though common, are inadequately anticipated. What is needed is an understanding of local needs and a means to make these more influential in the decision-making process. This was a major component of the case-study work. Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines. This seems obvious and follows from Principle 1. A wide variety of disciplines are involved, including ecology, forestry, anthropology, sociology, economics and political ecology.
Conclusions Specific outcomes included the demonstration, with the state logging company, of the cost-effectiveness of reduced impact logging. The results are being used to inform national policy. At the community level, and by adopting a learning process with the communities, one of the research teams was able to adapt to the swiftly changing circumstances. The learning cycle was rapid, allowing for several cycles in a few years – first the focus was on ‘future scenarios’ as a means to plan for the future, then on village mapping as a pre-condition to negotiate customary rights with government, and then on increasing communities’ participation in local government’s land-use decisions and village boundary demarcation. At the request of the communities themselves considerable attention has been paid to boundary issues – to identify how these are recognised and negotiated, and how they lead to particular rights and responsibilities. The communities used maps derived from such exercises as a means to negotiate their territory areas with the district and logging companies. Forest-dependent people in some areas have used CIFOR-generated data to argue their case when discussing health and education issues at the district level. At the national–district nexus, the impacts of decentralisation were analysed, and facilitators worked with different groups to increase dialogue and action at the district level. The research team has already contributed to the official land-use plan for the district, which incorporates some aspects of landscape management derived from the research. Institutional analyses indicated a problem with the local legal system, and the key players identified the need for assistance with legal drafting. A workshop on this topic has just been conducted, which will hopefully lead to better preparation of local laws. Work at the international level has largely comprised a search for long levers to facilitate changes in development trajectories. Potential levers include involving financial institutions and conservation concessions, in which links between local communities and major international conservation organisations have been made. Given the diversity of players at different scales and with highly skewed power relations, a focus of the work is on how best to undertake negotiations among the multiple stakeholders in such arenas. The work on empowering the communities has led to a situation where some local communities are able and interested to discuss concessions. Much of the above work can be said to be empowering local communities, who are currently weak in the face of logging companies, district officials and entrepreneurs. The participation of the Punan (one of the disadvantaged ethnic groups) and women in CIFOR’s community work in Malinau has visibly increased. Communities have learnt to state their needs more clearly and what the implications are for outsiders. This allows them to better express their preferences in various political forums. They are currently articulating more sophisticated land-use visions and spatial plans. We have assisted communities to map their area, allowed them to negotiate more effectively with timber companies, and given them greater confidence in presenting their case at the district level.
 
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Forestry
Biomes Forest Biodiversity
 
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Score
  Further
Information
Public Participation 3-High
- Community based methods 3-High
Governance, Law and Policy 3-High
Protected Areas and Land Use Policy 3-High
Indicators 1-Low
 
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Score
Economics, Trade and Incentive Measures 3-High
Public Participation 3-High
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices - Article 8(j) 3-High
 
6. Ecosystem Approach
Principles and Operational Guidance   Relevance
Score
  Reason
(Only if NOT relevant)
Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices 3-High
Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level 1-Low
Principle 3: Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems 1-Low
Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context 3-High
Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach Other reason
small-scale operators have no interest in any form of sustainable management
Principle 6: Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functioning Other reason
small-scale operators have no interest in any form of sustainable management
Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales 1-Low
Principle 8: Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term Other reason
There is little hope of implementing long-term objectives in the case-study area given the short-term needs of people and teh commercial interests of logging operators
Principle 9: Management must recognize the change is inevitable 3-High
Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity 3-High
Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices 3-High
Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines 3-High
Operational Guidance A: Focus on the relationships and processes within ecosystem 3-High
Operational Guidance B: Enhance benefit-sharing 3-High
Operational Guidance C: Use adaptive management practices 1-Low
Operational Guidance D: Carry out management actions at the scale appropriate for the issue being addressed, with decentralization to lowest level, as appropriate 1-Low
Operational Guidance E: Ensure intersectoral cooperation 3-High
 
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned Some cornerstones of successful integrated approaches need considerable strengthening in the Malinau work – not all of our partnerships are built on sufficient mutual trust, respect and ownership. The EA gives insufficient attention to such issues. The main conclusion of the seven years of work that CIFOR has conducted in Malinau is that our ability to influence outcomes favourably has been greater because we did not go into the area with a rigid pre-determined agenda. We did not do research only to promote particular outcomes or solve specific technological problems. We had the more general objective of exploring and seeking to understand what determined the sustainability of the forest resources and how this related to the well-being of local people. As we acquired more knowledge we adapted our programmes. We sought to get to know the communities in the area, both local villagers and the political leaders of the administrative districts. To the extent of our limited ability we sought to respond to requests for assistance in addressing local needs for information. We continue to invest in strengthening our integration and acceptance into local society. It is interesting to speculate as to whether we might have done things differently over the past seven years and had higher impact with lower costs. The flexibility, pluralism and adaptability could have been more explicit and deliberate in the implementation strategy. We could have also benefited by working for greater integration and more synergy by giving more attention to the process of facilitation. Other important lessons from the case-study are: (a) in dealing with large complex dynamic systems it is essential to begin in an open exploratory mode; (b) initial work must focus on learning and listening - formal ‘characterisation’, mapping and planning approaches will often limit flexibility; (c) the main benefit from work may be to reduce uncertainties and inform choices thus providing an improved ability to adapt; and (d) major unanticipated changes may be common in dealing with large complex natural resource systems.
Outcomes See conclusions
Other Information Management of ecosystem goods and services The highest value resource over the entire area is timber, but external players and district officials capture most of this value. For the past few years local people have received some benefits, but these are usually a fraction of the real value, a token. Promises made to communities often do not materialise. Within communities, in general, the sharing of benefits from timber has also been inequitable. Other high value goods are bird nests, but the benefits flow to a minority of the local elite, those who own the licences to exploit this resource. Eaglewood is another important source of cash, with a considerable number of largely hunter/gatherers being the chief producers. An enormous variety of other products are also used, but mainly for subsistence. There is no real adaptive management in the case-study area, though the chief project implementers aspire to the principles. Work is conducted at numerous scales. In some cases work is done with households on particular technologies (e.g. aquaculture), but a large amount of work occurs at the community level, where various empowering processes have been implemented (community mapping, provision of information, community land-use planning and farmer-to-farmer visits). Much work is also done at the district level, where attempts are being made to improve district planning activities. Relevance to the thematic work programmes of the CBD The case-study is relevant to the thematic area on forest biological diversity. Relevance to the cross-cutting work programmes of the CBD In response to particular questions in the CBD Guidelines, the case-study: · is not relevant to the identification, control or mitigation of the effects of invasive alien species – this is a minor problem relative to the other problems in the case-study area; · does not employ indicators of biological diversity, or of impacts on biological diversity, though initial studies documented species diversity of the major groups as completely as possible; · is attempting to employ the use of incentive measures for conservation - biodiversity payments to a village are currently being negotiated; · did not employ formal impact assessments (environmental, social and economic), but through systems analysis the implications of various interventions have been studied; · has involved work on benefit-sharing measures – to get greater sharing of benefits between logging companies and local people; · involved attention to taxonomic understanding, given the difficulty of species identification (a number of potential new species were discovered and further taxonomic work is required); · draws heavily upon the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities; and · was not part of a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.
 
8. References
References Campbell, B.M., Kartawinata, K., Levang, P., Rhee, R., Sheil, S., Sist, S. and Wollenberg, E. 2004. Empowering forest dwellers and managing forests more sustainably in the landscapes of Borneo. In: Harwood, R. Integrated Natural Resource Management: Case-studies from the CGIAR. Interim Science Council, CGIAR, Washington (in press). Sayer, J and Campbell, B. 2004. The Science of Sustainable Development: local livelihoods and the global environment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (in press) – Chapter 7. Sheil, D., Liswanti, N., van Heist, M. Basuki, I. Syaefuddin, Samsoedin, I., Rukmiyati, Agung, M., and Sardjono. 2003. Local priorities and biodiversity. Tropical Forest Update 13(1): 16-18p Sist, P. 2001. Why RIL won’t work by minimum-diameter cutting alone. Tropical Forest Update 11(2): 5p. Wollenberg, E., Edmunds, D. and Buck, L. 2000. Using scenarios to make decisions about the future: anticipatory learning for the adaptive co-management of community forests. Landscape and Urban Planning 47(1): 65-77pp.
 
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Diana Mortimer
Job Title Ecosystem Approach Officer
Organization JNCC
Address Monkstone House, City Road,
Postal Code PE13 4LA
City Peterborough
ZIP/State/Province Cambs
Telephone +44 1733 866857
Fax +44 1733 555948
E-mail Address diana.mortimer@jncc.gov.uk
Web Site http://www.biodiv.org/doc/case-studies/esys/cs-esys-lessons-en.pdf
 
 

Rate this page - 1 person has rated this page 
  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme