Reducing deforestation by strengthening forest communities in Kerinci
With its 57 million tons of CO2 emissions, Jambi province represents 3 per cent of Indonesia’s yearly carbon emissions. According to forecasts, this amount will increase to 74 million tons in 2030, caused by degradation processes in the agriculture and forestry sectors. Some of the export-value commodities that support the Jambi province’s economy are cinnamon and coffee in the Kerinci Regency. The Kerinci production forest consists mainly of agroforestry land. Without a proper agroforestry management, they however impact deforestation and land encroachment. Technically, forest farmers’ knowledge about the agroforestry system is limited. At the same time, average income is low. The IKI Small Grants project creates a sustainable forest community and increases the community income by improving the quality and diversification of products. In addition, it aims to encourage regional and local governments to adopt policies that support sustainable forest communities.
The deforestation in Indonesia reached 375,860 hectares between 2018 and 2019, most of which occurred in production forests. Jambi Province has 60 per cent of deforested areas, covering 189,125 hectares from 2012 to 2016. Deforestation is caused by expanding settlements, factories, and plantation businesses in forest areas. Plantation commodities in production forests are dominated by rubber, coffee, and cinnamon. Cinnamon and coffee are leading commodities in Kerinci Regency. In 2016, cinnamon plantations covered 40,762 hectares. About 73 per cent of agroforestry land dominates the Kerinci production forest, with about 60 per cent cinnamon and coffee plantations. Most cinnamon plants in production forest areas are directly adjacent to the Kerinci Seblat National Park. There has been a change in forest cover of 36,269 hectares, or about 8 per cent of Kerinci Seblat National Park’s total area from 2010 to 2018. The uncontrolled harvesting of cinnamon will cause a 76 per cent decrease in land cover.
The target groups and beneficiaries of this program are three forest farmer groups with permits to manage the Kerinci production forest, three village governments, a women’s group, village-owned enterprises, and personnel of local governments of Kerinci Regency. This sums up to 135 people, further adding on their respective household members. The proportion of women beneficiaries sums up to 35 per cent. We appoint them as targets and beneficiaries of the program because these community groups are the ones having potential to support the social forestry system, which at the same time formalizes village regulations. The Forest Farmers Group is assisted by Kerinci Forest Management Unit I.
APPROACH AND ACTIVITIES
The Perkumpulan Desa Lestari focuses on empowering, mentoring, and increasing villagers’ capacity in participatory, independent, and sustainable village development by optimizing village resources potential for the welfare of villagers responsible and based on environmental sustainability.
In Kerinci, we realize sustainable forest communities of forest farmers and village communities around the forest, based on sustainable production forest management. This project will be aware of three aspects: regulations, good practice of cinnamon and coffee cultivation, and increasing farmer income with an increased value of commodities through product diversification and market access. In achieving these goals, we encourage regional and village government regulations and programs on sustainable management of cinnamon and coffee commodities to be passed or signed. We will encourage the creation of policies at the regional and local level that support the implementation of sustainable cinnamon and coffee cultivation management that pays attention to the forests’ environmental conditions. Technically, the policies have to be implemented by village government regulations that call for an agroforestry system, selective logging mechanisms for cinnamon commodities, reduce the intensity of chemical products, and other aspects. To achieve these goals, we are also increasing the capacity of the forest farmers group of Kerinci production forest about sustainable agroforestry practices. These include good handling practices for coffee and cinnamon commodities, institutional management groups, and an internal commodity control system.
We encourage increased farmers’ income by building a village-based corporation to escalate farmers’ cinnamon and coffee businesses and doing market lobby for large traders or exporters. The project will encourage the creation of market opportunities through village-owned enterprises. They will become a platform for controlling product quality and standards and expanding market access for farmers’ cinnamon and coffee products. The project will build capacities of village-owned enterprises ready to join the platform.
The project we propose is closely related to efforts to manage non-timber forest product resources. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) suggests that safeguards are identified as an essential element for realizing an effective REDD+. This framework ensures that REDD+ actions avoid or minimize negative social or environmental impacts. Safeguards have long been used and applied in forest management and trade in forest products to protect the sustainability of forest resources and the implementation of REDD+. The emergence of various standards and demands for certification in the forestry sector shows the increasingly stringent safeguards in forest resource management. There is a need for a better understanding of the standard safeguards in managing forest products and implementing REDD+ through capacity building for the project team.
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION
Village entities, the smallest territorial scope in Indonesia, hold a strategic role in creating better conditions for the population. Stipulation of Law No. 6 of 2014 concerning villages is a momentum for the realization of rural area development which aims to improve the welfare of rural communities and reduce poverty. Based on this momentum, Perkumpulan Desa Lestari (PDL) was established in 2016.
PDL has the vision to realize an empowered community by encouraging the creation of sustainable environmental management in Indonesia. Fairness, transparency, participation and cooperation have become the organization’s foundation for achieving our vision.
Since its establishment, PDL has carried out programs in various parts of Indonesia in more than ten provinces and over 50 villages. PDL partners with private companies, the central government, local civil society organizations, international non-profit organizations, and universities in implementing its programs.