By: Moira Moeliono and Linda Yuliani
Applying Integrated Landscape Approaches in the Sentarum watershed
Recognizing the importance of common concerns, shared objectives and values is a fundamental principle of Integrated Landscape Approaches (ILA), which are at the center of the COLANDS initiative. In Indonesia’s Kapuas Hulu district, one common concern shared by many stakeholders has been the management of the Danau (Lake) Sentarum Catchment area (DTA-DS).
COLANDS team members in Indonesia have, in recent months, been supporting these stakeholders in their work to ensure that an official integrated management plan for Lake Sentarum catchments, riverbanks and waters – a collaborative plan coordinated by the Kapuas Hulu Planning Agency (BAPPEDA) – was aligned with the Regional Medium Term Management Plan (RPJMD). Stakeholders wanted to be sure that individual activities, projects and programs would be better coordinated and more effectively implemented; and that the management plan was aligned with a 2021 Presidential decree. The latter designated Sentarum Lake as one of 15 priority lakes requiring restoration preservation and maintenance of their functions.
Thus, in October and December 2021 COLANDS – in collaboration with Kapuas BPDASHL (responsible for Watershed Management and Forest Protection), Kapuas Hulu BAPPEDA and the Betung Kerihun-Danau Sentarum National Park Authority – organized workshops to jointly review and adapt the four-year Management Plan for the Watershed Area (RPDTA). Structured around group discussions, participants included local communities, NGOs, three representatives from two oil palm companies, a group of subdistrict heads, national park staff and government officials.
In the October workshop, participants discussed the previous management plan, including significant outcomes, its strengths and challenges; and considered a shared vision and mission for the DTA-DS. They put forward their ideas, suggestions, opinions and concerns. At the same time, authorities managing the national park area had opportunities to explain their community-based conservation plans. The result has been a common vision based on stakeholder input. Discussions also showed an emerging framework for managing the catchment area, including its environmental aspects, availability of public infrastructure and facilities (health and education), and strengthening community-based economic development through sustainable natural resource management.
Box 1. What participants said about the October workshop
Antonius Hermanto, head of the Labian-Leboyan Watershed Community Forum: “We had the opportunity to convey our desires. What we had prepared during (watershed community fora) strategic planning was discussed with stakeholders, including the government.”
Elisabeth Insen, traditional weaving association: “[In the workshop] we were introduced to the government sectors that handle small-scale business, so that we can seek their support to sale our products.”
Results from this workshop were then presented at a provincial-level coordination meeting in Pontianak, the capital city of Kapuas Hulu Regency, on 26 October 2021. Hosted by the Environment & Forestry Services (Dinas Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan), the meeting included provincial officials involved in a range of environmental and economic planning agencies, as well as national park and academic representatives.
Figure 1. The future of the Danau Sentarum Catchment Area: anticipated changes and goals of stakeholders from the Putusibau workshop October 2021. @Zul MS
To devise a more detailed plan, participants in the December workshop developed a Theory of Change (ToC) linking the DTA-DS management to the overall RPJMD; with concrete, measurable roadmaps, strategies, programs, activities and outcomes based on that ToC. The artwork in Figure 1 was developed as a visual tool to synchronise the ToC with results of the earlier workshop.
Box 2. What participants said after December workshop
Mohammad Ilyas of the National Park: “Before these workshops, everyone worked individually. Through simple and fun facilitation methods, [in these workshops] we made effort to be better coordinated in managing Danau Sentarum catchment area.”
Cicilia Valentia Allen of the Kapuas Hulu Environmental Service: “In this workshop, I became familiar with the roles of each stakeholder group.”
ILAs, which promote collaboration at all levels and among disciplines, goals and motivations, emphasize local voices with experience and knowledge of their particular landscapes, their histories and what is appropriate or workable. Follow-up, evaluation, and sharing lessons in what did or didn’t work, is vital.
Bringing together multiple interests and demands is essential for success – but it is not easy, most recently due to COVID-related physical distancing and travel restrictions, in addition to ongoing differences in interests and goals among the various parties. Yet the COLANDS initiative is working to learn how and where it may be possible to bridge gaps.
Better coordination is needed with individual activities, projects and programs outside of government programs, workshop participants said. Village-level projects, for example, are seldom integrated into the overall management activities. Neither are private-sector activities. Suggestions for capacity building emerged, such as criteria and indicators for collaborative monitoring and learning. For local communities, NGOs, and park management agencies, a deeper and wider understanding of the potential, challenges and requirements for developing eco-tourism is necessary.
The workshops would not have been possible without the support of Riak Bumi (local NGO, COLANDS’ implementing partner in Indonesia). Organizing workshops, however, is only part of Riak Bumi’s activities with COLANDS. In support of restoration activities, Riak Bumi – together with local people of Ngaung Keruh hamlet in the village of Labian – has been working on regeneration of the Tengkawang tree (a native species of Dipterocarps). After some nursery experiments, local people have been able to grow more than 3,000 seedlings. These will be planted as part of efforts to restore the Labian-Leboyan watershed.
Photo credit: Riak Bumi
Planting the Tengkawang is not only aimed at restoring river banks and the ecosystem, but also at providing income for local people. To this end, Riak Bumi is also seeking ways to improve production and sale of Tengkawang butter. Riak Bumi organized a study tour to Sintang, West Kalimantan from 27-30 October 2021 to meet with private-sector producers, PT Forestwise Wild Keepers, to learn more about storing and processing of Tengkawang fruit, strengthening the Tengkawang product network and discuss opportunities for marketing its butter and fruit. This learning event included representatives of forest management units in Kapuas Hulu and Sintang, as well as local people active in Tengkawang production from two hamlets in Kapuas Hulu.
A main message concerned sustainability, from source to market, and to continue conservation and regeneration of the tree and its ecosystem. Other key messages concerned quality standards and design of a certification system and the importance of the Tengkawang network for marketing.
As part of this larger effort, Riak Bumi participated in a green economy workshop – the fourth and final in a series in Kapuas Hulu – organized by Niraz IP Consult with support from Germany’s GIZ dalam tahun. Various enterprises were showcased and discussed: ecotourism, honey, Tengkawang and traditional woven cloth. With these activities, almost all of the 10 ILA principles are being put into practice, including: common concerns, multiple stakeholders and strengthening their capacity, negotiations, learning and being adaptive, and discussion on rights and responsibilities. Yet, more must be done to achieve full integration and collaboration.