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Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn research in Indonesia: proceedings of a workshop Bogor, 6-9 June 1995

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Conversion of tropical rain forest to other land uses is a major concern at global level. Loss of globally unique biodiversity, release of large amounts of stored carbon to the atmosphere,immediate health and visibility problems caused by the haze during forest conversion are only part of the story. The loss of forests as a regulator of water flows and as provider oflocal income are a concern at more local scales. The 'Alternatives to Slash and Burn' (ASB) program was started to test ways to reduce the loss of tropical forests, by enhancing the intensity of agricultural use in already converted lands, and/or to reduce the loss of 'forest functions' in land uses that qualify as 'modified' or 'domesticated' forests. The first approachcame to be known as a 'segregate' approach (intensive agriculture + forest), the second as an'integrate' pathway of development. The ASB program started activities in Indonesia in 1993 and first embarked on a diagnostic phase, to characterize land use and the type of problems that are perceived by various stakeholders. In the second phase a more detailed analysis wasmade of the trade-offs between local and global concerns. In between local stakeholders concerns (income, food security) and global concerns (biodiversity, carbon stocks), a 'missingmiddle' was identified: impacts on what is broadly called 'watershed functions'. In phase 1 and 2 of the Alternatives to Slash and Burn program in Indonesia a number of farmer-developed land use practices were described and analyzed for benchmark areas in Lampung and Jambi that developed as alternative to annual-crop-based agriculture. These systems, broadly indicated as 'agroforests' provide income from domesticated forest and tree systems, with returns to labour exceeding those for upland annual crops, and with environmental values (carbon stocks, biodiversity) that are superior to short rotation crop/fallow systems. In the research, however, little attention was given to the broad category of 'watershed functions', while the main emphasis was on the lowland peneplain and lower foothills where erosion is not a major issue. To complement the Phase 1 and 2 results, a further effort was made to better understand the relationship between forests and derived land uses and these watershed functions - aiming again for a combination of a diagnostic phase ('what if any are the real problems') and one aimed at practical solutions at farm level, in the context of existing policies for the forest-agriculture interface
    Publication year

    1997

    Authors

    Tomich T P; Garrity D P N; Fagi A M; Van Noordwijk M

    Language

    English

    Keywords

    agroforestry, gas exchange, greenhouse effect, land use, policies, shifting cultivation, socioeconomic systems, soil, vegetation

    Geographic

    Indonesia

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