MLA

Multidisciplinary Lanscape Assessment

 

Some results and experiences

Although analyses are still ongoing, a varied range of results is already available from the different surveys, including databases, reports, a model, and 'lessons learned' in general.

INDONESIA

Kalimantan

Five classes of results of the survey in Malinau, Kalimantan are:

  1. An account of the biophysical context (mostly site and vegetation, but also fish and other fauna).
  2. Local preferences and how these relate to the landscape. Including human-cultural, demographic and socio-economic context in seven communities.
  3. Methods demonstrating how to assess local preferences as a basis for better land use planning.
  4. Suggestions of how local views may be incorporated into various ongoing activities.
  5. Identification of topics requiring further development and research.

1. Biophysical context

The field survey covered 200 sample sites, ranging from cultivated fields to undisturbed rainforest.

The database of field data may be downloaded.
The thousands of specimen taken for identification included 2118 species, 75% of which had one or more reported local use or value.The species database may be downloaded and/or queried.

 

The graph below shows per-plot percentages of all the valued or useful species recorded by site type according to Merap and Punan informants.  The circles show median values while the lines signify highest and lowest records for each site type by each informant.

Apart from the rich data set on trees, herbs, climbers, and various other plant groups, lists of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and various invertebrates have been produced by related CIFOR biodiversity studies in the area. These lists are based on extensive observations and collections, as well as information from local communities. Amongst the collected taxa are a number of likely new species.

2. Local preferences

The scoring exercises with the Pebble Distribution Method showed how local communities score the importance of forests compared with other land types, in general (OA) and for specific values and importance (see explanation of codes below the table). This a summary of scores from all seven communities, men and women, young and old, Merap and Punan. Except for ‘recreation', forest scores highest in all value categories.

Land / forest type

FO

ME

LC

HC

BC

TO

FW

BAC

OR

MI

HF

HP

RE

FT

OA

Village ground

11.3

15.5

1.4

2.3

0.3

1.8

1.6

2.7

13.2

9.2

7.0

0.1

17.8

13.0

6.9

Abandoned village

6.0

4.8

4.8

1.5

0.8

2.5

2.2

4.5

5.3

6.7

5.0

6.0

2.1

4.9

4.1

Horticulture

12.2

8.4

4.7

1.1

0.2

0.3

8.6

2.5

10.5

16.9

4.5

7.0

11.7

15.9

7.4

River

14.6

11.1

11.0

6.7

7.8

8.9

19.0

10.7

15.6

14.6

7.9

14.5

26.6

8.5

12.7

Swamps

7.3

5.7

9.2

9.2

11.5

10.6

3.9

7.9

3.8

4.4

5.6

7.3

1.5

7.2

6.8

Swidden

13.8

4.7

1.8

1.8

0.9

0.4

17.0

1.1

0.8

12.3

0.7

7.5

12.4

10.4

6.1

New fallow

6.5

5.8

1.7

1.3

0.8

2.0

10.0

3.5

3.3

3.6

1.5

5.1

0.3

8.0

3.8

Old fallow

5.9

8.4

27.0

4.9

4.7

12.1

13.8

17.5

14.3

2.5

14.5

14.9

3.2

10.5

11.0

Forest

22.3

35.6

38.3

71.2

73.1

61.4

23.9

49.6

33.3

29.8

53.4

37.5

24.5

21.5

41.1

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Primary forest

38.6

36.3

35.6

50.7

49.5

44.7

29.1

39.0

30.3

35.8

43.5

36.5

34.6

30.7

38.2

Secondary forest

7.6

8.2

8.6

5.9

4.6

5.1

15.9

5.9

10.0

8.4

4.9

7.3

8.1

12.7

8.1

Fallow

12.1

15.1

23.0

4.0

2.0

4.8

35.6

15.6

26.8

7.1

9.1

11.8

15.7

23.6

14.7

Swamp forest

10.7

12.7

12.1

10.0

15.5

14.6

10.1

14.7

12.1

12.4

13.7

15.6

17.5

13.7

13.2

Mountain forest

31.0

27.8

20.6

29.4

28.5

30.9

9.3

24.8

20.8

36.4

28.7

29.0

24.0

19.3

25.7

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

 

Explanation of use class codes:

 

FO = Food
ME = Medical
LC = Light Construction
HC = Heavy Construction
BC = Boat Construction
TO = Tools
FW = Firewood
BAC = Basketry and Cordage

OR = Ornamentation/Ritual
MI = Marketable Items
HF = Hunting Function
HP = Hunting Place
RE = Recreation
FT = Future
OA = Overall (=Average )

PDM exercises also revealed how people compare the importance of wild and cultivated products, plants as well as animals. The figure below contrasts two of the seven communities.

In Long Jalan, men focus on gaharu collection and collect much wild meat but have little time or suitable land to cultivate and rice is bought, while in Langap the farmers are more self-reliant and grow much of their food, and have time to rear animals other than chicken. Even in Langap, however, young men like to hunt wild animals.

A more sophisticated combined series of scoring exercises allowed for the identification of the 'most important species', including both plants and animals. Combined with ecological information, conservation value and potential threats to these species, this is a powerful tool for prioritizing conservation planning as well as guiding future research.

The complete Species PDM database may be downloaded from this website.

3. Methods

We consider the set of methods we developed also as a product of our work. We are promoting the uptake of this approach for biodiversity surveys by producing translations in Indonesian, Spanish and French. (see publications)

4. Suggestions

Government logging regulations (TPTI) require timber companies to repeatedly slash all undergrowth and climbers (including many useful species such as rattan and medicinal plants), in an effort to encourage regeneration. Our survey showed that much of the remaining value of logged forest to local communities is lost due to this practise, and biodiversity reduced, whereas the silvicultural benefit is doubtful. It seems wise to revoke this policy.

Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) requires careful road and skid-trail planning. This results in roads running along the tops of ridges. However, that is where many of the valued sago palms (Eugeissona utilis) grow, a principle food source in times of shortage. RIL regulations should be adapted to take care of these locally important resources.

The protection of sites like graves in the forest and salt water springs which draw in and support wildlife may serve both the interest of local communities and biodiversity maintenance. This is only one of many possible win-win situations.

5. Further development and research

The spatial extrapolation of the results from this survey remained unclear. Therefore, a case study by Resilience Alliance was commisisioned to apply the spatial approach followed in Mozambique to the area around Lio Mutai, one of the remoter survey villages. A report of this case study is in preparation.

Importance of the landscape around Liu Mutai, for boat owners; from very important (red) to not important (blue).

Another follow-up activity is the presentation of the results back to communities and eventually local government. Rather than a written report, we choose to prepare a set of four posters around the question "What is important to us (=local communities) in this (=local) landscape?", with many pictures, colourful illustrations and short, simple texts. We have held several review meetings with the communities, to make sure they agree with what is said in their name. In the posters, we also include facts about Indonesia's and Kalimantan's great biodiversity and results from the soil analysis that was part of the survey. All in all, we hope that this information will be considered by decision makers in the ongoing land use planning process of the new district

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