The Indonesian Government and the international community’s response to the crisis in Aceh deserves the highest commendation. Understandably, much of this attention remains focused on immediate survival assistance. To ensure these survival efforts reap their fullest benefit, attention must also be paid to the long-term livelihood opportunities for people and communities trying to re-build their lives.
Accordingly, several CGIAR research centers operating in disaster-affected regions are working closely with Indonesian partners to examine ways of optimizing future livelihood rehabilitation activities in Aceh.
A preliminary planning workshop between the CGIAR and Indonesian partners is being hosted by CIFOR and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) at CIFOR’s headquarters in Bogor on January 20, 2005.
Attending the workshop will be the Ministry of Forestry, the Ministry of Agriculture, universities, national research institutions and funding agencies. The CGIAR Centers attending will include CIFOR, the World Agroforestry Centre, the World Fish Center (ICLARM), IPGRI, IRRI, CIP and IWMI.
Effective livelihood initiatives will require close coordination across sectors, including fisheries, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, conservation, tourism, and across disciplines, including the social, economic, technical and ecological disciplines.
A key component of ensuring effective coordination will initially involve re-building the almost completely ruined capacity of local institutions to deal with livelihood needs through an integrated approach natural resource management. These livelihood activities include fishing, coastal zone agroforestry, rice farming, and the commercial and semi-subsistent use of forests.
Key international assistance agencies have been invited to attend the January 20 meeting to provide their views on the long-term rebuilding of small scale livelihoods in Aceh.