Information exchange in swidden communities of West Kalimantan: lessons for designing REDD+

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Forested areas of Kalimantan, Indonesia, are often inhabited by swiddeners, and are also targeted by a range of interventions related to development and forest conservation, including REDD+. Whether these interventions are adopted, adapted or rejected by the local people is linked to the varying degrees of access to information that different types of households have, which also leads to unequal sharing of the associated benefits. This paper analyses factors influencing household access to agriculture and forestry-related information using quantitative and qualitative methods in three communities in West-Kalimantan, and draws lessons for designing REDD+. Household socio-economic characteristics (origin, status, migration patterns) and the divide between sub-groups in the communities (caused by origin, opinions, residential location, and relationships) were found to influence household access to information. Suggestions for improved REDD+ information exchange include: having more targeted and incentivised REDD+ activities; encouraging more equitable information sharing; and taking better account of local realities while designing REDD+.

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