Indonesian district government takes over FTA approach Smart Tree-Invest

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Lisa Tanika (second from left), of ICRAF working with district environmental officers to help build their capacity in monitoring watersheds. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Sacha Amurazaman

By Sacha Amaruzaman, originally published at ICRAF’s Agroforestry World Blog

The Government of Buol District, Indonesia, has committed to replicate three activities of the Smart Tree-Invest project run by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) under the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The activities include farmers’ learning groups that run under the Agriculture Office and watershed and tree-replanting monitoring under the Environmental Office. About IDR 350 million (≈ USD 26,000) has been allocated in the district’s 2017 annual development budget or APBD (Anggaran Pendapatan dan Belanja Daerah) to fund the replication.

The development is the result of close collaboration between ICRAF and Buol district government through the Climate-smart, Tree-based, Co-investment in Adaptation and Mitigation in Asia (Smart Tree-Invest) project. ICRAF has been running the project since 2014 in Buol, Central Sulawesi Province. The action-research project has been implemented in two sub-districts within Buol Watershed, the biggest in the district. With their own funding, the district government will expand the project’s activities into Mulat-Lantika Digo Watershed, the next largest.

Smart Tree-Invest aims to improve farmers’ livelihoods and maintain environmental quality by promoting co-investment in ecosystem services. The initial findings indicated that any co-investment scheme in Buol would need to meet several conditions, particularly, strengthening the capacity of the local government and farmers in order to create the enabling environment for co-investment in ecosystem services.

The project has already helped build capacity in managing agriculture and ecosystem services, particularly, with the local government, NGOs, farmers and businesses in the district. Smart Tree-Invest implemented pilot activities to improve farmers’ livelihoods through farmers’ learning groups and has developed a participatory model to monitor watershed conditions.

Smart Tree-Invest has also made significant progress in strengthening the multi-sectoral coordination body (the district’s watershed working group) to improve coordination of local development. The farmers’ groups have succeeded in producing good-quality seedlings and completed the first planting in January 2017.

Approaching the close of the project in March 2017, the Smart Tree-Invest team will continue to work on synthesizing the best practices into recommendations for the government’s Village Development Fund, particularly, in providing models for allocating village budgets towards conservation and livelihoods’ activities.

The district government has requested ICRAF to continue its technical assistance for the replication activities in Buol for 2017, supported by the government’s own funds.

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