Borneo-Sumatra sentinel landscape

The Western Borneo sentinel landscape: The three regencies in this sentinel landscape are Kapuas Hulu, Sintang and Melawi.

These regencies represent a gradient of forest degradation balanced by traditional agroforestry systems which are impacted by the development of monoculture plantations, mainly oil palm.

The regencies and provincial government have made commitments to conserve their natural resources, but the challenge is to ensure this can be done while creating economic development that ensures poverty alleviation and supports the needs of the local population.

The potential impact of the growth of oil palm plantations remains unclear and presents a major challenge to the regencies, which is faced with the need to mitigate the impacts of economic development whilst maintaining ecosystem services, preserving the environmental and social functions that they provide.

Sumatra sentinel landscape: This transect includes large parts of Sumatra’s national parks and protected areas alongside globally significant biodiversity (including Sumatran tiger and orangutan release sites on the Riau side of the transect), where local use of very rich flora and fauna is extensive. Hilly and lowland areas of the transect are mosaics of dynamic land use by smallholder farmers as well large as large-scale operators.

Four sites (two in Borneo and two in Sumatra) were selected. The forest transition theory they encompass represent vegetation in Indonesia and are representative landscapes: Non-swamp lowland forest types, series of degradation and secondary regrowth, traditional agroforestry and swidden agriculture systems, and more recent land uses such as smallholder timber or oil palm.
1. Batang Lupar
Natural forest, logged-over forest, various secondary forest, sacred forest sites
Swidden agriculture and rubber gardens, Tengkawang forest
Dayak people, mostly Iban Dayaks
Settlements near rivers, sometimes access by roads (ex-logging roads)
Mostly longhouses (juxtaposed private living quarters bilik, each bilik occupied by more than one household)
Most bilik have one or several family members working in Malaysia or in the city of Lanjak
No electricity in the hamlets
Health facilities, education facilities and markets are located in Lanjak, about one hour by motorbike or car
Most villagers speak Iban; only a few speak Indonesian
2. Mentebah
Natural forest, logged-over forest, various secondary forests
Swidden agriculture and rubber gardens, gold mining on some riverbanks
Mostly Suruk Dayaks
Most settlements are near rivers, some near roads. Better road conditions compared with Batang Lupar, including proximity to the main Sintang–Putussibau asphalt road
Mostly individual houses
Electricity, elementary school and village midwife in Tanjung Intan village
Most villagers speak Indonesian
3. Batang Merangin
Major land cover type is young rubber agroforest; few smallholder oil palm gardens and paddy fields; some remnants of natural forest
Customary forest within the site
Mostly private land, smallholder farms
Terrain mostly undulaong
There are 10 villages within the site with several others within a 10-km buffer area, mostly local villages
Accessibility moderately good, several main asphalted roads, with some accessible only by foot
4. Sarolangun
Major land cover types and land uses are smallholder rubber gardens, young oil palm and smallholder forest plantations (HTR)
Parts of the land is privately- owned and some parts are owned by plantation concessions
Terrain mostly flat
There are approximately 10 villages found within the site, the majority are transmigration settlements with few local villages
Some inaccessible roads during the rainy season
Criteria used to select villages:
Potential villages identified first through existing base maps and national census statistics
Characteristics later checked in the field and through discussions with local partners
In Kapuas Hulu, Borneo, it was sometimes difficult to find 10 villages within a 10 km2 square sample
In Jambi, Sumatra, the density of villages is higher
Dusun (hamlets) are treated as separate villages
In Borneo researchers tried to ensure a balance between villages according to the distance to the road and market access
In Sumatra researchers tried to ensure a balance between traditional local villages and new settlements inhabited mainly by migrants

Land Degradation and Surveillance Framework (LDSF)
Land cover map (2013), LDSF and village sampling, example of Batang Lupar

Village-level surveys
Method used to gather village-level information:
FGD with key people from the villages (e.g. the village head, customary leaders, farmer group heads, village authorities, village elderly)
For each village, 30 households were selected at random from the total household heads listed
In the case of a village having several attached hamlets, and hence a large population, hamlets were treated as separate villages

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