Land use, income, and ethnic diversity in the margins of Hutan Harapan: A rainforest restoration concession in Jambi and South Sumatra, Indonesia

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Recent initiatives at a global scale have called for unprecedented levels of forest restoration to counteract decades of rapid deforestation. This study of the first rainforest restoration concession granted in Indonesia investigates the association between land use, ethnicity, migration, agricultural intensification, concession types, and household incomes. Understanding the effect of agricultural expansion and immigration on the rural landscape requires quantification of the land use and income sources of households residing in the forest margin where dynamic agricultural, socioeconomic development and forest loss takes place. The study is based on an environmentally augmented income survey covering 236 randomly selected households in five villages and five indigenous, semi-nomadic Batin Sembilan sub-groups, scattered in and around Hutan Harapan. Land use ranges from the cultivation of subsistence food through agroforestry, home gardens, and paddy fields to the development of rubber and oil palm plantations for cash income. Indigenous households were more likely to practice agroforestry than non-indigenous households. Among non-indigenous households, Malays maintain their traditional practice of rubber cultivation while more recent immigrants use land to oil palm plantations. Households residing within timber plantation concessions are more likely to establish rubber monoculture and agroforestry, while households residing in the vicinity of oil palm concessions plant oil palm. Reserving land for forest restoration affects ethnic groups differently. The traditional agricultural practices of the indigenous Batin Sembilan were well-suited to co-exist with the forest restoration concession. However, the Batin Sembilan recently adopted oil palm cultivation as practiced by immigrants in the surrounding oil palm concessions confirming that land use outcomes may be induced by neighborhood spill-over effects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLand Use Policy
Pages (from-to)268-279
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Agroforest, Forest restoration, Income, Migration, Oil palm, Rubber

ID: 218397952