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Towards an agroforestry policy in Indonesia

INDONESIA (23 April 2012) The importance of collaboration among all research partners in agroforestry was recently emphasised at a historic workshop to develop a national strategy on agroforestry research in Indonesia.

During the meeting, five key challenges facing agroforestry in Indonesia were also identified. The first challenge mentioned was the Government's partial approach to research, which translates into low adoption of research recommendations. Second, land tenure insecurity, particularly in State forest areas, leads to social conflict and degradation of forest resources. Third, the trade-off between conservation and development activities lead to difficulty in deciding forest management.

The slow progress of community-based forestry management schemes introduced by the Ministry of Forestry hampered agroforestry development and emerging issues related to climate change and affecting forestry and land management were also mentioned as hindrances.

Despite the challenges, the meeting identified opportunities for agroforestry, such as the large pool of knowledge worldwide; increasing support for agroforestry-related policies; availability of potential partners in research and development, including the World Agroforestry Centre, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), NGOs, regional governments, the private sector and universities; and international concern for climate change that provides financial support for agroforestry research.

The meeting included experts from the Forestry Research and Development Agency (FORDA) of the Ministry of Forestry (including the newly formed agroforestry research centre at Ciamis), Bogor Agricultural Institute, University of Lampung, Gadjah Mada University and the World Agroforestry Centre Indonesia office. Several key resource persons with expertise in policy analysis, natural resource management and agroforestry were also present.

The day-long workshop was jointly opened by Dr Ir Bambang Trihartono MF, head of FORDA's Centre for Research and Development for Enhancement of Forest Productivity, and Dr Ujjwal Pradhan, regional coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre in Southeast Asia. In their opening speeches, both talked of focusing on achieving clear research outcomes and timeframes with direct impact on the development of agroforestry.

FORDA had prepared a draft document, which the workshop discussed in detail. The draft stated that the vision of the strategy was 'agroforestry mainstreamed into forestry development in Indonesia and widely adopted by the community as a forestry and land-use system to meet sustainable forest management goals for improving people's livelihoods and sustaining natural resources'.

The mission of the meeting was in two parts; first to develop the partnerships and involvement of research actors in producing knowledge for the development of agroforestry in Indonesia and second was to widen the adoption of agroforestry by stakeholders in Indonesia.

The opening presentation by Dede Rohadi of FORDA, who is also a consultant to CIFOR, explained that although agroforestry was a legal practice and widely practised it had not yet been formally acknowledged in Government planning and policy. FORDA had been conducting significant research activity for some time. However, research into the social aspects had been less adequately addressed yet there were many problems in the social arena that affected agroforestry development.

Dede provided a background to the research status of agroforestry in Indonesia, dividing the research topics into four: silviculture, environment, social and economic. A literature search had revealed that the first, silviculture, had more than 120 publications associated with it; environment had 109; economic 112; and social 98.

The strategy development targeted several areas for initial research including smallholders' production systems and markets for agroforestry practices, community-based forest management in State forest areas, harmonising agroforestry practices with global climate change, and enhancing agroforestry practices for environmental services.

The research into smallholders' production systems is closely linked with CGIAR Research Program 6 whose objective is enhancing the management and use of forestry, agroforestry and tree genetic resources across landscapes from forests to farms; and the research priorities of FORDA . The results from the research will be disseminated through national and international journals, popular media, policy briefs, international and national seminars, the internet, working groups and demonstration plots. In order to implement the strategy, the capacity of staff and farmers would need to be enhanced, typically through training and workshops; exchange programs involving study tours, internships and seconded scientists; a post-graduate program; and advocacy.

The deliberations of the day's workshop are being taken into account in the continuing drafting of the national strategy. A national workshop with partners from other ministries, especially agriculture, marine and fisheries and the National Planning Agency, will be held in the near future to establish a cross-ministry approach.

The World Agroforestry Centre Indonesia office is fully committed to assisting FORDA achieve its goal of researching and developing agroforestry throughout the nation. To that end, scientific and support staff of the Centre are liaising closely with staff from FORDA, particularly the new research centre in agroforestry at Ciamis, to share knowledge and skills regarding research methods, results and topics and website and IT development.


Contact: Paul Stapleton
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

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