Agricultural Intensification, Deforestation, and the Environment: Assessing Tradeoffs in Sumatra, Indonesia

TitleAgricultural Intensification, Deforestation, and the Environment: Assessing Tradeoffs in Sumatra, Indonesia
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsTomich T, van Noordwijk M, Budidarsono S, Gillison A, Kusumanto T, Murdiyarso D, Stolle F, Fagi A
Book Title Lee, D.R. and Barrett, C.B. (eds.) Tradeoffs or Synergies? Agricultural Intensification, Economic Development and the Environment
PublisherCAB International
CityWallingford, UK}
KeywordsAgriculture, agro forestry, agro-forestry, bush fallowing, corridor systems, Deforestation, institutions, Intensification, land use, nature conservation, policy, poverty, rain forests, shifting cultivation, slash and burn, socioeconomic aspects, socioeconomics, swidden agriculture
AbstractThe key hypotheses underlying ASB research in Indonesia has been intensifying land use as an alternative to slash and burn can simultaneously reduce deforestation and reduce poverty. The intensification hypothesis hinges on the existence of opportunities to raise the productivity of smallholder systems at the forest margins without degrading forest function. Estimates of returns to land and labor presented in this chapter indicate that from a purely private perspective, returns to forest conversion are high in Sumatra's peneplains. Because all derived land uses are inferior to natural forest, based on global environmental concerns, ASB research in Indonesia has shown that land use changes involve tradeoffs between these environmental concerns and the objectives of poverty alleviation and national development. If there is no action on these tradeoffs, by identifying workable options either to change incentives for conversion or to restrict access to the remaining natural forests, thus rain forests will continue to disappear. This research also provides evidence that land-use alternatives differ significantly in their ability to substitute for the global environmental services provided by natural forests.