Another local government decides to support agroforestry
The government of Buol District in Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia has committed to working closely with the World Agroforestry Centre to support the district’s agricultural development program.
Amiruddin Rauf, the head of Buol District, recently declared his determination in replicating the methodologies of a project led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), instructing the district’s Watershed Working Group, in particular, to collaborate more closely.
‘The Watershed Working Group will follow-up this meeting and see how we can align our development program with Smart Tree-Invest. As instructed by the head, we will also see how we can collaborate with ICRAF to conduct an impact assessment’, said Supangat, the head of the district’s development planning agency and also of the Watershed Working Group.
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is implementing an action-research project called Climate-smart, Tree-based, Co-investment in Adaptation and Mitigation in Asia (Smart Tree-Invest) in Indonesia, Viet Nam and the Philippines, 2014–2017. Smart Tree-Invest is funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development. In Indonesia, the project’s site is in Buol, which is well-known as the biggest palm-oil producer in the province, with almost 10,000 hectares of primary and secondary forest replaced by plantations between 1996 and 2014.
At a meeting held 3 May 2016, the district head explained that there was now a moratorium on further oil-palm expansion and that his government had instigated both land-reform and poverty alleviation through agriculture programs. Despite the success of these programs, the head declared that the government needed stronger scientific support, particularly, on their socio-economic and environmental impact. He urged the prolongation of Smart Tree-Invest beyond 2017 so that the district government would have more time to synergize its work with the methodologies and findings of the project.
‘We need to learn from the extension methods ICRAF uses with our farmers and try to replicate them in our development program’, confirmed Usman Hanafi, head of the Buol agricultural advisory office.
The main objective of Smart Tree-Invest is to improve smallholders’ livelihoods through agroforestry, which maintains or improves environmental quality. To do so, the project is collaborating with many people in developing ‘co-investment for ecosystem services’ schemes, in which everyone involved in a landscape invests, bringing their resources together to improve the supply of ecosystem services, both natural and agricultural.
In the second year of Smart Tree-Invest, the project team worked with smallholders and the government by supporting the establishment of the Watershed Working Group. The team also worked with smallholders’ groups to develop their own tree nurseries and monitor the condition of the watershed. The extension methods mentioned above included smallholders’ tree nurseries and farm management learning groups, which were established as a part of co-investment in ecosystem services. The decision to establish the learning groups and nurseries was based on the first year’s baseline study that showed a lack of management skills and agricultural knowledge increased smallholders’ vulnerability to changes in the environment, both natural and socio-economic.
Smart Tree-Invest has now entered its third year. In the remaining time, the team plans to increase their support to the government and smallholders, as requested by the district head, to replicate and bring into the mainstream co-investment in ecosystem services’ schemes.
This work is supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry