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Poverty and Environmental Services: Case Study in Way Besai Watershed, Lampung Province, Indonesia

S. Suyanto, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Noviana Khususiyah, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Beria Leimona, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

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Abstract

Local communities in developing countries are often forbidden to earn their livelihood from state-owned forests, but nonetheless local people commonly manage these lands and depend on them to survive. In these places, community participation is the key to successful conservation programs intended to rehabilitate environmental functions and produce environmental services for beneficiaries outside the area. This paper reviews the relationship between poverty and environmental services and briefly discusses the main ways in which approaches that rely on payment for environmental services are thought likely to alleviate poverty. It also discusses the poverty profile and inequality of upland dwellers in the Sumberjaya watershed in Indonesia’s Lampung Province, using income, education, and land-holding indicators. Data related to these three indicators were collected from intensive household surveys and interviews and used via Gini decomposition to measure inequality. In addition, analysis of data on stem at breast height and horizontal root diameter of coffee and other noncoffee trees planted on coffee farms showed that index of root shallowness could be used as an estimator of environmental services. This study revealed that state forest land in Lampung Province, Indonesia, not only provides important income for poor farmers but also leads to a more equitable distribution of income and land holdings. These farmers have also successfully rehabilitated degraded land by establishing coffee-based agroforestry. As found in other recent studies, these findings show that coffee-based agroforestry can perform watershed service functions similar to those of natural, undisturbed forests. This supports the argument that poor farmers who provide environmental services through their activities in state-owned forests should be rewarded with land rights as a policy to alleviate poverty.

Key words

coffee trees; agroforestry; environmental services; equity; poverty; payment for environmental services; watershed; Lampung Province; Indonesia
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087