Table 2. Main features of the three forested regions in which the management of natural resources is being approached through participatory research and development.

Feature Tanimbar archipelago (Indonesia) Beforona region (Madagascar) Mahakam Delta (Indonesia)
Location 7°35’ S, 131°36’ E 18°58’ S, 48°34’ E 0°45’ S, 117°28’ E
Area 3300 km² (Yamdena Island) of which ~970 km² is agricultural landscape A corridor of 250 km² (30 km² for selected village territories) 1500 km²
Physiography 0–250 m in elevation; rolling hills, dissected topography 200–1200 m in elevation; hilly and steep slopes, dissected topography 0–5 m in elevation; swampy lowlands
Rainfall 1500–2500 mm/yr 2000–3500 mm/yr 2000–2500 mm/yr
Population 51,000 (Yamdena Island);
selected villages: 500 to 2500 inhabitants
20,000 (two communes);
selected villages: 150 to 350 inhabitants
selected villages: 1000 to 2000 inhabitants
Population density Island density: 15 people/km², rural density: 52 people/km² Commune density: 80 people/km², rural density: 30 people/km² 13 people/km²
Annual population growth < 2% 3% 4%
Settlement Scattered settlements and one small town (Saumlaki: 15,000 inhabitants) Scattered settlements and two small towns (one town is Beforona: 10,000 inhabitants) Scattered settlements
Land cover Lowland rainforest, moist deciduous and dry decidous forests, secondary growth, food crop fields Altitudinal sequence from grassland region of the east coast to hill forest remnants up to 800 m above sea level with submontane forest above, secondary growth, food crop fields, home gardens Fish ponds, some degraded mangrove swamp and Nypa vegetation
Social-ecological concerns and development needs Still relatively little pressure on environment from local society / Customary rules still in use / Growing pressure from outsiders and local government to exploit intact natural resources (forest and sea) / Danger of anarchic development for a very fragile environment Long-lasting ecological decline related to slash-and-burn practices for upland rice cultivation / Last forest pioneer front at the top of the escarpment / High pressure on natural resources due to demography and migration / Effects of migrants on the farming system Complete deforestation and environmental degradation for shrimp aquaculture / Extreme pressure on natural resources exploited by migrants / No customary rules