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Complementary labor opportunities in Indonesian pulpwood plantations with implications for land use

Abstract : This analysis suggests important considerations for assessing social impacts of large-scale pulpwood production in Indonesia, emphasizing the extremely limited conditions under which pulp plantations may complement, rather than threaten, livelihoods of existing communities in their vicinity. Pulpwood plantations are expanding rapidly in Indonesia to feed major new pulp mills. Though officially developed on "unproductive forest lands", pulpwood monocultures are commonly established at the expense of natural forests and indigenous agroforestry systems in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Based on a South Sumatra case study, this article analyzes how pulpwood plantations may be combined with more traditional land uses to improve livelihoods for local populations, considering the potential for "complementary" labor opportunities. This analysis is built on two assumptions: (1) village smallholder activities represent a first choice for village-based workers and smallholders, with relatively high financial returns per hectare; and (2) seasonal variations in labor requirements for village-based livelihoods open opportunities for complementary labor and land uses such as industrial plantations. Applying our model to a Sumatra case study highlights an upper limit to "complementary labor" for industrial timber plantation land use at a ratio of 5:1 (no more than 5 ha of pulpwood to each 1 ha remaining in intensified local agriculture and agroforestry). Other conditions required to minimize risks for local livelihoods include: flexible timing of company operations; priority to local employment; cautious determination of plantation sites; more transparent government licensing of plantation concessions and pulp mills recognizing local and customary land and resource rights. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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Soumis le : jeudi 22 novembre 2012 - 10:14:26
Dernière modification le : vendredi 2 octobre 2020 - 23:26:02

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R. Pirard, J. Mayer. Complementary labor opportunities in Indonesian pulpwood plantations with implications for land use. Agroforestry Systems, Springer Verlag, 2009, 76 (2), pp.499-511. ⟨10.1007/s10457-008-9141-6⟩. ⟨hal-00755832⟩

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