Migration, land use change and resilience within swidden landscapes in Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam
Migration, land use change and resilience within
swidden landscapes in Indonesia, Laos and
Indah Waty Bong, Moira Moeliono, Grace Wong, Maria
Brockhaus, Pham Thu Thuy, Cynthia Maharani, Rob Cole
Resilience 2017 – Resilience Frontiers for Global Sustainability
Stockhlom, 20-23 August 2017
- ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry
and Climate Change (ASFCC) 2013-now.
- Ph 1: focus on social network of swidden
communities. Migration is important fabric in
- Ph 2: How does migration affect the ways
people manage forest and agricultural lands in
Migration and land use change in swidden context
3 aspects of migration:
- Labor loss
- Knowledge/technology exchange
(Adger et al 2002, Chen et al 2014, Davis
2015, Lambin et all 2001, Curran 2002,
Etwisle et all 1998, Taylor et al 2006, Lambin
and Meyfroidt 2011)
Research sites and methods
4 villages in Kapuas Hulu,
3 villages in Con Cuong
and Van Ho, Vietnam
3 villages in Vienthong
and Hiam, Laos
- 30 gender and age
- 369 social network and
Swidden agriculture is
Proximity to or presence of
industrial agriculture (oil
palm, rubber, maize, acacia)
and/or protected area
ASFCC Project Sites
Ph 1: 2013-2015
Ph 2: 2015-2016
Ph 3: 2017-now
Households migration history
- Bunut Lalau
- Benua Tengah Hilir
- Sungai Telian
- Sa Kok
- Houay Moey
- Muang Kao
- Muong An
who are not
have left the
Story 1: Keluin, Indonesia
Migration enables agricultural intensification
Indonesia Laos Vietnam
Percentage of HH
Received remittance? 36.8 13.5 90 16 20 42.5 40 2.3 12 31.7
Depend on remittance as important
part of livelihood/income (yes) 21.1 10.8 80 8 2.5 7.5 15.6 2.3 8 17.1
Rely on remittance for farming? 21.1 18.9 90 8 7.5 20 26.7 8 9.8
Remittance allow investment in
farming assets and inputs
21.1 18.9 90 12 2.5 13.3 6 4.9
Land use and agriculture or forest
practices changed as a result?
18.4 13.5 90 2.5 13.3 2.4
- All households had/have member(s) who left/migrated out of village (100%)
- 90% of these migrants sent remittance home
- All remittance receiving HHs relied on remittance for farming.
- Remittance allows intensification through purchase of herbicides and
compensates loss labor through hiring people to work on the field.
How this affects swidden resilience?
Allow forest re-growth (far)
Pressure on close-to-settlement land?
• Shortened fallow,
• Intensive use of herbicides and chemical fertilizers
• Swidden mainly for subsistence
• Crop disease and pests was mentioned as the most often
and severe shock experienced by hhs in 2015-2016.
• Tenure security? When land is left ‘unused’, they might
loose their claim (as state claims it as national park)
Story 2: Houay Moey, Laos
- Resettlement was part of gov. program to
eliminate swidden and poppy, and rural
- 60% of households were not of village origin
(Resettled from several uphill villages)
- In the new location, gov. promoted permanent
agriculture. But land was insufficient (each hh
received 0.2ha) and yield was low.
- Most hhs experienced food shortage. Hhs
returned to the upland to do swidden.
Resettlement leads to dual localities
Resettlement to re-store upland forests?
Dual localities: coping strategies and pathway to agricultural intensification and expansion
- HHs travel back and forth between upland and the new village, creating and maintaining dual-
- Opened access to market and opportunities (esp.neighboring Vietnam)
- Increased connectivity to the old village (self-initiated). This allows introduction of agricultural
technology (e.g. tractor) and easier mobility between both localities as well as transportation of
Intensification, particularly seeds for cash crop production (maize)
Fallow and forest were converted to cash crops.
- Vulnerable to market change
- Policy change?
Rural-rural migration agriculture expansion and intensification
Story 3: Lay, Vietnam
- 92% of households were not of village origin. They came from another district mainly in
search of arable land for swidden.
- Started with few hhs in early 1980’s network for the movement of later settlers
Keluin Bunut Lalau Benua Tengah Sungai Telian Sa Kok Houay Muay Muang Kao Que Lay Muong An
Indonesia Laos Vietnam
Why respondent moved to the village
(% of responses)
Work-related School/studies Marriage Other family reason Better service/housing Land availability Government policy/resettlement Other
- In the past: after land was exhausted,
people left it fallow and moved to a new
- National part established. Swidden is
prohibited. Land allocation program in
other places but not in Lay.
- Unsuccessful attempts of resettlement by
gov. (the targeted area is less fertile).
- Land conversion and intensification of cash
crops (esp.maize). Sale of crops is the main
income for 91% of hhs).
- Swidden to terraced permanent farm
Immediate outcomes on land use might be similar,
Overarching impacts on resilience and how migrations
affects land use within swidden landscape are different
from one place to other and involves multiple
- Land availability (physically and ‘legally’)
- Social and culture