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Understanding diversity of smallholder agro-forestry and
forestry systems in hilly and mountainous landscapes:
Regional co...
Country profiles: China, India, Indonesia, Thailand,
Nepal & Philippines, Vietnam
CIFOR/ICRAF SLANT (Sloping lands in
tran...
 Six trends affecting the practice of swidden
agriculture in Southeast Asia (China
(Xishuangbanna), Laos, Thailand, Malay...
 Agroforestry systems and forests play an
important role in providing or supplementing the
livelihoods of small holders l...
Small holder farm, Dzongu, N. Sikkim
 Governments and non-government
agencies promote policies for reforestation,
afforestation, forest management, and
agrofo...
• China: Conversion of Cropland to Forest
Program (CCFP)
• India: dam building, cash crop
production in the North and nort...
Conversion of Cropland to Forest
Program (CCFP) in China
 Response to flooding in 1998 blamed on deforestation,
over-logg...
Teesta River, Sikkim and West Bengal
Rice paddies on terraces, Sikkim, India
Smallholder forest management in Leksono,
Wonosobo
Water for Rice Production, Thailand
 While often sophisticated in terms of attention to
the ecological and biophysical characteristics,
(agro)forestry resear...
Ecosystem
services specific
to sloping lands
Provision of water
Purification of water
Erosion control: conservation of soi...
 Enable an understanding of the diversity of
smallholders and their resource management
practices,
 Analyze success or f...
Dieng, Wonosobo, Indonesia
 Analyze the arbitrary and dynamic
definitions of agroforestry, slopes,
smallholders that govern such
interventions,
 Im...
Thank you
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Understanding diversity of smallholder agro-forestry and forestry systems in hilly and mountainous landscapes: regional comparisons in Asia

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This presentation examines the importance of social science approaches to understanding social and political dynamics of interventions on forest development in sloping lands.

This presentation was given by Kiran Asher at the World Conference on Agroforestry, Feb 10-14, 2014, New Delhi, India, and Transforming Mountain Forestry ICIMOD symposium, Dehra Dun, Jan 2015.

Published in: Environment
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Understanding diversity of smallholder agro-forestry and forestry systems in hilly and mountainous landscapes: regional comparisons in Asia

  1. 1. Understanding diversity of smallholder agro-forestry and forestry systems in hilly and mountainous landscapes: Regional comparisons in Asia Kiran Asher, Peter Cronkleton, and Louis Putzel. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia. Presentation at the World Conference on Agroforestry, Feb 10-14, 2014, New Delhi, India, and Transforming Mountain Forestry ICIMOD symposium, Dehra Dun, Jan 2015
  2. 2. Country profiles: China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal & Philippines, Vietnam CIFOR/ICRAF SLANT (Sloping lands in transition) scoping study
  3. 3.  Six trends affecting the practice of swidden agriculture in Southeast Asia (China (Xishuangbanna), Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. • classifying swiddeners as ethnic minorities within nation- states • dividing the landscape into forest and permanent agriculture • expansion of forest departments and the rise of conservation • resettlement • privatization and commoditization of land and land- based production • expansion of markets, roads, and other infrastructure and the promotion of industrial agriculture Sociopolitical trends and upland farm- forest landscapes in Asia (Fox et al. 2009)
  4. 4.  Agroforestry systems and forests play an important role in providing or supplementing the livelihoods of small holders living on sloping lands.  Smallholders manage these systems in ways that sustain their livelihoods and the biophysical and ecological integrity of these lands.  “smallholders” are not an unitary group. Rather, they are as diverse in terms of their needs, characteristics, motivations, and management practices as the agroforestry systems they depend upon. Smallholder agroforestry: some observations
  5. 5. Small holder farm, Dzongu, N. Sikkim
  6. 6.  Governments and non-government agencies promote policies for reforestation, afforestation, forest management, and agroforestry on sloping lands to: • Mitigate soil erosion, water loss, land degradation, • Enhance specific ecosystem goods and services (often for people downstream), • Conserve biodiversity • Promote sustainable development Interventions on sloping lands in Asia: Selected observations
  7. 7. • China: Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) • India: dam building, cash crop production in the North and northeast, biodiversity conservation in the south and southwest • Thailand: Water provision for lowland rice cultivation • Indonesia: Reforestation for PES, timber production Examples of interventions…
  8. 8. Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) in China  Response to flooding in 1998 blamed on deforestation, over-logging, & forest-agriculture conversion on sloping lands
  9. 9. Teesta River, Sikkim and West Bengal
  10. 10. Rice paddies on terraces, Sikkim, India
  11. 11. Smallholder forest management in Leksono, Wonosobo
  12. 12. Water for Rice Production, Thailand
  13. 13.  While often sophisticated in terms of attention to the ecological and biophysical characteristics, (agro)forestry research is not sufficiently attentive to the sociocultural and political economic context of smallholder agroforestry and interventions on slopes.  Social science approaches can focus attention to the often blurry line between the natural and the social, and the implications of such blurring Our claims
  14. 14. Ecosystem services specific to sloping lands Provision of water Purification of water Erosion control: conservation of soils Flood prevention Conservation of soil nutrients Maintenance of habitats Carbon sequestration Maintanence of regional precipitation patterns Human-centered values and services Others?
  15. 15.  Enable an understanding of the diversity of smallholders and their resource management practices,  Analyze success or failure of projects targeting sloping lands, e.g. incentives vs. restrictions,  Provide inputs for better agroforestry interventions (to improve soil and water management, biodiversity conservation, better production of cash crops, income generation, and payment for services). Why social science tools and methods? The functional reasons
  16. 16. Dieng, Wonosobo, Indonesia
  17. 17.  Analyze the arbitrary and dynamic definitions of agroforestry, slopes, smallholders that govern such interventions,  Implications of generalizing across what are diverse interests, practices, and intents,  Contradictory, contingent and co- constitutive nature of linkages and relations (agro and forestry, people and products, etc.) Why social science? The analytical and political reasons
  18. 18. Thank you

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