Defining Success: A Comparison Study of Jambi's Community Forests in Response to Rapid Deforestation by Agribusiness




Libhart, Cassandra

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Tropical forests play an essential role in the most basic of Earth's systems. However, due to anthropogenic forces, these resources are degrading at an alarming rate. Deforestation negatively affects the local and global environment as well as indigenous communities' livelihoods. The main sources of deforestation in Jambi are illegal logging, large-scale agricultural plantations (agribusinesses), and clearance fires. First mentioned in a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) document in the 1970s, community forests have become increasingly important to mitigate and reverse the destructive effects of deforestation to the environment and the local populations. First, I include a history of Indonesia's indigenous people's struggle against outside actors (colonizers, government, private corporations) appropriating Indonesia's natural resources. Then, I compare two villages in Jambi, Guguk and Baru Pelepat, to explore factors that influence a community forest's "success" in combatting deforestation by agribusiness. I define "success" as per the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization's "8 Conditions of a Successful Community Forest," and in order to further the research, I included social equality, gender-inclusive communication, high biodiversity and sustainable forest management as conditions for success. My results have revealed that the main characteristics of a successful community forest are legally bound participatory mapping, outside assistance (from non-government organizations), gender equality, strong desire to protect the environment, strict enforcement of village rules and similar goals within villagers and technology.


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Agribusiness, Community Forestry, Deforestation, GIS, Indigenous Communities, Indonesia



Political Science and Geography