Does Tree Planting Change Minds? Assessing the Use of Community Participation in Reforestation to Address Illegal Logging in West Kalimantan
Gunung Palung National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia has experienced illegal logging and fires that led to degradation and conversion of forests to grasslands in a state of arrested succession. A local NGO named Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) began a restoration effort to restore degraded forest areas and provide jobs to local community members that might otherwise participate in illegal logging.
research goals & methods
The NGO performed a survey with 50 local residents, one-third of whom identified as former loggers in the park, to test the hypothesis that community participation in reforestation activities can lead to reduced instances of illegal logging. Two potential pathways were considered: 1) the “economic improvement” for the participants, and 2) the “perception change” towards illegal logging.
conclusions & takeaways
The survey found that there was greater evidence supporting the “economic improvement” pathway than evidence supporting the “perceptions change” pathway. There is evidence of an “empowerment pathway” through which individuals are able to improve their own economic conditions by the skills and experience acquired during their time participating in the reforestation program. After participation in the project, 68% of involved participants led tree-planting activities, suggesting the positive self-motivated community engagement for restoration instead of land degradation. This study demonstrated that involving local communities in reforestation projects can lead to positive outcomes.
Does Tree Planting Change Minds? Assessing the Use of Community Participation in Reforestation to Address Illegal Logging in West Kalimantan. Tropical Conservation Science. 2015;8:45–57. doi:10.1177/194008291500800107..
- Alam Sehat Lestari, Jl. Sungai Mengkuang, Sukadana, Kabupaten Kayong Utara, Indonesia
- Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA