Contested resource: managing rattan harvesting for forest conservation in Kerinci-Seblat National Park, Sumatra.

Author(s): 
Belsky, J.M. and S.F. Siebert.
Year: 
1994
Journal: 
Selbyana
Volume: 
15
Issue: 
2
Page Range: 
A4
Keywords: 
nontimber forest products, rattan, extractive reserves, forest conservation, Indonesia, Kerinci-Seblat National Park
Abstract: 
Tropical forests are rapidly vanishing throughout Southeast Asia as a consequence of conversion to agricultural use and commercial timber harvesting. In Kerinci-Seblat National Park (KSNP) in Sumatra, Indonesia, a lack of access to irrigated ricefields, insufficient yields from degraded hillside farms, and limited wage labor opportunities leave many households with few livelihood sources other than to collect rattan or convert forests to farms within the park. In this paper, we focus on the management potential of one species of rattan, Calamus exilis, a small-diameter, coppicing cane used in local handicrafts and basketry centered in the village of Sungai Tutung, and collected illegally in KSNP. Our studies suggest that C. exilis may be suited to sustained-yield harvesting at four year intervals, and to management of rattan harvesting in designated extractive zones in KSNP. While managed harvesting of C. exilis will not solve the problem of forest conversion in KSNP, it represents one potential component within an integrated approach to forest conservation that builds upon the specific mix and interdependence of livelihood activities within one community. However, sustained-yield harvesting of C. exilis will require significant modifications in government policies, property rights and local management institutions.