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Article

Understanding People−Forest Relationships: A Key Requirement for Appropriate Forest Governance in South Sumatra, Indonesia

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College of Economics and Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
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Forestry Program Study, Muhammadiyah University of Palembang, Palembang 30263, Indonesia
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Forestry Department, Muhammadiyah University of West Sumatra, Padang 25172, Indonesia
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Human Resources Education and Training Center for Environment and Forestry, Bogor 16118, Indonesia
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School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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College of Wildlife and Protected Area, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lalisa A Duguma, Peter A Minang and Enrique-Javier Díez-Gutiérrez
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7029; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137029
Received: 9 April 2021 / Revised: 7 June 2021 / Accepted: 18 June 2021 / Published: 23 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Ecology, Climate Resilience and Sustainability in the Tropics)
Indonesian forestry challenges in attributional land-use conflicts of overlapping villages and state forests have affected community livelihoods and forest sustainability for decades. This empirical research uncovers the socio-economic attributes of villages in order to gain a better understanding of people−forest relationships in order to guide improved forest management and governance for long-term sustainability. Data were obtained from 69 villages located in the forest management unit of Lakitan Bukit Cogong in South Sumatra Province. Spatially-explicit quantitative measurements and qualitative approaches were employed to explore the interrelationships between human footprint, village development, and conflict resolution strategies over two decades. The results confirmed that utilization of forest areas as part of the village territory (such as for building settlements, public/social infrastructure facilities, plantations and agricultural fields) has long been administered without permits, destabilizing forest functions. Moreover, aspects such as human population size, proximity of villages to the national road and sub-district capital, and the transmigration settlement units have an impact on the Human Footprint Index and Village Development Index. Furthermore, our analyses identified three distinctive forms of conflict based on village type: (1) villages which are administratively included in the forest area; (2) villages for transmigration settlement; and (3) villages adjacent to company management concession areas. In these villages, the clarity of land/forest boundaries and property rights are predominant conflict issues. Several recommendations are proposed to support sustainable forest development; namely, controlling human activities in the forest, improving village management governance, and resolving associated conflicts. View Full-Text
Keywords: conflict resolution; human footprint; people-forest relationships; property rights; South Sumatra; transmigration settlement units; village development conflict resolution; human footprint; people-forest relationships; property rights; South Sumatra; transmigration settlement units; village development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Harbi, J.; Cao, Y.; Milantara, N.; Gamin; Mustafa, A.B.; Roberts, N.J. Understanding People−Forest Relationships: A Key Requirement for Appropriate Forest Governance in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7029. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137029

AMA Style

Harbi J, Cao Y, Milantara N, Gamin, Mustafa AB, Roberts NJ. Understanding People−Forest Relationships: A Key Requirement for Appropriate Forest Governance in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Sustainability. 2021; 13(13):7029. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137029

Chicago/Turabian Style

Harbi, Jun, Yukun Cao, Noril Milantara, Gamin, Ade B. Mustafa, and Nathan J. Roberts 2021. "Understanding People−Forest Relationships: A Key Requirement for Appropriate Forest Governance in South Sumatra, Indonesia" Sustainability 13, no. 13: 7029. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137029

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