Book Chapter: Forests, Land Use, and Challenges to Climate Stability and Food Security





The current mode of global food production is characterized by negative impacts on both human and planetary health (Haddad et al., 2016; Pinstrup-Andersen, 2013; Whitmee et al., 2015; Chapter 2). Fifty years after the Green Revolution, the world still faces multiple forms of malnutrition while much of the agricultural expansion related to achieving global food security often occurs at the expense of natural systems, including forests (Gibbs et al., 2010; Leblois et al., 2017).

The environmental toll of unsustainable agriculture threatens to undermine progress toward achieving global food security (Gordon et al., 2017). Climate change, to which agriculture is a major contributing factor, threatens crop production around the world (Kent et al., 2017; Martinich et al., 2017). At the same time, loss of fertility, desertification, loss of ecosystem services, and natural habitats undermine the long-term stability of the global food system (Haddad et al., 2016). Thus, the major questions facing global sustainable production are: (1) How do we increase production on existing agricultural land while reducing environmental degradation? (2) How do we reduce the environmental degradation and loss of ecosystem services as well as important sources of wild food and income resulting from agricultural expansion into natural habitats? (3) How do we restore degraded, unproductive, and abandoned agricultural land and natural habitats?

Forests and trees are an essential part of the solution to all three questions. Trees in agricultural landscapes can simultaneously increase production and mitigate against environmental degradation. Judicious landscape-scale land use planning that incorporates trees and forests into productive landscapes can simultaneously conserve forests and protect the ecosystem services upon which agricultural production depends (Baudron and Giller, 2014; Reed et al., 2016). At the same time, reforestation and regeneration of forests can restore degraded land and provide new productive landscapes on abandoned or degraded land.

Here, we divide the roles and functions of forests into three categories. First, is the provisioning function of forests; that is, the direct provision of food and income from forests and agroforestry. Second, forests have a protective function, a term referring to the oft-neglected contributions of ecosystem service provision, and the potential of forest regeneration to reclaim degraded land and increase agricultural production and mitigate climate change. The third function relates to the restorative capacity of forests that can be leveraged through increasing the availability of trees and forests in agricultural landscapes. Such contributions include climate change mitigation via sequestration and the restoration of degraded agricultural land. The latter can occur either through secondary forest succession or deliberate planting and restoration.

This chapter begins with a brief overview and outlook on the link between agriculture, deforestation, and climate change. In the next section, we explore the direct contributions forests make to food security through the provision of food and income and as a safety net for poor and vulnerable people. In Section 6.4, we examine the protective function of forests in terms of often-neglected ecosystem services upon which current agricultural production depends. The restorative function of forests and the potential of forest and tree-based agricultural systems to provide sustainable alternatives to contemporary industrial agriculture and mitigate climate change are discussed in Section 6.5. Finally, we discuss the governance and landscape management challenges and opportunities of incorporating forests and trees into agricultural landscapes.

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Drivers and effects of agrarian change in Kapuas Hulu Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Leonald and Rowland


This chapter examines the potential of the Kapuas Hulu Regency in West Kalimantan as a study site to examine the current drivers of land-use change in Indonesia and the effects of contemporary land-use change on livelihoods and food security. The chapter summarizes preliminary research undertaken in Indonesia as part of the Agrarian Change Project, a multi-country comparative research project conducted by CIFOR. Within the Indonesian component of the project, we focus on the expansion and intensification of oil palm plantations along an agricultural intensification gradient ranging from primary rainforest to monoculture palm oil plantations. We examine the effects of this agrarian change upon local livelihood strategies, economies and food security within nearby communities.

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How nature is used and valued by villagers in two villages in Uut Murung

Hoeing 2015b


Local communities in the upstream part of Uut Murung live in a remote forest environment. Due to its richness of natural resources there has been much interest in the region by various actors, including the government, extractive industry and conservationists. This study aimed at understanding local peoples dependencies on natural resources and the different kind of use values. Therefore, we conducted a two month expedition to two villages in Uut Murung where we conducted questionnaires, ranking methods and semi structured interviews. In general, locals were found to engage in a variety of activities to sustain livelihoods, such as fishing, hunting, gardening and searching for eaglewood. Respondents from both villages valued nature as most important for food and water supply, but also as a place to live, a stock for medicines and a stock for commodities. Animal species were found to serve different purposes for food, commodities, medicine to other purposes, such as traditional rituals. We argue that community members at our study sight might behave opportunistically despite being flexible. Our findings support the idea that a single resource might have more than one purpose; each community differers from each other, but also even within the community itself, it is not homogeneous. Our findings stress the importance that locals dependencies on natural resources and social structures behind resource use, need to be understood for the long term success of any conservation or development initiative.


Masyarakat lokal di bagian hulu Uut Murung hidup dalam lingkungan hutan yang terpencil, dengan sumber daya alam yang sangat kaya, sehingga banyak pihak yang tertarik, baik dari pemerintahan, industri ekstrak f dan pelaku konservasi. Peneli an ini bertujuan untuk memahami ketergantungan masyarakat lokal terhadap sumber daya alam dan perbedaan nilai pemanfaatan. Peneli an ini dilakukan dengan melaksanakan ekspedisi selama dua bulan ke dua desa di Uut Murung dengan menggunakan kuisioner, metode perangkingan dan pertanyaan semi terstruktur. Secara umum masyarakat lokal melakukan berbagai ak vitas untuk mempertahankan hidupnya, seper memancing, berburu, berkebun dan mencari kayu gaharu. Nilai terpen ng sumber daya alam menurut responden dari dua desa tersebut adalah sebagai sumber makanan dan air, namun sumber daya juga pen ng sebagai tempat untuk hidup, cadangan untuk obat-obatan dan cadangan untuk kebutuhan komoditas lainnya. Berbagai spesies satwaliar yang dijumpai digunakan sebagai bahan makanan, komoditas, obat-obatan dan bentuk pemanfaatan lainnya, seper untuk kebutuhan ritual tradisional. Kami berpendapat bahwa anggota masyarakat pada lokasi peneli an mungkin mempunyai pemahaman yang eksibel dan untung-untungan. Temuan kami juga mendukung pendapat yang menyatakan bahwa sumber daya bisa saja memiliki lebih dari satu kegunaan, dan bukan itu saja, se ap komunitas berbeda dari komunitas lainnya, begitu juga, di dalam komunitas itu sendiri pemahamannya juga daklah sama. Temuan kami menekankan pen ngnya pemahaman terhadap ketergantungan masyarakat lokal terhadap sumber daya, serta struktur sosial yang berperan di belakang pemanfaatan sumber daya, untuk kesuksesan inisia f konservasi dan pembangunan jangka panjang.

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Perceptions towards companies and forest conservation in two villages of Uut Murung, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Hoeing 2015a


An increasing number of companies in industries such as mining or logging with forest conversion plans, are advancing into remote areas in the interior of Kalimantan. This study investigates attitudes of local villagers towards those companies. We conducted a two months expedition to two villages in the sub-district of Uut Murung, Murung Raya, Kalimantan, Indonesia, where the social science team completed questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Factors potentially influencing attitudes towards companies were analysed using step-wise linear regression, as well as perceived benefits and disadvantages for respondent’s livelihoods. In addition, perceptions of the importance of conservation were assessed. Our results show that gender, age, the belief in forest spirits and the number of advantages named, significantly influenced the attitude towards companies. We found communities generally highly receptive to economic development but hostile to environmental degradation, suggesting a difficult trade off between conservation and development. Communities desire the protection of livelihoods and sources of environmental income but also the investment and infrastructure development associated with extractive industries. To find a balance between economic interests from company investments and conservation of the area, we suggest a trans-disciplinary approach which includes different actors – academic and non academic – to be able to protect biodiversity and livelihoods by creating transformation knowledge.


Peningkatan jumlah perusahaan dengan rencana alih fungsi hutan dalam berbagai industri seper petambangan dan pengusahaan hutan, semakin mendesak ke bagian daerah terpencil di pedalaman Kalimantan. Peneli an ini mengkaji sikap masyarakat lokal terhadap perusahaan-perusahaan tersebut. Kegiatan dilakukan dengan melakukan ekspedisi selama dua bulan ke dua desa pada kecamatan Uut Murung, Murung Raya, Kalimantan Indonesia, kelompok m sosial melakukan kajian dengan kuisioner dan wawancara semi terstruktur. Faktor-faktor yang mungkin mempengaruhi sikap masyarakat terhadap perusahaan tersebut dianalisa, termasuk keuntungan dan kerugian yang didapat untuk kehidupan responden. Selain itu, dilakukan juga penilaian terhadap persepsi pen ngnya konservasi. Hasil menunjukkan bahwa jenis kelamin, umur, kepercayaan dan jumlah bentuk keuntungan yang didapat mempengaruhi sikap mereka terhadap perusahaan. Untuk menemukan keseimbangan antara keuntungan ekonomi yang didapatkan perusahaan dan konservasi daerah ini, kami menyarankan perlunya pendekatan lintas disiplin ilmu yang melibatkan berbagai pihak, baik akademisi maupun non akademisi untuk bisa melakukan perlindungan keanekaragaman haya dan kehidupan masyarakat dengan melakukan transformasi pengetahuan


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