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Upland forest restoration and livelihoods in Asia

  1. Upland forest restoration and livelihoods in Asia Louis Putzel, APFNet Workshop on Degraded Forest Rehabilitation and Sustainable Forest Management Kunming, 10 July 2014
  2. Forest transition in Asia – net increase in forest area in 4-5 countries Source: FAO FRA 2010, author’s analysis
  3. Land Conversion in Swidden Landscapes Van Vliet, N., Mertz, O., Heinimann, A., Langanke, T., Pascual, U., Schmook, B., ... & Ziegler, A. D. (2012). Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden cultivation in tropical forest-agriculture frontiers: a global assessment. Global Environmental Change, 22(2), 418-429.
  4. Drivers of decrease in swidden area Van Vliet, N., Mertz, O., Heinimann, A., Langanke, T., Pascual, U., Schmook, B., ... & Ziegler, A. D. (2012). Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden cultivation in tropical forest-agriculture frontiers: a global assessment. Global Environmental Change, 22(2), 418-429.
  5. The Sloping Lands in Transition (SLANT) research project • Case studies in preparation in 7 countries (China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam) • Focus on effects of upland forest restoration on smallholder livelihoods, and eventually adaptive capacity and ecosystem service delivery
  6. Some comparative insights • Between countries, role of government differs in promotion of tree planting on privately held/smallholder lands • Countries with more decentralized government systems (e.g. Philippines, Indonesia) ≠ countries featuring a high level of central planning (China, Vietnam)
  7. • In Philippines, government implements forestry programs mostly on government-owned land. Programs targeting smallholder- owned lands carried out by NGOs. • In Indonesia, the government promotes smallholder forestry through a credit system promoting tree planting for industrial supply. • In contrast, China and Vietnam have reforestation programs over large areas of land, mostly in smallholder managed landscapes.  These programs have been linked to forest tenure reforms, including, e.g.: allocation of former state lands to smallholders in Vietnam; collective forest land reform in China  In China, major PES scheme; in Vietnam, loans and market opportunities Different national approaches to smallholder forest restoration
  8. Vulnerability of upland populations • In all countries in Asia, upland populations tend to be vulnerable (with some exceptions) Often, ethnically distinct from national decision makers Distant from markets Marginal lands for production Economically disadvantaged
  9. Examples of National Programs • Example #1: China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP), also known as “grain for green” or Sloping Land Conversion Program • Example #2: Indonesia’s Community Timber Plantation programme (HTR) • Example #3: Vietnam’s 5M ha rehabilitation program (afforestation)
  10. Photos: China Forest Economics and Development Research Center Example #1: China (Slides prepared by Xie Chen, FEDRC)
  11. • Started in 1999, fully rolled out by 2002 - Phase I: 1999-2007 - Phase II: 2008-2016 The Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program  CCFP initial aims to reduce flooding & soil erosion, subsequentlly revised to emphasize economic development & poverty alleviation  Payments to smallholders to convert sloping cropland to forests (>25° in Yangtze River & 15° elsewhere). - Grass: 2 yrs - Economic forest: 5 yrs - Protection forest: 8 yrs
  12. Photos: China Forest Economics and Development Research Center
  13. Photos: China Forest Economics and Development Research Center
  14. CCFP policy • Over 32 million rural households involved. • Up to 2013 more than US$42 billion invested. • 27.55 million ha of land converted/afforested. • 9.06 million ha of cropland enrolled. • 15.80 million ha of barren/waste land enrolled. • 2.68 million ha sealed off to allow natural regeneration (a.k.a. “closed mountain” afforestation) • Currently one of the most wide-spread programs in rural China.
  15. Bennett MT, Xie C, Hogarth N, Peng D, and Putzel L. In revision. Household Delivery of Forest Ecosystem Services under China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program – Do Local Institutions Matter? Submitted to Forests.
  16. CCFP policy regarding food security • Initially CCFP prohibited intercropping; later changed policy to allow it • Allows economic tree plantation which provide fruits and other edible non-timber forest products • Basic cropland development and crop production has been part of the program task since 2008
  17. Indicators • County: socio-economic condition, CCFP investment, program implementation, forest resources and main outputs; • Village: land use change, main price of A&F products, geo-features; • Households: population & labor migration, land use, input and output of family productions, CCFP subsidy, households consumption
  18. Direct impact of CCFP on Grain production • Increase supply of fruits, edible non-timber forests via economic tree on CCFP land; • Reduced cropland and reduced grain volume at household level.
  19. Change of cropland and forestland of sample farmer households 18.52 10.89 8.40 9.26 8.34 8.85 9.53 9.25 9.85 9.59 10.05 3.48 10.93 13.86 16.51 16.80 18.04 18.69 19.69 23.11 24.25 26.58 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 1998 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 mu/household cropland forestland
  20. Investment structure of CCFP II of monitoring counties in 2012
  21. 36.14% 6.56% 1998 2011 Change of poverty rate of monitoring households
  22. Results:Farmers volunteering for CCFP Source: He J., 2014. Governing forest restoration: Local case studies of sloping land conversion program in Southwest China. Forest Policy and Economics,
  23. Results: Socioeconomic assessment of sampled households after CCFP Source: He J., 2014. Governing forest restoration: Local case studies of sloping land conversion program in Southwest China. Forest Policy and Economics,
  24. Conclusions • Insufficient power was transferred to village level, even though the state's CCFP policy aims to promote local participation and autonomy. This is a lesson for other developing countries in which implemention of forest restoration tends to be more top down (He 2014). • Nonetheless, the overall results of monitoring indicate that rural welfare is generally not negatively affected by the CCFP, and rural household participants are probably benefiting. • Further research is needed on the effects of urban migration and off-farm labor to distiguish between the direct effects of CCFP subsidies (including funds to promote migration) and other factors.
  25. Example #2: Indonesia (adapted from Nugroho et al. 2013)
  26. The Community Timber Plantation Program • Upland sloping land area is 76,3 million ha or about 41% of Indonesia terrain In Java island, smallholders forest and agroforest in sloping lands, in upper watersheds are about 1.7 million ha or about 46.4% of total smallholders forest in Java • In 2007, Government of Indonesia established Community Timber Plantation program (Hutan Tanaman Rakyat, or HTR) • Programme targeted 5.4 million ha of forests for allocation to smallholders for timber plantations by 2010, all of which are supposed to be be fully planted by 2016
  27. HTR Goals Using state production forests to provide additional supplies of plantation timber to forest industries. Improving the livelihoods of people living in and around degraded production forest areas Increase forest cover
  28. Program design • To stimulate adoption, the government provides flexible credit to HTR holders.The government has allocated ca. US$ 4.5 billion from its Reforestation Fund to support this programme. • By January 2010, USD 210 million had been made available for micro-credit financing
  29. Accessing HTR Credit • To obtain HTR Loan, the households form farmer groups of at least five members, with each member possessing an area of 8 to 15 ha. • The entire process of application for and receipt of an HTR loan involves 20 steps involving 9 different organizations.
  30. Assessing outcomes of HTR credit scheme • Household interviews in 2 regions to understand borrower characteristics In South Kalimantan, 179 respondents randomly selected (112 respondents who had experience in borrowing and 67 respondents without)  In Riau, 101 respondents randomly selected, (48 respondents with borrowing experience and 53 without) • Interviews with authorities to understand loan scheme design and implementation • Gap analysis to assess matching of borrower characteristics with loan parameters
  31. Results • The HTR credit scheme does not match borrower characteristics well, which explains low adoption by smallholders (<1% of available funds disbursed in 2012) Fixed amount loan that is too large for individual farmers to repay. Farmers are likely to be left out and the credit enjoyed more by cooperatives, etc. Rate of return lower than alternatives (e.g. rubber, oil palm) Distance to loan sources Lack of market knowledge of planters, no leverage to set prices Lack of technical program support
  32. Conclusions • Indonesian smallholders have the opportunity to obtain cheap credit with no traditional collateral but against future timber harvests • Farmers have been slow to adopt due to inadequate program design and poor livelihoods prospects compared to alternative land uses
  33. Case #3 – Vietnam (adapted from draft report by Le Trung)
  34. Background • Vietnam’s mountainous region covers most of the Northern territory, two thirds of the central territory and a small part of the Southern territory with the total area of 23.61 million ha, or 71% of the national area • One-fourth of mountainous population are the poor and pro-poor. According to criteria of Vietnam’s government, person with average income per month least than 18 US$ is classified the poor; and person with average income per month less than 25 US$ is classified as pro-poor • 80% of households in the mountainous region are maintaining their livelihood primarily with agriculture, 10% with aquaculture, 5% with forestry production
  35. 5 million Ha Reforestation Program – proejct 661, implemented in 1998 to: • increase forest cover to 43 percent of the national territory; protect the environment; decrease the severity of natural disasters; increase water availability; preserve genetic resources; and protect biodiversity • Provide material for construction, paper, wood-based panels, non- wood products, and fuel wood, both for local consumption and export; develop the forest products processing industry; and make forestry an important economic sector, contributing to improvement in the socio-economic situation in mountain areas • Use open land and bare hills efficiently; create employment opportunities; contribute to hunger elimination and poverty reduction; support sedentary cultivation; increase the incomes of rural mountain people; create stable social conditions; and strengthen national defense and security, especially in border areas.
  36. Program Design - Benefits • People protecting critical special-use forests or protection forests can receive up to 50,000 VND/ha/year • People regenerating forests in combination with additional plantation can receive up to 1 million VND per ha over a period of 6 years. • Local people planting protection forests under critical or very critical category could receive an amount that could not be over 2.5 million VND per ha over a period of four years. • Local people planting rare species, with plantation period over 30 years, can get 2 million VND per ha. • People planting protection forests have rights to own all thinning products, NTFPs and agricultural products cultivated under the forest canopy
  37. Livelihood benefits of 5MHRP • Benefits are variable: some HHs income improved, most didn’t get sufficient benefits particularly those far from infrastructures • Benefits from non-timber products and from thinnings and prunings • Wages from working in the rehabilitation/afforestation program
  38. Program outcomes • Between 1998 and 2010, smallholders reportedly planted 2.45 million ha of forest, – 0.9 million ha of protection forest, – 1.55 million ha of production forest – 1.28 million ha of regenerated forest – 0.94 million ha of fruit trees. • However, quality of plantation is poor. Around 60% of planted areas have had survival rate under exceptional criterion (85%). • Forests under category of protection forest are poorly protected
  39. Livelihood outcomes • 5MHRP policy have brought small benefits to local households, partly due to impractical regulations Payments for participation in planting protection forest or protecting protection forests are very modest with minimal improvement to livelihood improvement local households have difficulty obtaining investment support for plantations of production forest because of complex requirements
  40. General Conclusions • In China and Vietnam, the governments have structured incentive systems featuring cash payments to smallholder tree planters and forest managers. • China’s system is effective in distributing funds, due direct cash transfers, e.g. through smart cards • Indonesia’s system has a higher degree of autonomy in its credit program. Adoption levels have been low due to sub-optimal design of the credit program • In all three countries, choice of species and quality of stands are of concern
  41. Rubber Expansion in Xishuangbanna 1988-2010 From Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt
  42. Subjective statements • Encouraging economically marginal people to change their livelihood practices to plant trees in difficult upland environments is a large responsibility for the State. • Given the dynamic nature of human populations (with rural-to-urban migration, alternative incomes, etc.) and ecosystems, the issue of traditional/local landscape management should be revisited regularly. • Arguably, China’s massive PES scheme is the more successful program both socially and in terms of forest cover (if not quality). Yet, it is also quite top-down, and results are mixed from region to region.
  43. Discussion questions • What is the potential for forest restoration to benefit local people and reduce poverty in your country? • What are the characteristics of a well- designed program? • In restoring forest ecosystem services to benefit downstream or distant users, is it acceptable for upstream residents to bear some costs?
  44. Thank you Initial work on SLANT and China’s CCFP project has been funded by DfID as part of the broader KNOWFOR project, and by the CGIAR Consortium Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry Acknowledgements are due for the contributions of CIFOR colleagues, Xie Chen (FEDRC), Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt and He Jun (ICRAF), Le Trung (FSIV), Bramasto Nugroho (IPB) and his team, Michael Bennett, Rowena Weng, Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli and others