Universitas Indonesia Conferences, The 8th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Negotiating environmental burden? Rural-urban interface perspective on the forest ecosystem restoration project in West Java and Lombok, Indonesia
Sundjaya Sundjaya, Syarifudin Syarifudin

Last modified: 2022-05-31


Forest ecosystem restoration projects have been encouraged as part of mitigating the environmental crisis. Through the perspective of rural-urban interface, this paper views ecosystem restoration as a process of environmental burden transfer from urban areas to farmers who live in the upstream areas of watersheds. Ecosystem restoration is a techno-science effort to change the degraded landscape to overcome environmental problems. To some extent, the implementation of restoration has changed land use practices that influence the livelihoods of farmers at the upstream areas. Changes in land use practices due to restoration project are imagined crisis which the farmers should deal with. Our qualitative research in West Java and Lombok shows how discourse on the relation between degraded upstream watershed ecosystems and the environmental crisis in the downstream area is powerfull in mobilizing fundings, scientific research, technology, and practices to change the landscape of upstream rural areas which are dominated by agricultural activities. Ecosystem restoration project is also an arena for negotiating differences in interpreting the natural crisis faced by urban communities in the downstream and the farmers in the upstream rural. In the case of West Java and Lombok, the potential threat of natural disasters or the scarcity of clean water for urban residents and the limitations of farmers to access their land are two narratives of crisis that must be overcome through forest restoration activities. The agroforestry system developed by restoration experts, governments, donors, project implementers and farmers, is an assemblage considered capable in mitigating the environmental crisis in urban areas while advancing the economic interests of farmers in the upstream rual area.


Keywords: ecosystem restoration, rural-urban interface, environmental crisis, agroforestry, Indonesia

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