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Research Report

Exploring biological diversity, environment and local people’s perspectives in forest landscapes: Methods for a multidisciplinary landscape assessment

Douglas Sheil
Rajindra K. Puri
Imam Basuki
Miriam van Heist
Meilinda Wan
Nining Liswanti
Mustofa Agung Sardjono
Ismayadi Samsoedin
Kade Sidiyasa
Edi Permana
Eddy Mangopo Angi
Franz Gatzweiler
Brook Johnson
Akhmad Wijaya
Paya Seturan
Long Lake
Laban Nyarit
Long Jalan
Lio Mutai
Gong Solok
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2002
Pages: 106
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-8)

    Much of the global concern about tropical rainforests derives from fears of major impending extinctions. Considerable efforts have been focused on identifying the most important sites for sensitive management. Biodiversity surveys have become a major preoccupation of conservation agencies and are increasingly included in impact assessments. However, the information generated usually has little impact as most decisions reflect other priorities. The notion that ‘every species must be maintained at all costs’ is not a view held by most relevant decision makers. Decisions can only balance ‘biodiversity’ goals with other demands if the values and preferences of stakeholders, especially local forest...

  2. (pp. 9-12)

    For most purposes, the team was divided into two: the village team and the field team. The village team collected a wide range of information about the judgements, needs, culture, institutions and aspirations of the local communities, and examined their perceptions of and relationship with the local landscape. The field team collected biophysical and ethnographic data at specific geo-referenced sample points. The initial community introductions were undertaken jointly, and team members typically came together for meals in the morning and evening and reviewed their experiences and plans.

    A standard team consisted of eight to twelve outsiders specialising in different parts...

  3. (pp. 13-25)

    The first community meeting was used to introduce the survey, explain the research and the reasons for doing it. Our final procedures read as in Box 3.

    In a second meeting, usually on the following night, all these points were recapped and further questions from the community were answered. Further emphasis was placed on identifying potential local experts, who were approached directly afterwards. The main exercise, however, was the mapping (see following section). In all these meetings, we provided tea and coffee, biscuits, betel nut, and cigarettes, in an attempt to maintain an informal atmosphere. We aimed to keep the...

  4. (pp. 27-34)

    Once the general sampling area was agreed on, the initial stage in establishing the sample plot was to mark out a 40 m long line marked with a strong tape measure. This transect was laid out at 45º to the prevailing slope, unless the ground was very steep, in which case more moderate angles were used. Markers along the tape indicated every 4 m and every 10 m. Only if the slope along the transect line was more than 30º did these distances need to be corrected for slope (a slope correction table is given in Appendix V).

    In general,...

  5. (pp. 35-40)

    The preparation of a final reference list of vascular plant records of this survey took a long period of herbarium work, referencing, checking and revisions and the first draft was only ready in July 2001. Revision continues. Four main steps were needed to ensure data quality: 1) identification of specimen and data entry, 2) data checking and correction, 3) handling unidentified species, and 4) checking synonymy.

    The first step was the identification all of vascular plant specimens using the expertise and facilities of the Herbarium Bogoriense. Around 8000 specimens, mostly infertile, were collected during the four survey periods. Two Bogor-based...

  6. (pp. 41-43)

    Our account is largely a description of methods, but some comment on our experiences is warranted. In general, we have been successful. We certainly have a better answer to the question ‘How can we find out what we should know, in order to make better decisions about tropical forest landscapes?’ We have an extensive amount of information to assess what is important for several communities in Malinau. We now recognise critical issues of which we were previously unaware. Especially important to us as researchers, is the fact that we can now in many cases also place these data in relation...