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Research Report

Local uses of tree species and contribution of mixed tree gardens to livelihoods in Saleman: Village near Manusela National Park, Seram Island, Maluku (Indonesia)

Ariane Cosiaux
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 54
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    Tropical ecosystems are exceptionally rich in biodiversity, containing most terrestrial biodiversity. However, rapid and extensive forest degradation, which causes modifications of ecosystems and fragmentation of habitats, is leading to an alarming loss of biodiversity (Laurence 1999). Most of the 25 “biodiversity hotspots”, as defined by Myers et al. (2000), are in the tropics and characterized by high levels of endemism and habitat loss. Two of these are partly in Indonesia: the Sundaland (western Indonesia) and the Wallacea (eastern Indonesia). Environmental degradation in Indonesia has been severe during recent decades (Sodhi et al. 2004). From 1990 to 2005, Indonesia lost 21.32...

  2. (pp. 4-10)

    Seram, the second largest island in eastern Indonesia (Figure 1), has an area of 17,429 km², being about 340 km long and 60 km wide. The island of Seram is part of the Australasian continent, but since its emergence about 3 to 5 million years ago, it has never been connected to New Guinea or Australia by a land bridge (Audley-Charles 1993). It is speculated that it was colonized by plants and animals by “island hopping” via different channels. Its floristic and faunistic composition includes species from both Asia and New Guinea–Australia (Edwards 1993) and some endemic species. The...

  3. (pp. 11-22)

    Saleman was established more than a century ago. The people still apply customary rules on local governance, land management and extraction of forest products. Seven clans (soa) are represented in the village (in order of their arrival to the village): Makuituin, Aloatuan, Rumaolat, Ialuhun, Aloahiit, Upuolat and Makatita. Makuituin is the founding clan. A local government (pemerintah desa) runs issues affecting everyday life in the village. In addition, a customary government (pemerintah adat) oversees customary rules and rituals and the allocation and management of village land. The Makuituin clan heads the customary government, as the raja tanah, and the Makatita...

  4. (pp. 23-24)

    The village lands are composed of a mosaic of tree garden systems, secondary forests and undisturbed forests, as in many rural areas in Indonesia (Michon et al. 1986; Hariyadi and Ticktin 2012). In the past, there were some upland paddy fields (ladang) around the village, as in other parts of west Seram (Ellen 1993), but Saleman farmers have abandoned this practice. The land-use system is still controlled by customary (adat) law. The village land is divided among clans and its management is regulated by customary practices that are still widespread in Maluku (Ellen 1985).

    Both categories of garden in Saleman...

  5. (pp. 25-25)

    The results of this study demonstrate that the tree garden systems on Seram Island are another example of a reconstructed forest made by farmers in tropical areas. These tree gardens, characterized by a multistoried structure and high species richness, play a key role in the economy of Saleman farmers. The two main socioeconomic functions of mixed tree gardens are to provide a cash income and to supply the forest products that are essential for poor rural communities. This land use is not isolated, but is integrated into a complex land-use system where each land use serves certain socioeconomic functions and...