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Research Report

Importance of the traditional land-use and land-tenure systems of Waraka, Seram Island, Maluku

Laure Ducos
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 73
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    Environmental degradation and forest loss are increasing worldwide, with the most immediate impact occurring at the local level in tropical countries. The loss of ecological services provided by tropical forests, together with the reduced availability of renewable resource, is particularly important to populations who rely on natural resources for their livelihoods.

    In Indonesia, even if the deforestation rates have decreased recently, the loss of forest is still high, with more than 500,000 hectares (ha) lost per year during the period 2000–2010 (FAO 2011). This high rate of deforestation is due to the need for development and the conversion of...

  2. (pp. 3-7)

    The study area is located on the land of the Waraka Village, on Seram Island in the Moluccas (Maluku). The island covers an area of 17,429 km² (Monk et al. 1997), with 189,000 ha covered by Manusela National Park. The island is mountainous, not volcanic, with the Binaya peak just over 3000 m, and is mainly composed of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks (Edwards et al. 1993). Seram Island is part of the Wallacea region; its flora and fauna is a mix of Asian, Australian and New Guinean elements, and its climate is tropical everwet, with precipitation which varies from 2000...

  3. (pp. 8-32)

    Fuys et al. (2008) defines tenure security as a function of rights, which depends on their breadth and duration. Clerc (2012) say that land tenure security is assured if a rights holder can, now and in the future, profit from the investment that he made on his land (labour and capital). There are two schools of thought about land rights. In his book The Tragedy of the Commons (1968), Hardin demonstrated that without private or state control, an open-access area will inevitably lead to resource degradation. This forms the basis of the property rights school, which holds that private, individual...

  4. (pp. 33-40)

    In her analysis of tenure security in Kalimantan, Clerc (2012) showed that the interactions between the different actors produce several outcomes impacting the tenure security of the villagers. Environmental constraints and opportunities (linked to the biophysical environment, but also the institutional environment and the attributes of the community or village) and the attributes of each actor (resource action or asset, interest, strategy and action) combine to create several outcomes or patterns of interaction indicating a certain degree of tenure security.

    In the present situation, I identified four patterns of interactions as indicators of tenure security:

    The degree of cooperation and...

  5. (pp. 41-41)

    Land-use and land-tenure systems in Waraka evolve in a rapidly changing environment. Traditional land use has slightly adapted during the last decades, but it seems that greater changes are coming. Some farmers highlighted the importance of their agroforestry systems as a regular and stable source of food and financial income that largely prevails over the potential benefits of wage labor. Part of the population is looking for new sources of employment and trying to sell its land to invest in children’s marriage and education. The interest of the young generation in agriculture is declining and the relations between Christians and...