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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryThis environmental commons consists of all of the forests in the country of Indonesia.
SubtypeNatural Resource System
Commons BoundariesClear boundaries (3)
ExplanationThe physical boundaries of the forests in Indonesia are clear. The forests are surrounded either by water (they are on islands) or by agricultural land, or by national borders (e.g. forests in Kalimantan, in the island of Borneo, which border with Malaysa). National borders may be the least clear of these boundaries, but they are nonetheless clear.
Environmental MediumTerrestrial
ExplanationForests are terrestrial ecosystems.
Inter Annual PredictabilityHigh (3)
ExplanationLike most forests, there is little interannual change in the prevalence of the forest. However, forest fires, which are not fully predictable, may affect the availability of this commons unexpectedly.
Intra Annual PredictabilityHigh (3)
ExplanationLike most forests, there is little intrannual change in the prevalence of the forest, although some specific non-timber forest products are seasonal. As with inter-annual predictability, forest fires, which are not fully predictable, may affect the availability of this commons unexpectedly.
Commons RenewabilityRenewable (1)
ExplanationForests in this environment grow back fairly rapidly (although in some extreme circumstances of forest clearing, they may not easily grow back).
ProductivityVery productive (3)
ExplanationThese are moist tropical forests - they are very productive - comparable to Amazon rainforests.
Commons AccessibilityVery accessible (3)
ExplanationThe accessibility of forests in Indonesia has varied substantially over time and space, however throughout the period under study, some forests in Indonesia have been very accessible to some users, and this has aided various forms of commercial and subsistence exploitation. Over time, the accessibility of some areas and its forest resources has changed with certain development policies, causing significant changes on resource use. For instance, the region of Kalimantan in the border with Malaysia in the island of Borneo was a remote region inhabited by the forest-dependent Dayak tribe and used for smuggling, but without large-scale forest use. Later, Suharto gave a very large timber concession (to PT Yamaker Corp.), covering all accessible lands within 20 km of the border, 843,500 ha in West and 265,000 ha in East Kalimantan. The corporation and its subcontractors "quickly turned the concessions into vehicles for illegal logging and cross-border trading." (Potter, 2009). In the 1990s, the first significant palm oil plantations began to emerge in the region. The construction in the early 1990s of part of the north link of the Trans-Kalimantan Highway, running close to the border, made the Danau Sentarum, a low-lying area of lakes and swamp forest, much more accesible, making it a resource frontier with increased pressure from the expansion of palm oil. In this decade, three national parks were declared in the region; in 2002 one of these parks was the first to establish collaborative governance with local government and indigenous groups (Eghenter et al. 2003). In the 2000s, the increased accessibility of the region facilitated the proposal for the largest palm oil plantation project in the world, with almost 2 million ha. The project was not developed due in part to pressures from international conservation groups. However, despite these regional dynamics, it is important to note that to this day, significant areas of forests on islands such as some regions in Borneo and Papua New Guinea remain inaccessible for commercial users and even for some subsistence users.
Commons HeterogeneityLow (1)
ExplanationForests are fairly continuously distributed throughout Indonesia, although they are systematically cleared in some areas.
Commons Spatial Extent1904569
ExplanationThis is the land area of Indonesia. It appears that nearly all of Indonesia was forested into the early 20th century. During the time of study, the percentage of Indonesia that was forested has declined, but we view all of Indonesia as potentially forested. Global Forest Watch (2002) estimate that forests in Indonesia covered 1,622,900 km2 in 1950, 1,197,000 km2 in 1985, and 1,000,000 km2 in 1997. Hansen et al (2013) estimate total tree cover in Indonesia as 1,417,000 Km2, but estimate a deforestation rate during the period from 2005-2012 as 16,000 km2 per year.
Technical SubstituteYes
ExplanationWood is the primary resource extracted from the forest, and most, if not all, wood products can be substituted with non-wood products - i.e. structural timber with steel or bamboo or engineered wood products, most other uses engineered wood products, pulp with pulp from annual crops. Some subsistence uses are less easily substitutable because subsistence users are poorly integrated into markets.