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Title: Social and economic determinants of a community-based strategy for integrated rural environmental development in West Java's uplands
Author: Tarrant, Joseph James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2728 4090
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1990
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This thesis is a comparative study of two forms of intervention aimed at taclding the problems of serious soil erosion and hydrological degradation in the uplands of West Java. These were the Indonesian Government's atanduy n Project and the non-governmental Ciamis Programme of the Bandung Institute of Technology's Centre for Environmental Studies (PSLH-ITB). Both interventions occurred in the Citanduy River Basin at the same time (1980-86) and place. Both attempted to transfer improved environmental practices and farming systems to small farmers. The thesis also investigated the allocation of upland households' land, labour and capital resources and the effects different allocative patterns had on both the local environment and household participation in external development interventions, but especially the Ciamis Programme. Background chapters described the evolution of agro-ecological and land tenure relations in West Java's uplands and the role of the Indonesian State in upland land management and river basin development. The findings for the two forms of upland intervention indicated that the Citanduy II Project reflected a long-standing "top-down- approach to rural development and village governance. This contradicted its own policies for increased decentralisation and made the Project unnecessarily costly and less effective. The intervention was overly programmed, rigidly bureaucratic and failed to seriously involve either local government or project participants in design and implementation, whereas the great heterogeneity of agroecosystems and socio-economic conditions in these upland areas called for just such a strategy. Large financial subsidies replaced grassroots organisation and participation as a means of motivating villagers. By contrast, PSLH-ITB's "action-research" approach started with an overall assessment of community development and environmental problems and gradualJy worked with them to develop a much broader, unsubsidised economic and environmental programme focussed at the hamlet (kampung) level. This had the additional effect of inducing farmer-lead, spontaneous diSsemination of environmental and agricultural technologies over a large area of the river basin. However, PSLH-ITB's strategy required high commitment and leadership from both intervenor and community. Also, its self-reliant, cooperative strategy was constrained by a lack of capital and management expertise in the communities. These constraints suggested a role for credible NGOs acting as intermediaries between government and community. The most important finding for the upland household economy was that, due to low agricultural productivity and market prices and small, fragmented landholdings, households increasingly placed their labour in non-agricultural and wage labour markets, chiefly through circulatory migration, in other regions and the cities. Though this brought some new capital into the villages, its effects were to displace labour from intensive agriculture to less intensive, tree crop and cassava-based farming systems. The most important forms of economic and social cooperation remained at the neighbourhood and hamlet levels. These findings suggested that a land-based environmental strategy, implemented at the village level may encounter long-run problems of sustainability in these upland communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available