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Forest gardens in the Gunung Palung region of West Kalimanta, Indonesia

Defining a locally-developed, market-oriented agroforestry system


A critical need exists throughout the humid tropics for interdisciplinary research that collects, evaluates, and makes available to decision makers the information contained in locally developed land-use systems. One such system is the forest garden developed by residents of several villages in the Gunung Palung region of West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The forest gardens are part of a broader land-use spectrum that contains farms, home gardens, forest gardens, and forest extraction areas in a gradient leading away from the villages to the protected forests in the park. Over the past several years, while conducting a multidisciplinary study of this system, I have come to the conclusion that the forest gardens are a variant of the traditional home garden that have been developed by the local communities in response to the development of new economic markets. In this paper, I provide a baseline description of the study region, methods used, and the different types of forest gardens in the study site. I then conclude with discussions of related land-use systems throughout the world, how forest gardens differ from home gardens, how forest gardens might be formally defined, and future work that will be necessary for a better understanding of these forest garden systems.

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Salafsky, N. Forest gardens in the Gunung Palung region of West Kalimanta, Indonesia. Agroforest Syst 28, 237–268 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00704759

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Key words

  • multi-stored agroforest
  • land-use spectrum
  • durian
  • rubber
  • coffe
  • Arenga palm
  • Borneo