Landscape Ecology-Based Approach for Assessing Pekarangan Condition to Preserve Protected Area in West Java
As is widely known, the landscape ecology-based approach focuses on three aspects: structure, function, and dynamic or change. The fourth aspect, which was added recently, is culture. These four aspects were attempted to be elaborated into the homegardens condition as an ecological process in human activities. As traditional homegardens in Indonesia, pekarangan played an important role in building low carbon society management. To conserve protected areas, the pekarangan concept could be one solution to help people stay in their village. It means people will not encroach on the forest to seek more income because they could have it from pekarangan. Assessment of the pekarangan condition was conducted through interviewing and measuring the ecological, economic, and sociocultural data of 96 households located in four watersheds of West Java, Indonesia. The levels of landscape management are affected by the size of land; therefore, the scale of ownership of pekarangan size is considered. In each respective watershed level, four groups of pekarangan were defined in a purposive random village. Those four groups are G1, with a pekarangan size less than 120 m2 that does not have other agricultural land (OAL), G2 (<120 m2 with OAL < 1,000 m2), G3 (120–400 m2 with no OAL), and G4 (120–400 m2 with OAL < 1,000 m2). The results statistically proved that pekarangan contributed significantly to ecological conditions, household income, and also nutrition (diet) for the family members. The ecological conditions, both horizontal and vertical biodiversity, showed that pekarangan offer a large contribution to help the environment be more sustainable. The levels of heterogeneity, indicated by species richness (Margalef Index), species diversity (Shannon–Wiener Index), species evenness (Simpson Index), and similarity (Sørensen Index) showed that pekarangan has high biodiversity. The research also proved that pekarangan production contributed as much as 11.5 % of a household’s income and 12.9 % of household’s diet in term of food expense. One recommendation is that the community should consider a suitable agroforestry practice, such as pekarangan, for better landscape management in the future. In addition, pekarangan as a small agroforestry system also can contribute significantly to a region’s carbon budget while simultaneously enhancing the livelihoods of the rural population.
KeywordsAgroforestry system Environment conservation Homegardens Landscape management Rural landscape
This research was supported by the Global Environmental Leaders (GELs) Education Program for Designing a Low Carbon Society (LCS) by Hiroshima University, Japan. Preliminary survey was a cooperative work between the Rural Development Institute (RDI), Seattle, USA and the Department of Landscape Architecture, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia. This paper has been presented in the 8th World Congress of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE) on August 18–23, 2011 in Beijing, China.
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