Low Carbon Society Through Pekarangan, Traditional Agroforestry Practices in Java, Indonesia
Pekarangan, as a traditional homestead garden, an optimal and sustainable land-use type of agroforestry system in the tropical region of Indonesia, has been researched since 1996. As greenery open space, which is located in the surroundings of a house or residential building, it has spread from rural to urban areas, from the upper to the downstream reaches of watersheds. The area of pekarangan varies with the owners and depends on the socioeconomic level, profession, and their distance from the city. However, sustainable and abundant bioresources are expected to be available. Through local wisdom and local knowledge of the community, pekarangan have been practiced as agro-forestry, agro-silvo-pastura, and agro-silvo-fishery systems. Agricultural biodiversity and sustainable material circulation are maintained in pekarangan. Pekarangan is potential land for ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, water resource management, agrobiodiversity conservation, and landscape beautification. Multistory levels of vegetation structures and species richness of pekarangan not only can be proposed to mitigate global warming and global climate change impacts, but also can be promoted as supporting agricultural land for food security at the household level. The number of species in a pekarangan varies according to local physical circumstances, ecological characteristics of the plants, kinds of animal species, and socioeconomic and cultural factors. Results showed that the size of the open space area of pekarangan has decreased, and the number of species has also become less, during the 10-year period of research. If pekarangan systems and other smallholder tree-based systems were to expand in currently degraded and underutilized lands, such as Imperata grasslands, the C sequestration potential would be about 80 Mg C ha−1. On the other hand, pekarangan as an agroforestry system contributes significantly to a region’s carbon budget while simultaneously enhancing the livelihoods of the rural community.
KeywordsAgrobiodiversity Agro-silvo-fishery Agro-silvo-pastura Species richness Watershed
The authors express our gratitude to the Directorate General of Higher Education (DGHE/DIKTI), Republic of Indonesia for its support of our research through a competency grant (Hibah Kompetensi) for 2008–2010 and Graduate Team Research Grant (Hibah Penelitian Tim Pascasarjana - HPTP) for 2006–2008; and thanks to Rural Development Institute—Seattle US for pekarangan research on Java during 2006–2008. Finally, thanks to the Global Environmental Leaders (GELs) Education Program for Designing a Low Carbon Society (LCS) of Hiroshima University, Japan for research collaboration for 2009–2013.
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