Evaluating Mangrove Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunity in Indonesia

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details


Indonesia maintains the world's largest and most productive mangrove estate and at the same time has experienced the highest degree of mangrove degradation and deforestation. Restoration has been recommended to reverse the trend of mangrove loss and in 2017 Indonesia developed a policy mandate to restore and rehabilitate 1.82 million hectares of degraded and deforested mangroves by 2045 . However, both the national and global track record of mangrove restoration has been poor, with anecdotal evidence that of the majority of all mangrove restoration projects fail to achieve their goals. One reason for the limited success is limited assessments of mangrove restoration opportunity.
The over-arching aim of this PhD study is to map and analyse mangrove forest landscape rehabilitation {MFLR) opportunity in Indonesia by investigating key social, economic, biophysical and policy factors and analysing multi-stakeholder dialogue and associated outcomes and decision-making processes. The aim will be achieved through the following three research objectives; 1) to investigate past mangrove rehabilitation performance in analogue forests and to evaluate biophysical feasibility of mangrove rehabilitation in focal landscapes, 2) to evaluate and map the scope, feasibility and availability of land for rehabilitation based on social factors and 3) to calculate the economic costs and benefits of potential mangrove forest landscape rehabilitation interventions identified in opportunity maps.
The research applied the Restoration Opportunity Assessment Method (ROAM) to achieve the research objectives in two locations in Indonesia, Demak, Central Java and Tanjung Panjang, Gorontalo, North Sulawesi. This method combined field data collection of social, economic and biophysical data, multi-stakeholder dialogues to map restoration opportunity, a cost benefit analysis to determine the economic proposition of restoration in each landscape, and qualitative content analysis of stakeholder interviews to reveal social, economic and political barriers to MFLR.
Research of biophysical factors including the feasibility of existing restoration techniques to overcome biophysical barriers to restoration revealed 5,403 ha of restoration opportunity in Tanjung Panjang representing 100% of the deforested landscape and 9,720 ha of opportunity in Demak representing 81% of the deforested lan dsca pe. However , stakeholder mapping of restoration opportunity based upon social , economic , tenurial holdings and policy factors significantly reduced restoration opportunity; resulting in three scenarios in Tanjung Panjang of 113,842 and 2492 ha of restoration opportunity (equal to 2.5%, 15 .9% and 47.0% of the deforested landscape) and 50.6 ha of opportunity in Demak representing only 0.4% of the deforested landscape. Qualitative content analysis of interviews with current land users (fish farmers) and ext ension workers revealed 30 social, economic and policy barriers across the two landscapes, which need to be addressed before MFLR can be achieved.
Cost-benefit analyses of the 4 restoration scenarios resulted in the calculation of 32 financial and 32 economic net present values across the two landscapes . When using financial values (direct economic benefit) the costs of restoration outweighed restoration benefits over 25 years in all 32 sc enarios . When using economic values, the benefits of restoration outweighed their costs in 23 of 32 cases. The 9 exceptions occurred in Demak where the cost of overcoming landscape erosion and subsidence is high and in smallest restoration scenario in Tanjung Panjang due to high opportunity costs to fish farmers coupled with inability to capitalize on restoration economies of scale. Recommendations from this research to enable Indonesia to meet its lofty goal of total mangrove restoration by 2045 for future action include the need for investment in operationalizing nation-wide multi-disciplinary assessment of restoration opportunity, and identification of landscape specific biophysical, social, economic and policy barriers to support successful implementation of landscape scale mangrove restoration across a variety of landscape types. Adoption of these approaches will contribute to proof-of­ concept findings to further motivate stakeholders for nation-wide support of novel MFLR approaches.
Effective start/end date28/07/15 → …