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FORESTS NEWS
In-depth   /   10 May 2022

 

From honey to handicrafts:

Shaping sustainable livelihoods on Sumbawa

Governor celebrates innovative approaches

What does a group of women basket-weavers have in common with a batch of freshly trained beekeepers and a cooperative designing village ecotourism and regulations to support it?

They were all part of the Kanoppi Project in Sumbawa District of Sumbawa Island in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara province, which concluded in December 2021. The project team had the opportunity to present the recommendations to the governor directly.

The recently concluded project led by the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), which also featured sites in the province of West Timor and Gunungkidul in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, aimed to increase forestry smallholder income by developing and promoting the production and marketing of timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

They are all featured in a short video about the project outcomes.

Located in the unique Wallacea bioregion, Sumbawa Island boasts about 86 percent of tropical dry forest in West Nusa Tenggara, as well as extensive mangrove ecosystems. It is also home to almost 2 million people from a range of ethnicities and cultures – including the famed Bajo people, who live on an islet that they have created out of coral on the northern coast.

 

The CIFOR-ICRAF project which also had sites in West Timor and Gunungkidul in Yogyakarta, aimed to increase forestry smallholder income by developing and promoting the production and marketing of timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

They are all featured in a new short video about the project’s accomplishments to date.

 
 

Located in the unique Wallacea bioregion, Sumbawa Island boasts about 86 percent of tropical dry forest for the whole province of West Nusa Tenggara, as well as extensive mangrove ecosystems. It is also home to almost 2 million people from a range of ethnicities and cultures – including the famed Bajo people, who live on an islet that they have created out of coral in the Bali Sea.

 
 
Woman drying a candlenut. Photo by Aulia Erlangga/CIFOR
Unique mangrove ecosystem provides a buffer between land and sea, Sumbawa, Indonesia
Photo by Donny Iqbal/CIFOR-ICRAF

The Bajo People, living for generations on Bungin Island on the northern coast of Sumbawa Island

“Sumbawa is a small island, and that makes it particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, deforestation and forest conversion,” said Ani Adiwinata, a scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), who was the coordinator for landscape governance research on this project.

“That also makes the interconnection between the land and seascapes more intensive, requiring an especially integrated approach,” she said.

Unique mangrove ecosystem provides a buffer between land and sea, Sumbawa, Indonesia
Photo by Donny Iqbal/CIFOR-ICRAF
That also makes the interconnection between the land and seascapes more intensive, requiring an especially integrated approach
Ani Adiwinata, CIFOR-ICRAF scientist

To help keep Sumbawa’s forests standing and its human population thriving, it is critical to create economic opportunities that do not degrade the natural environment.

Historically, economic activity on the island has been largely extractive and its abundant natural resources have been sold to other islands and exported. This means that local consumers must buy products back as partially finished or finished goods at a high cost.

“So far, we have not been able to taste the prosperity, because we have been satisfied by only selling raw products, then buying these back in the form of semi-finished products and finished goods at expensive prices,” explained Governor Zulkieflimansyah. “It’s time to start the first step of the long journey to make a difference,” he said in a welcome meeting to the Kanoppi Team.

 

Livestock is an important family asset

Authentic Sumbawa organic coffee in Punik Village is important for the local economy

 

That’s where Kanoppi comes in. The project, which was very much appreciated by the governor, according to Adiwinata, used participatory action research to influence policy processes and translate landscape-based strategies into practices.

Using a complementary agroforestry approach, its chief aim was to develop a strong community-based inclusive business model as a driver of the regional economy.

So far, we have not been able to taste the prosperity, because we have been satisfied by only selling raw products, then buying these back in the form of semi-finished products and finished goods at expensive prices
Zulkieflimansyah, the governor of West Nusa Tenggara

Rumput ketak (Lygodium circinnatum):
From weeds to economically valuable raw materials for making handicrafts

“Kanoppi has raised awareness of the communities on their understanding from weeds to economically valuable its potential for handicraft industries in Lombok,” said Wayan Widhiana, researcher from the Agency for Research and Development of Non-Timber Forest Products Technology.

Rumput ketak (Lygodium circinnatum)
in Batudulang Village, Sumbawa

Therefore, Kanoppi facilitated travel for a group of local women to visit the island of Lombok and learn basket-weaving skills, and then apply these at home in their village where the grass is commonly found.

“Kanoppi wants the women to come forward so that we, as housewives, can have additional income,” said Fitri Rayana, who head the Ketak Craftswoman Group. “We are very motivated to utilise ketak grass to produce many different handicrafts, compared to what we see nowadays where many products are using plastic as the main raw material.” Fitri Rayana, Head the Ketak Craftswoman Group

Kanoppi wants the women to come forward so that we, as housewives , can have additional income. We are very motivated to utilise ketak grass to produce many different handicrafts, compared to what we see nowadays where many products are using plastic as the main raw material
Fitri Rayana, Heads the Ketak Craftswoman Group
 
Member of the Ketak Craftswoman Group uses basket-weaving skills after the workshop in Lombok

Led by an ICRAF Research Team, Kanoppi also supported smallholder farmers to employ agroforestry practices, including combining fruit trees and medicinal plants such as ginger and turmeric.

Beekeeping is another promising avenue for high-value returns, which makes use of the populations of native, stingless Trigona bees (Trigona sp.), and offers an obvious incentive for the maintenance and expansion of local biodiversity.

To that end, “Kanoppi has facilitated the development of the Trigona Learning Centre, where would-be beekeepers can learn bee keeping techniques, and the tricks of the trade and business management,” said Muktasam Abdurrahman from the University of Mataram, who collaborated with Syafrudin Syafii, the field coordinator for the Kanoppi Policy Team.

“There are three products from trigona bee cultivation: honey; propolis and pollen,” said Juraidin, the head of the Trigona Learning Centre, as well as the forest community group Batu Padewa.

“These main products are the basis for working plans in our cooperative and will be the main business activity under our social forestry program. We will organize the younger generation graduated from high school and university to manage the propolis business.”

 

Juraidin, the head of the Trigona Learning Centre, demonstrates beekeeping techniques in Pelat Village

Forest honey produced by Apis dorsata bees in the forest area in Sumbawa

In all these ventures, working together has been critical for the project’s success so far, and will continue to be into the future.

“In managing the abundance of natural resource and its potential, collaboration is essential for Sumbawa, particularly between the government, the business sector, and other initiatives such as Kanoppi,” said Junaidi, head of Sumbawa’s Regional Planning Agency.

“Recommendations proposed by Kanoppi are important as inputs for us, so we can focus on managing and developing the prioritized commodities to enhance their competitiveness – therefore fostering the acceleration of economic development for the communities,” he added.

“It is always interesting when we talk about sustainability, because there are unexplored opportunities with different impacts under different sectors, and there are five sub-regional leaders,” as reminded by the governor as the main challenges in adopting the Kanoppi’ s approach all throughout the landscape of Sumbawa Island.

In managing the abundance of natural resource and its potential, collaboration is essential for Sumbawa, particularly between the government, the business sector, and other initiatives such as Kanoppi
Junaidi, Head of Sumbawa’s Regional Planning Agency

As discussed with the governor, the Tambora Geopark could be the key landscape-based catalyst, so the five sub-regional leaders in Sumbawa Island could be involved in addressing much bigger issues of natural resources management under an integrated approach.

“This strategy would be effective as the potential pathway for scaling-up beyond Kanoppi Project boundary to achieve the long-term expected impacts,” Adiwinata said.

Mount Tambora: the iconic ecotourism destination in Sumbawa Island
Photo by Donny Iqbal/CIFOR-ICRAF

Activities for this project were implemented by CIFOR on the landscape governance research, ICRAF and the Agency for Research and Development of Non-Timber Forest Products Technology on silviculture practices and extension services, and the university of Mataram for timber and non-timber forest product value chains.

Story development : Monica Evans and Ani Adiwinata | Editing: Julie Mollins and Ani Adiwinata | Video production: Faizal Abdul Aziz, Malvin Adinoegroho, Aris Sanjaya, Aditya Budiman and Ryu Affandi | Web design: Gusdiyanto | Publication coordination : Budhy Kristanty

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