Reducing risks by transforming landscapes: Cross-scale effects of land-use changes on ecosystem services

Fedele G. L., et al., 2018. Plos One

Original research (primary data)
View External Publication Link

Abstract

Globally, anthropogenic environmental change is exacerbating the already vulnerable conditions of many people and ecosystems. In order to obtain food, water, raw materials and shelter, rural people modify forests and other ecosystems, affecting the supply of ecosystem services that contribute to livelihoods and well-being. Despite widespread awareness of the nature and extent of multiple impacts of land-use changes, there remains limited understanding of how these impacts affect trade-offs among ecosystem services and their beneficiaries across spatial scales. We assessed how rural communities in two forested landscapes in Indonesia have changed land uses over the last 20 years to adapt their livelihoods that were at risk from multiple hazards. We estimated the impact of these adaptation strategies on the supply of ecosystem services by comparing different benefits provided to people from these land uses (products, water, carbon, and biodiversity), using forest inventories, remote sensing, and interviews. Local people converted forests to rubber plantations, reforested less productive croplands, protected forests on hillsides, and planted trees in gardens. Our results show that land-use decisions were propagated at the landscape scale due to reinforcing loops, whereby local actors perceived that such decisions contributed positively to livelihoods by reducing risks and generating co-benefits. When land-use changes become sufficiently widespread, they affect the supply of multiple ecosystem services, with impacts beyond the local scale. Thus, adaptation implemented at the local-scale may not address development and climate adaptation challenges at regional or national scale (e.g. as part of UN Sustainable Development Goals or actions taken under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement). A better understanding of the context and impacts of local ecosystem-based adaptation is fundamental to the scaling up of land management policies and practices designed to reduce risks and improve well-being for people at different scales.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-252-3
  • Intervention type: Combination
  • Intervention description:

    "Farmers reforested some less productive fields by allowing natural regeneration to occur or planting teak and mahogany (Table 2, L4). This land-use change spread during the early 2000s, when farmers reported more frequent harvest losses because of foraging by monkeys and wild boars at the village margins. - abandon less productive croplands on slopes - plant or assist regeneration of teak and mahogany - follow social norms to replant trees after cutting"

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: Yes
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Reduced water availability  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Positive effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect
    Reduced water quality  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Positive effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect
    Drought  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Positive effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Study site (L3) in Central Java Province

  • Country: Indonesia
  • Habitat/Biome type: Created forest | Tropical and subtropical forests |
  • Issue specific term: Ecosystem-based adaptation

Evidence

  • Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness determined by comparing outcome measures to the previous land-use to the current land-use (the intervention) therefore before-after method (no control)
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Another NbS
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: Yes
  • Impacts on GHG: Positive
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: Yes
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Positive
  • Ecosystem measures: Mean tree species richness per land-use type (based on tree inventories) compared to previous land use
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
  • Impacts for people: Mixed
  • People measures: same as climate impacts b/c direct associated with local community costs/benefits Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Positive effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect
  • Considers economic costs: Yes
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Mixed qualitative/quantitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic:

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-252-2
  • Intervention type: Combination
  • Intervention description:

    the introduction of a new village rule to preserve forests in 2011 (Table 2, L2), which banned shifting cultivation in less degraded forests, mostly on hills (around 45% of the village territory). In these forests, people could harvest non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as firewood, rattan, agarwood, and birds, or selectively log a few trees for local use, but not along rivers. The village chief explained that the rule was established to “avoid that our next generations experience difficulties in finding natural and forest resources and face intense floods and hot weather”.

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: Yes
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Loss of other ecosystem goods  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  negative effect Loss of ecosystem goods: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature “collected NTFPs worth 30 USD/ha/y”  negative b/c value obtained from previous land-use (logged-forest) was greater
    Reduced water availability  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  negative effect Loss of ecosystem goods: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature “collected NTFPs worth 30 USD/ha/y”  negative b/c value obtained from previous land-use (logged-forest) was greater
    Reduced water quality  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  negative effect Loss of ecosystem goods: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature “collected NTFPs worth 30 USD/ha/y”  negative b/c value obtained from previous land-use (logged-forest) was greater
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Study site (L1) in West Kalimantan province

  • Country: Indonesia
  • Habitat/Biome type: Tropical and subtropical forests |
  • Issue specific term: Ecosystem-based adaptation

Evidence

  • Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness determined by comparing outcome measures to the previous land-use to the current land-use (the intervention) therefore before-after method (no control)
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Another NbS
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: Yes
  • Impacts on GHG: Positive
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: Please select
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Positive
  • Ecosystem measures: Mean tree species richness per land-use type (based on tree inventories) compared to previous land use
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
  • Impacts for people: Negative
  • People measures: same as climate impacts b/c direct associated with local community costs/benefits "Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  negative effect Loss of ecosystem goods: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  negative effect"
  • Considers economic costs: Yes
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Mixed qualitative/quantitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic:

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-251-2
  • Intervention type: Created habitats
  • Intervention description:

    In West Kali- mantan, people converted forests to rubber plantations to diversify livelihoods and maintain their income in case of floods and droughts (Table 3, L1). The area of rubber plantations, and the number of people working them, have increased by around 40% in the last 20 years.

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: Yes
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Loss of other ecosystem goods  Positive Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Negative effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Flooding: Net mixed effect perceived effects of land-use change based on focus group discussions “more severe floods when heavy rain”  Negative effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Local economies/Adaptation/DRR Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature “According to the farmers, rubber plantations offer a flexible alternative to cultivation and a supplementary income source because their productivity is less affected by drought than is cropping. In addition, rubber trees can be tapped at any time and the harvested latex stored, allowing farmers to wait for good times to sell (prompted by urgent need or high prices).” “Rubber plantations were the most profitable land use, whose latex collection was worth 375 USD/ha/y.”
    Freshwater flooding  Mixed results Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Negative effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Flooding: Net mixed effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect perceived effects of land-use change based on focus group discussions “more severe floods when heavy rain”  Negative effect
    Drought  Positive Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Negative effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Flooding: Net mixed effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect perceived effects of land-use change based on focus group discussions “more severe floods when heavy rain”  Negative effect
    Reduced water availability  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Negative effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Flooding: Net mixed effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect perceived effects of land-use change based on focus group discussions “more severe floods when heavy rain”  Negative effect
    Reduced water quality  Negative Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Negative effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Flooding: Net mixed effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect perceived effects of land-use change based on focus group discussions “more severe floods when heavy rain”  Negative effect
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Study site (L2) in West Kalimantan province

  • Country: Indonesia
  • Habitat/Biome type: Created forest |
  • Issue specific term: Ecosystem-based adaptation

Evidence

  • Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness determined by comparing outcome measures to the previous land-use to the current land-use (the intervention) therefore before-after method (no control)
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Another NbS
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: Yes
  • Impacts on GHG: Negative
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: Please select
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Negative
  • Ecosystem measures: Mean tree species richness per land-use type (based on tree inventories) compared to previous land use
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
  • Impacts for people: Mixed
  • People measures: same as climate impacts b/c direct associated with local community costs/benefits *** "Water availability + water quality (measures and outcomes same for both): Stated satisfaction (low–high) of local people with clean water availability (quantity and quality) for 1994, 2004, and 2014. Data sources: Key informant structured interviews  Negative effect Drought: Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect Flooding: Net mixed effect Estimated economic value of harvested forest products per land-use type (i.e. actual land use for cash or subsistence per year). Data sources: Key informant structured interviews, Secondary literature  Positive effect perceived effects of land-use change based on focus group discussions “more severe floods when heavy rain”  Negative effect"
  • Considers economic costs: Yes
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Mixed qualitative/quantitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic: