Social expectations & issues: Central Kalimantan REDD+ project had to offer "dowry" to develop 1 hectare of cash crops per family

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4 December 2014: Central Kalimantan REDD+ project had to offer "dowry" to develop 1 hectare of cash crops per family

REDD+ on the ground: For one initiative in Indonesia, politics in the peatlands; 3 Dec 2014 BY Kate Evans; BOGOR, Indonesia—It’s a cautionary tale.... The experience of a highly politicized carbon emissions reduction initiative in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province is a lesson in the importance of such projects communicating with the outside world, according to a new study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).... Thousands of kilometers of canals were carved into the peatlands to drain them for what was to be the “million-hectare rice project.”...This is where KFCP was established in 2010, on 120,000 hectares between the Kapuas and Mentangai rivers....The Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership (KFCP)—a joint initiative of the Australian and Indonesian governments—aimed to demonstrate an effective, equitable approach to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in Indonesia’s largest expanse of degraded peatlands.... “In each village, it was a huge long process of negotiation,” Atmadja said. “It wasn’t just KFCP telling people what to do and then they did it—it never happens like that—communities would just reject them if they did that.”..... “Those things don’t get expressed in carbon reduced. But they are necessary for building the capacity of this community so that when REDD+ comes, people are used to this kind of negotiation.” One thing local people fought for was support for rubber cultivation and agroforestry for each household—something KFCP did not plan to provide... “KFCP wanted to improve livelihoods, but giving each household money and seedlings to plant one hectare of their own land with rubber, fruit trees or vegetables was really out of the original scope,” Atmadja said. “But local people wanted it,” she said. “And in some villages they were saying, ‘Look, this is what you call a dowry. If you don’t pay it, we don’t get married.’ ”In the end, KFCP adjusted their plans to accommodate them, Atmadja said..... This has cost implications. KFCP had a huge budget compared with many REDD+ initiatives, so was in a position to pay—but the price of local buy-in has implications for the long-term sustainability of such initiatives. Providing a “dowry” requires that proponents allow enough time for negotiation, Atmadja says, and they need significant start-up funding as well as ongoing funding—something that, in the absence of a global agreement on REDD+, is hard to secure.“KFCP’s budget was huge: $37 million for four years. … The economics may not work for other REDD+ initiatives,” she said...."