In recent years, the development of large-scale agriculture in landscapes has increased pressure on available land and water resources. The impacts from irresponsible land development are aggravated by the effects of climate change and non-sustainable agricultural practices.
The Earthqualizer landscape team partners with local governments, NGOs, and growers to create sustainable and community-centric solutions to the issue of landscape management.
We strongly believe in the collaborative potential of the private sector, communities, and (local and regional) government. This is why, we design and implement programs based around a co-management approach, to deliver greater social, economic, and environmental values within a landscape.
In practice, this collaboration is channeled into three major areas where we can make a difference to environmental and social conditions:
Social Forestry Scheme
Community Business Unit
We actively support the local government in developing spatial plans that balance private and public interests, while also implementing the Government of Indonesia’s initiatives to give communities more secure access to lands, such as Social Forestry (PS) and Agrarian Reform (TORA) programs. We facilitate the community in developing the potential of existing commodities by encouraging community business groups and collaborating with the private sector to gain market access opportunities. We also support initiatives through technical assessment (HCV - HCS Mosaics), along with wildlife corridor design and management.
The landscape approach combines tradeoffs between spatial planning and natural resource management, while also taking into account local livelihoods. By using this approach, we seek to create landscapes capable of sustainable development that benefits local communities, in addition to the public and private sectors.
Sustainable development is inseparable from the role of various stakeholders in a landscape, who often maintain a range of interests. Our work focuses on connecting buyers, companies, and communities which facilitates the protection of existing ecosystems, restoration of ecosystem services, a reduction in social exploitation, and the development of sustainable commodities in a collaborative landscape.
Characteristics of land use can be a major determinant of landscape change dynamics. The oil palm industry is one of the drivers for significant landscape change in Asian countries such as Indonesia. Economic and business aspects of land use in tropical forest areas were dominant and driven by the need for development, particularly in Indonesia.
Currently, the need for sustainable business continues to be echoed by parties in the international world, especially in the palm oil sector. It also concerns all parties engaged in this industry. We will continue to drive the transformation towards responsible land use and to encourage industry players' compliance. The compliance involves a commitment to international market demand as well as the support of local communities' needs and existing biodiversity. Those two elements are the initial milestones for the industry transformation in line with the needs of the natural environment.
Based on our analysis in several priority intervention districts, many companies do not yet have land/land use rights which resulted in a shortage of state revenue from Land and Building Tax (PBB) in the plantation sector.
This situation is due to weaknesses in control and supervision as well as non-compliance of oil palm plantation business actors with statutory regulations. We see this problem as an opportunity to grow state and regional revenue from the plantation sector, by taking the following steps:
Prepare a spatial analysis of embedded oil palm with potential tax revenues, such as the potential for BPHTB and land and building taxes; Developing an integration system for palm oil data with taxation data;
Develop a vision and agenda together with local governments to evaluate and synchronize the data and encourage business actor compliance with applicable regulations as well as the commitment of NDPE policies.
We combine theoretical know-how with a hands-on, result-oriented approach. Together with our partners, we can help develop projects that produce concrete results. We take two pathways towards more sustainable landscape management:
The in-situ approach supports CSR efforts for social forestry in plantation areas. This approach is most cost-effective because the company is the primary implementing party.
The ex-situ approach invites a company to sponsor our SFS team to support social forestry in other locations. This hands-off approach allows for greater flexibility in the strategic identification of sites.
The problem of the community's inability to access land legally results in a lack of facilities for sufficient economy and good agricultural management. In addition, the illegal status of the temporarily controlled land within forest areas also results in low support for outsiders to provide adequate assistance, because it is not in line with forest regulations. Another impact is illegal logging, illegal hunting, land forest fires, and forest destruction practices due to the lack of knowledge and awareness of the community in environmental management, which indirectly become a threat to the security of community assets due to the impacts such as forest fires and land draining.
In 2018 - 2020 we were involved in a national program to facilitate communities gaining access to forests around villages. Access to social forestry management is encouraged through support for a landscape approach by involving the interests of parties, especially companies that are committed to supporting the acceleration of legalization and the active role of the community in managing state forest areas. support in building social forestry programs includes
Research and Education
The Co-Management Approach is the goal of Earthqualizer to drive liability settlement and a sustainable program that can be realized with a commitment of ± 30 years.
Apart from connecting wildlife with their habitats, wildlife corridors also facilitate animal migration and interbreeding.
We encourage the commitment of our partners to restore existing forest areas and watersheds for the preservation of the natural environment and surrounding communities.
We conduct comprehensive research at the landscape level by involving partners and experts to obtain valid data sources and reliable, detailed results. We also provide capacity building for the parties involved, especially the community, to be able to carry out the best natural resource management practices.
We support the development of social forestry and the development of business units by facilitating the provision of facilities and infrastructure as needed. Support is given especially to village forest management institutions so that they can operate optimally. We provide appropriate technical support to build business units based on existing potential commodities that have begun to be developed.
Through a combination of funding, expertise, and access to resources, Earthqualizer is helping smallholders to comply with legal and sustainability requirements. We work with smallholders at the village level, making use of existing local government structures.
In addition to palm oil, we also help villagers to diversify their income through other products and commodities. Data collection is in the needs planning stage with further mapping of potentials and opportunities.
To develop an environmentally friendly business model, we combine economic development and conservation to provide benefits to the vulnerable communities in villages. We collaborate with other parties to improve entrepreneurial skills in developing commodities, forest utilization, and product diversification. The scope of building a business includes:
Marketing and Trading
The cultivation of natural commodities can directly provide opportunities for forest communities to increase sources of income and indirectly provide opportunities to expand employment opportunities.
We encourage commodity diversification in each village by encouraging local and regional market access, developing innovations in the use of biodegradable packaging for product packaging, the first step from our assisted communities in each intervention landscape, we are concerned about efforts to use natural and environmentally friendly resources.
Marketing opportunities for products must reach consumers in the future, which can be done by creating their own market access mechanisms or following existing market networks. We encourage private parties who have experience in business and marketing development to be involved, both providing understanding to community business groups and helping to gain access to markets.
Building market confidence to use the products that have been produced is necessary for long-term business sustainability. A product traceability system for the origin of raw materials needs to be built not only at the level of production volume but at the production process by considering social and ecological aspects. We encourage transparency from traceability to create consumer confidence in the products they consume.
Our partners and stakeholders play an essential role in landscape recovery. Only by approaching the issue from multiple perspectives, leveraging resources, and tapping into the local experience can we hope to make a lasting difference.
Implementation of recovery plan in partnership with stakeholders
Investment in finance, technology, and marketing, locally and internationally
Implementation of NDPE reflected at plantation
Catalysation collaborating between stakeholders
Provide push for government to regulate sustainability aspectes in the palm oil sector
Marketing of Recovery Plan and creating positive stories
Development of enabling regulations and policies, including endorce implementation of policies
Collaborating with parties, we support sustainable landscape management by implementing the Production-Protection-Inclusion (PPI) scheme in the following landscapes:
We are targeting opportunities in developing landscape approach programs with ecological and economic recovery models, and have identified several potential interventions based on:
Potential areas for social forestry
Extent of private sector recovery obligations
The company's commitment to building collaboration and supporting the sustainable business sector
Positive commitment from local stakeholders
The willingness and willingness of the community to build change.
Market access opportunities in commodities.
Replication or scale up of existing programs can be applied with a communication and engagement process and mapping the roles of stakeholders in the landscape.
Working in partnership with companies and donors, Earthqualizer is supporting communities in various landscapes through recovery programs that combine:
Social forestry support
Reforestation and peat rewetting
Through collaborative action, our aim is to achieve forest management rights for local people, balancing environmental protection with social justice. We ultimately want a fairer, more sustainable deal for people and nature. Here’s a closer look at some success stories so far: