The hillsThe hills are owned by the king and are to be kept as forest. Up until today the king is respected and the hills are still covered with forest. These forest play an important ecosystem function, namely for water infiltration, making sure that ground water recharges during rains and limits erorsion.
|The forested hills owned by the king|
The up-coming airport and oil industry
In a post from my second last trip i discussed the benefits of having oil companies coming to the area. However, in this trip we came across the downside of it.
|A sign claiming land rights for the local population|
Commercial timber productionForest used to be public goods, and people could make use of them, and therefore overused them. Many grazing land, former forest land, has been given to investors for timber production.
Also, poor people in the area have lost access to their cheap (free) building material as now they have to buy wood from the timber company. This is hampering development of poor household into more intensified pig keeping.
Land use is dynamic, change will happen, and there will be winners and losers. Making our ex-ante environmental assessment model spatially explicit, will allow to identify the winners and the losers, discuss trade offs and hopefully find win-win situation in an area that will inevitably change in the up-coming years.