Marthen Duma, a beneficiary of the AF-funded project in Indonesia is checking his plants in the forest. The project is supporting the country’s social forestry scheme that allows farmers to cultivate forest land sustainably to enhance food security. (Photo by Kemitraan)

[Project Story] Adaptation Fund in Indonesia

Haji Landing is a farmer in Bababinanga Village of Pinrang District, Indonesia. He once owned a 10 hectare fishpond. Since 2019, however, the fishpond area has shrunk to just one hectare. The flash floods and soil erosion that occurred in 2010 in the area ruined most of the fishponds at the mouth of the Saddang River, including Landing’s.

Landing could not produce any crops of fish and shrimp seeds for years. In his 30 years of fishpond cultivation, this was the biggest loss he had ever experienced. “All the fish will be lost to the currents and crop failure is a certainty,” he said.

The Saddang Watershed flows into four districts in South Sulawesi Province (Tana Toraja Regency, North Toraja Regency, Enrekang Regency and Pinrang District), which makes it the second largest watershed in South Sulawesi. Almost 1 million people who are mostly farmers and fishermen depend on the available resources of the Saddang Watershed ecosystem. Data show, however, that 93% of villages in the Saddang Watershed are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly in terms of food security due to reduced food production and plantations, as well as crop failure affected by floods and drought. These disasters have resulted in about a 66% decrease in food productivity of the commodities of rice crops, according to the result of a socio-ecology survey on the identification of Disaster Risk in the Saddang Watershed.

Enhancing food security became one of the key objectives of Indonesia’s 2014 Climate Change Adaptation National Action Plan (RAN – API) and the government has been working on building resilience by implementing adaptive technologies to farming systems ever since.

In 2022, the Community Adaptation for Forest-Food Based Management in Saddang Watershed Ecosystem project was launched with a grant by the Adaptation Fund to increase resilience to climate change impacts, both in food security and food diversification. The project is implemented by KEMITRAAN – the Partnership for Governance Reform in Indonesia, the Fund’s accredited national implementing entity in the country, — and carried out by the Climate Change and Environment Adaptation Consortium (KAPABEL), a local executing entity, targeting 15 villages.

“The project is focused on the development of forest food and food diversification by utilizing a social forestry scheme to ensure sustainable forest management in the upper watershed,” said Much Ichwan, Director of KAPABEL.

The project also aims to improve coastal governance and coastal carrying capacity (fish species size) in downstream areas of the Saddang watershed through mangrove forest rehabilitation, creative industry development, and strengthening opportunities for local women and vulnerable groups.

Read the full story here.