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Can traditional forest management protect and conserve ironwood (ulin) stands? An option and approach in East Kalimantan

Promotores: G.A. Persoon, H.H. de Iongh

Tien Wahyuni
10 November 2011
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Commercial demand is the driving force behind the destruction of ironwood, locally called ulin (Eusideroxylon zwageri Teijsm. and Binn.) in Kalimantan, Indonesia. This tree species is perceived as a ‘people’s species’ or a ‘species reserved’ for local use in the village subsistence systems. However, the ironwood is threatened by overharvesting for commercial trade. The global demand for ironwood products is met with timber originating from the old-growth forests of Kalimantan through the clear-cutting of conversion forest in combination with illegal cutting from different status forests.

Traditional forest management systems for a certain tree species, however, are not recognized. Forest islands, or simpukng, are created to protect tree stands or tree reserves, where clusters of trees are found. The simpukng also functions as an in situ conservation area for ironwood and other plants. From a land use system perspective, the simpukng and alas tuo systems offer an interesting challenge for ironwood conservation.

This book provides an analysis of the external factors that contribute to the degradation of ironwood stands and investigates the potential of traditional forest management to counter-balance these factors. It also provides important insights into and addresses recent issues in this area. In addition, it formulates recommendations for a set of integrated policies in relation to the exploitation of forest timber, to support the sustainable management of ironwood and its cultural role in the life of local people in the research areas.

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