Perception and Evaluation of Land Management Strategies in Borneo for Novelty and Sustainability
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines subsistence production and state-level government forestry land management strategies as practiced in Sarawak, Malaysia. Subsistence farmers in Rumah Siba Perdu and Sarawak Forestry officials practice different land management strategies, some of which promote novel courses of ecosystem development. Recognizing that there can be notable human impact potential on even lightly-managed tropical forests, the presented research includes interviews and surveys meant to ascertain the importance and impacts of current management. Strategies examined include diverse types of farming such as rice, manioc, peppercorn, and latex, combined rice-manioc-latex production, combined peppercorn-manioc-latex production, combined potential production for all studied species, and Sarawak Forestry-based forest conservation management. Interviews indicated that forestry officials hold strong opinions that farmers often overlook long-term ecosystem integrity and production stability while pursuing short-term economic gains. In contrast, farmers in Rumah Siba recognize the need for conservation, expressing concern regarding poaching and overuse of communal lands. This thesis proposes integrating alternative forest crops into subsistence management strategies to address potential impacts of more intensive management practices. Two agroforested species, sago and breadfruit, are presented as examples to inform mixed-use management approaches in order to rebuild ecosystem structure and restore services provided historically by forests. In addition, emergy analysis compared and analyzed sustainability of these ten strategies. Fraction Renewable ranged from 0.77 to 0.98 across all strategies, indicating high proportions of renewable energy driving management strategies. Emergy Yield Ratio (EYR) values ranged from 4.42 to 13.34 for current production and from 35.12 to 65.14 for potential strategies. When compared to an EYR of 24.19 for protected areas, this indicates effectiveness in utilizing purchased investments. Environmental Loading Ratio (ELR) values ranged between 0.09 and 0.30 for current farming practices and between 0.02 and 0.03 for potential strategies. Compared to an ELR of 0.04 for protected areas and near zero values for wilderness, most strategies showed minimal environmental stress despite differing strategy outcomes. Emergy Sustainability Index (ESI) values ranged from 14.84 to 155.49 for current farming practices and from 1143.42 to 3819.05 for potential strategies. ESI indicates that potential strategies have high sustainability when compared to 555.00 for protected areas. EYR, ELR, and ESI values were not dependent on land area utilized, but were dependent on purchased resources and non-renewable portions of labor as management intensity increased within a given strategy. Emergy analysis determined that rice production was the most sustainable current agriculture practice, while breadfruit agroforestry was the most sustainable strategy overall.