Review: Biodiversity conservation strategy in a native perspective; case study of shifting cultivation at the Dayaks of Kalimantan

AHMAD DWI SETYAWAN

Abstract. Setyawan AD. 2010. Biodiversity conservation strategy in a native perspective; case study of shifting cultivation at the Dayaks of Kalimantan. Nusantara Bioscience 2: 97-108. Native tribes generally are original conservationists; they build genuine conservation strategy of natural resources and environment for sustainable living. Dayak is a native tribe of Kalimantan that has been living for thousands of years; they use shifting cultivation to manage the communal forest lands due to Kalimantan’s poor soil of minerals and nutrients, where the presence of phosphorus becomes a limiting factor for crops cultivation. In tropical forests, phosphorus mostly stored in the trees, so to remove it, the forest burning is carried out. Nutrients released into the soil can be used for upland rice (gogo) cultivation, until depleted; after that, cultivators need to open a forest, while the old land was abandoned (fallow) until it becomes forest again (for 20-25 years). The consecutive land clearing causes the formation of mosaics land with different succession ages and diverse biodiversity. This process is often combined with agroforestry systems (multicultural forest gardens), where the will-beabandoned fields are planted with a variety of useful trees that can be integrated in forest ecosystems, especially rubber and fruits. These systems of shifting cultivation are often blamed as the main factor of forest degradation and fires, but in the last 300 years, this system has little impact on forest degradation. But, this is relatively low in productivity and subsistent, so it is not suitable for the modern agriculture which demands high productivity and measurable, mass and continuous yield, as well as related to the market. The increased population and industrial development of forestry, plantation, mining, etc. make the communal forest become narrower, so the fallow periods are shortened (5-15 years) and the lands are degraded into grasslands. In the future, shifting cultivation remains one of the Dayaks option to meet the needs of rice, but agroforestry should be developed because of its higher economic value.
Key word: shifting cultivation, agroforestry, Dayak, Kalimantan, conservation, biodiversity.

Abstrak. Setyawan AD. 2010. Review: Strategi konservasi biodiversitas dalam pandangan suku asli; studi kasus perladangan berpindah Suku Dayak di Kalimantan. Nusantara Bioscience 1: 97-108. Suku asli umumnya konservasionis sejati, mereka membangun strategi konservasi sumberdaya alam hayati dan lingkungan yang berkelanjutan. Dayak adalah suku asli Kalimantan yang telah tinggal selama ribuan tahun dan menggunakan sistem perladangan berpindah untuk mengelola hutan ulayat, karena tanah Kalimantan miskin hara mineral, dimana keberadaan fosfor menjadi faktor pembatas budidaya tanaman pangan. Di hutan tropis, kandungan terbesar fosfor tersimpan dalam pepohonan, sehingga untuk melepaskannya dilakukan pembakaran hutan. Hara yang terlepas ke dalam tanah dapat digunakan untuk bertanam padi gogo, hingga terserap habis, lalu peladang membuka hutan baru, sedangkan lahan lama ditinggalkan (bera) agar menjadi hutan kembali (selama 20-25 tahun). Pembukaan lahan yang berurutan, menyebabkan terbentuknya mosaik-mosaik lahan dengan umur suksesi dan keanekaragaman hayati beragam. Proses ini seringkali digabungkan dengan sistem agroforestri (kebun hutan multikultur), dimana ladang yang hendak ditinggalkan ditanami berbagai pohon berguna yang dapat terintegrasi pada ekosistem hutan, terutama karet dan buah-buahan. Sistem perladangan berpindah sering dikambinghitamkan sebagai faktor utama degradasi dan kebakaran hutan, namun dalam 300 tahun terakhir sistem ini berdampak kecil pada kerusakan hutan. Namun, produktivitas sistem ini relatif rendah dan subsisten, sehingga tidak sesuai dengan pertanian modern dimana produktivitas harus tinggi, hasil panen harus terukur, masal dan kontinyu, serta terkait dengan pasar. Peningkatan penduduk dan perkembangan industri kehutanan, perkebunan, pertambangan, dan lain-lain telah mempersempit luasan hutan ulayat untuk perladangan berpindah, sehingga masa bera diperpendek (5- 15 tahun) dan lahan terdegradasi menjadi padang alang-alang. Di masa depan, perladangan berpindah tetap menjadi salah satu pilihan suku Dayak untuk memenuhi kebutuhan padi, namun agroforestri perlu dikembangkan karena bernilai ekonomi lebih tinggi.
Kata kunci: perladangan berpindah, agroforestri, Dayak, Kalimantan, konservasi, keanekaragaman hayati.

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