Sharing the responsibilities and cost–benefits of community-based fire prevention and peatland restoration


To encourage active participation and changes in community behavior, the CIFOR PAR CBFPR Team hosted focus group discussions (FGDs) to prepare for the sharing of responsibilities and cost–benefits. The FGDs were held in the office of the Dompas village government on 18 and 20 November 2018. We started the discussion by identifying potential problems that may arise during the management of action arenas. We identified four groups of problems: technical skills (cultivation skills), biophysical conditions, social factors and financial impediments. For example, in the financial context, the villagers have limited capital, difficulties in marketing their products and they lack knowledge in financial management. Lack of transparency and a level of unfairness in profit sharing are also found be common problems they face, which hinders the sustainability of production. These problems then be analyzed and formulated by the experts and communities into objectives as follows: technical skills, biophysical conditions, social factors and financial objectives. Then, we used the objectives to help identify the stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities to help in achieving the objectives.

We identified stakeholders as follows: government, land managers, land owners, Fire Care Community and CSOs (CIFOR and University of Riau), all of whom are involved in the PAR CBFPR project. The government is defined as the local government, which plays an important role in mediating in the case of conflict and helping to monitor the implementation and continuation of the project. The land managers consist of local community and community-based organizations that manage the action arena. They are expected to carry out duties in managing the action arena, from planning the activities to their implementation. The land owners support the PAR CBFPR project by allocating a portion of their land to be managed as an action arena and committing to support the continuation of the project. The Fire Care Community will help to prevent forest and land fire occurrence. Lastly, CIFOR and the University of Riau will facilitate, assist, monitor and evaluate the project.

Implementation of the aforementioned tasks, roles, responsibilities and plan, have cost and benefit implications, for example, operational costs to support the activities and monetary benefits from selling the harvested products and/or services. We facilitated the community to formulate a cost–benefit sharing mechanism. In general, the cost–benefit sharing mechanism is described as follows: CIFOR in partnership with University of Riau will support the activities (e.g. planting, etc.), construct the facilities for restoration (e.g. canal blocking), cover partial working wage costs and facilitate the process. The land owners provide the land and will receive 20% of profit sharing in return. The land users will contribute by allocating their working time and receive 70% of the profit. Lastly, the Fire Care Community will help with patrols, fire prevention and suppression. The Fire Care Community will gain 10% of profit to help cover its operational costs. For private land owned by farming families (Action Arenas 4, 5, 6 and 7), the benefit will be managed internally by the land managers.