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PLCY689I Social-Ecological Systems, Environmental Policy, and Sustainable Development in Indonesia
3 Credit(s)

As a matter of national policy, resource-rich Indonesia aspires to self-reliant, just and democratic, and peaceful and united development consistent with a green, low-carbon pathway. This field course examines the complex, systemic interconnections between Indonesia’s environmental challenges and development strategies with a focus on the interface between local governance systems and global policies, especially in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss. Understanding that most such challenges involve multiple stakeholders, including the historically marginalized, we study how issues such as land-use change and marine management are mitigated or exacerbated by national and global government policies and where local efforts may better inform policy, paying special attention to indigenous community systems and what they can teach us about sustainable development, human security, and adaptation to environmental change. Visiting several islands of the Indonesian archipelago – Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Java – the course explores: indigenous systems of environmental management and knowledge such as the complex adaptive subak system of rice terraces, irrigation, and water temples in Bali; tropical forest conservation and land use change and their place in climate efforts, including issues of deforestation and the expansion of oil palm plantations, peatland burning, wildlife conservation, and policy responses such as REDD+; and coral reef systems, local fishing practices, and marine protected areas. In the Jakarta area, we meet with leading government officials, researchers, and NGOs to discuss Indonesian and global policy on climate change; land use, forests, and agricultural policy; and social and economic development in the country.

Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Thomas C. Hilde