Natural Resource Management and its Impact on Women’s Life in Solok Selatan
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Fact Sheet / Publication
Solok Selatan District consists of 7 subdistricts with varied topography, ranging from undulating valley to hilly areas as part of Bukit Barisan. As much as 60% of Solok Selatan’s total area lies in the slope gradient of more than 40%. Solok Selatan is also the home of 13 watersheds, making it one among the four districts that are located in the upstream area of Batang Hari river.
Most of Solok Selatan’s areas is constituted of forest area which makes up 72,70% of its total area. The rest of Solok Selatan’s area is formed of rice fields, plantations, and residential areas. Its protected forest is as much as 83.404 hectares, or 23% of the total area of Solok. From 2010 to 2014, Global Forest Watch (GFW) recorded tree cover loss in Solok Selatan’s protected forest. This condition is described by GFW as fluctuating in trend but is likely to increase every year.
Pauh Duo is a subdistrict located at the end of the upstream area and is one of the three subdistricts to indicate growth point in terms of education, health, trade, and tourism. The subdistrict is also the centre for food production in the area. With four nagari (villages) within its boundary, Nagari Alam Pauh Duo is the largest nagari in Pauh Duo district. It is Pauh Duo’s large area that leads to its greater growth point concentration.
In practice, the utilisation of natural resources by women are often overlooked and not calculated, while in reality, women work to meet their everyday’s needs (food and water) and to gain economic gains.
In the natural resource management scheme, women play an important role in farming and non-timber forest products management. With the majority of women working as farmers, both as farm workers and land owners, they contribute to the preparation of land, stocking of seedlings, controling of fertilisers and pests, and marketing of products among their relatives as well as in the market. Also, in the management of non-timber forest products, women are involved in the cultivation of herbs and spices such as cinnamon and gambir, a typical commodity of Nagari Alam Pauh Duo. People in the area also grow orange trees.
The fact that women participate in natural resource management neccessitates acknowledgement and consideration of their contribution. This should be translated into efforts to fulfil women’s social needs in terms of their rights to land and other assets, women’s right to equal education, and acknowledgement of their productive work as well as their domestic work.