1 December, 2014: Gerben Nooteboom (UvA)

Title: Positive consequences of bad policies: Indigenous reforestation in Java.
15:30-17:00h, Room 1.A09, Pieter de la Court building.

About Gerben Nooteboom

Gerben Nooteboom is associate professor at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the University of Amsterdam. He has worked on issues of social security, rural transformation, social change, ethnic violence, child labour, illegality and human adaptation to environmental change. He conducted fieldwork in East Java and East Kalimantan. Currently, most of his research deals with anthropological perspectives on and critiques of development, risk, rural transformation, and social science in Southeast Asia for which he started two research projects on rural change in Central Java.

The process of regreening Java

Despite all the failed Indonesian reforestation policies of the last two decades, a slow process of regreening is coming around. Most of the reforestation takes place on Java and outside of the government owned forest areas or communal forests. Where state programmes for replanting continued to fail, Javanese farmers start to plant trees on their own land which was previously used for food production (such as cassava, maize or groundnut).

A proxy of transformation

It is this paradox, afforestation on farm land in the context of failed governmental tree planting on communal and government land, which will be at the centre of my paper. I strongly believe that the ‘spontaneous’ replanting of trees on (often marginal lands previously used for food production) can be understood as a proxy for important transformations taking place in rural Java (and Southeast Asia).

Research Seminars Fall 2014

Our last research seminar is on 15 December by Don Kalb (Central European University) on neo-nationalism and the return of class as trauma in Europe.