About

PUAF 689I: Social-Ecological Systems, Environmental Policy, and Sustainable Development in Indonesia, 2014. 

Professor and Director: Tom Hilde. Assistant Directors: Lindsay Ahlman and Matt Regan. University of Maryland School of Public Policy.

The winter-session Indonesia program is a graduate-level environmental and international development policy course. In this course, students focus on the complex systemic interconnections of decentralization policy; poverty reduction; environmentally destructive agricultural and extractive industry practices, particularly those leading to deforestation; governance and implementation of new environmental policies; Indonesia’s role in climate change (emissions due particularly to deforestation and burning) and the mitigation and adaptation policies Indonesia seeks to formulate and implement. A central assumption of the course is that it is necessary to think systemically about the problems we’re trying to resolve. That is, complexity is a feature of environmental-development problems such that it’s no longer possible to address one problem (e.g. deforestation) without addressing others (e.g. decentralization / transmigration, climate change mitigation, etc.). Conventional institutional arrangements, practices, and policies can be constraining and can present obstacles towards fresh thinking about how to develop more just, democratic, and environmentally sound policies. We consider the Balinese subak system and Acehnese Panglima Laot marine management system as indigenous complex adaptive systems that provide alternative concepts, norms, and practices for rethinking sustainable development institutions.

The course runs for three weeks and centers on three main destinations: Bali, North Sumatra/Aceh, and West Java.

We hike in the stunning Gunung Leuser rainforest of Sumatra, enjoy the biodiverse coral reefs of Pulau Weh off the coast of Aceh, visit the temples of Bali, navigate Jakarta, and engage in discussions with researchers and officials at CIFOR, the National Council on Climate Change (DNPI), AMAN (indigenous peoples’ organization), WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia), Sawit Watch, the Orangutan Health Project, the Ford Foundation, the Bogor Institute of AgricultureBirdlife International Indonesia, the Green School in Bali, Udayana University, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the Ministry of Finance, the Presidential Working Unit for Supervision and Management of Development (UKP4), and the office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, among others.

We’ll be posting in a couple of weeks from Indonesia.

All Rights Reserved by the authors of posts and photographs in this blog.

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