Participatory Land use Allocation Case Study in Besitang Watershed, Langkat, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Villanueva, Teodoro R.
Carandang, Myrna G.
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Indonesia is located in 5,200-km-long chain of some 17,000 islands straddling the equator in the heart of Southeast Asia. Its 220 million people live in a land area of about 188 million Has (ITTO, 2005). Land is becoming scarce so that the more fragile upland areas are looked upon as the last frontier for the expansion of agriculture and other land uses. As a result, numerous problems have now been threatening the ecological stability of the uplands (Cruz, 1990). The increasing human population, the more consequent accelerating demands and intensity of human activities on the land have various degrees of impact on all of the material and natural resources in the world. Human population pressures have accelerated the increases of land value and the diversity of land use. North Sumatra Province has a land area of 71,680 km² or 3.73% of Indonesia’s total area with 17 regencies. It is one of the provinces with big forest land and big palm fruit plantations, spread in several regencies. One of them is the Langkat Regency (626,329 ha) which is located close to Medan (capital of North Sumatra Province). There are six watersheds in Langkat Regency and one of them is Besitang Watershed which is the second biggest watershed after the Wampu Watershed. According to the Ministry of Public Works’ Decree Number 39/PRT/1989 on River Allocation, the rivers in the North Sumatra Province can be grouped into six River Area Units/Satuan Wilayah Sungai (SWS), they are SWS Wampu-Besitang, SWS Belawan-Belumai-Ular, SWS Bah Bolon, SWS Asahan, SWS Barumun Kualuh, and SWS Batang Gadis-Batang Toru. As mentioned in the Decree, Besitang Watershed is located in SWS Wampu-Besitang.