Towards more effective landscape governance for sustainability: the case of RIMBA corridor, Central Sumatra, Indonesia

Barano Siswa Sulistyawan*, Clément Feger, Emily McKenzie, Louise A. Gallagher, Pita A. Verweij, René Verburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Over the last two decades, sustainable landscape approaches are increasingly being adopted worldwide. An important challenge for these approaches is to analyse and improve governance systems that promote non-conflicting land uses to provide multiple ecosystem services and safeguard biodiversity for diverse social groups over the long term. Our study provides a diagnostic of the gaps and limitations of the current institutional arrangements of an ecosystem corridor in Central Sumatra covering Riau, Jambi and West Sumatera, known as the RIMBA corridor landscape. We identify actions that stakeholders think should be taken to improve the governance of the RIMBA corridor to achieve sustainable landscape goals. We used a combination of methods, including (1) Focus Group Discussions with key stakeholders of the RIMBA programme; (2) the use of a “context diagnostic approach for conservation” to analyse the results of the Focus Group Discussions; (3) a survey on formal institution design for coordination and management of the RIMBA corridor. We found that although transformational dynamics have already been initiated at the local, provincial and national levels through a pilot project, new regulations and institutional changes, many obstacles to effective governance of the RIMBA landscape still remain. Our study points at the need for a new institution to enable cooperation for green economy policy objectives established through a Presidential Decree to achieve the required institutional innovations at the scales required. Our experimental diagnostic approach can be applied in other settings in Indonesia and elsewhere to analyse and improve the effectiveness of governance for the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services at landscape scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485–1502
JournalSustainability Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Biodiversity
  • Ecosystem services
  • Governance
  • Institutions
  • Landscape
  • Sustainability


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