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Forests for the people, indigenous communities (Masyarakat Adat) or cooperatives? Plural perspectives in the policy debate or community forestry in Indonesia

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 12:07 PM
Contributors: Jeffrey Y. Campbell

KEYWORD: Community-based Natural Forest Management, Asia. Asia, Indonesia, community forestry, forest enterprises, industrial forestry, decentralization, forest concession, institutions, laws, NGO, policy, customary rules, indigenous land, book chapter, case study. SUMMARY: This book chapter highlights the current debate over the future of Indonesia' s forests. The national government of Indonesia controls over 70% of Indonesia' s land. Over a third of this area is classified as production forest. Utilization rights to over 90% of production forests were ceded to private industries with the backing of district, provincial government and the military. Forests rich in biodiversity were established as protected areas with accompanying restrictions on access and use. These forest-zoning policies transferred forest rights from the poor to a small urban elite and effectively marginalized communities. The fall of Soeharto has provided the opportunity to address forest policy reform, which currently focuses upon three issues: (1) rights and access, (2) distribution of resources, and (3) regulation and management. Two competing arguments dominate the policy debate: the first calls for the recognition and return to customary rights over forests as a necessary precondition to reform. The second calls for a redistribution of access to forest resources and income from forests as a means to re-orient the economy away from monopoly control of a small elite. A new government community forestry program (HKM) for communities has been initiated, which awards usufruct rights to communities in forest areas where timber concessions have expired or been cancelled. Multi-stakeholder working groups are being established at the national and provincial levels to guide an adaptive process of working together on pilot HKM sites. The author recommends the following to ensure the success of the HKM initiative: Informing communities of management options available under new laws and regulations; Setting clear and flexible guidelines for field-level forestry staff and community members; Providing community based institutions adequate authority, time and trust to build on traditional decision making systems and management practices; Supporting NGO efforts to strengthen community institutions for management, monitoring, and development; Promoting marketing and value-added processing for forest-based enterprises.

Publication Date: 1999

Author(s): Jeffrey Y. Campbell

Download file: CIFOR Indo Ch5.pdf — PDF document, 264 kB (270900 bytes)

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