Managing the Forests with Communities
|Dayak Pitap indigenous community in South Kalimantan are forest dwellers|
The Indonesian government has promoted a variety of forms of community-based forest management as part of their efforts to reform the forestry sector since 1998. However, nearly all of these systems fail to give communities the right to manage their own forests. For example, the state-based forest company, Perhutani, offered a system under the guise of community-based forest management in which local people were simply given access to land between teak plantations to grow seasonal crops. The community was given only a small share of the profits.
Government forest management policy generally treats forests simply as a potential source of cash. WALHI is advocating a forest management system that incorporates all elements of forest eco-systems. This includes old growth forest, secondary re-growth, rivers, lakes, flora and fauna, alongside human aspects – gardens, community fields, sacred forests and villages. The main actors in all decisions about forest management should be the resident community.
Community-based forest management actually formalizes traditional knowledge systems and land management practices which communities have been using for generations. Community-based forest management is not timber-oriented – its focus is generally on non-timber forest products like rattan and tree resins.
Basic principles include:
- Forest is managed by a body that is formed, executed and controlled directly by that local community
- The establishment of a land boundary system that is clearly acknowledged by local indigenous laws.
- Indigenous knowledge forms the base of forest management.
- A tight and direct interaction between the community and the forest
- The prioritization of local technology, or a mandatory adaptation of imported technology for local needs.
- Sustainability principles set the limits for production scales.
- The economic system is based on collective welfare
Using community-based forest management, local biodiversity determines resource usage, and social and economic systems and the eco-system is maintained as an important and integral part of the local community’s living system. [end]
For more information, please contact:
Information and Communications (National Office)
Email Helvi Lystiani
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