Challenges for Indonesia

Challenges for Indonesia

Issues ahead for expanding community forestry in Indonesia

Improve forest enforcement and governance to address illegal logging, the unchecked expansion of palm oil, and other plantation agriculture. Though deforestation rates have fallen in recent years, illegal logging and land conversion still drive the deforestation of 685,000 hectares per year. This development often comes at the expense of communities living on the land.

Further clarify the status of indigenous people and tribal communities in managing forests and respecting local customs. Even where state policies and international agreements support local rights, state officials often support concessionaires at the expense of local rights. This occurs in part because of the ambiguities in community rights that still exist in policies and laws. Tensions between customary and statutory claims still lead to widespread conflicts between communities, state actors, and companies.


Accelerate the expansion of social and community forestry. Though policy now supports decentralized forest management, less than 0.22% of forestland is under community management as of 2010.

Make the process of obtaining a community or village forest less technical and less complex. Models are relatively new and very complicated. The country must make the process less complex and support long-term education initiatives at the community level.

Support coordination between different sectors. Expansion of a social forestry agenda will require establishing more dialogue between agencies. Currently, different models of social forestry are supported by different sectors. For instance, while the Directorate General of Forestry Production supports timber production through community-based timber estates, the Directorate General of Land Rehabilitation and Social Forestry supports forest rehabilitation through community forestry.