Community-based forestry in Kalimantan: An assessment of authority, policy, and capacity

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With the largest remaining area of forest in Indonesia, the region of Kalimantan claims hundreds of rare and endemic species, numerous forest-dependent communities, as well as rates of deforestation that have risen to among the highest in the world. As such, the region is a crucial area in which to address sustainable forest management. This paper explores the current state and future potential of community-based forestry management (CBFM) in Kalimantan. Specifically, I explored three factors affecting the state of CBFM in the area –decentralization reform (reformasi), national social forestry policy, and capacity-building organizations .

A review of current policy and literature revealed that decentralization and community forestry policies in Indonesia have progressed in terms of granting local governments a greater share of resource revenues and in acknowledging the concept of community participation in resource management. However, the central government has failed to devolve the majority of authority over state lands, which compose the vast majority of Indonesia’s forest resources. Additionally, policies still lack provisions for secure access to and control of resources by local communities. As such, the national community forestry policy cannot truly be labeled a “community-based” program, and must still undergo significant reform in order to successfully integrate with existing, locally-based CBFM programs.

"Capacity-building organizations” help to improve the necessary capacities required by communities to successfully implement CBFM projects. I identified 97 organizations operating in Kalimantan, finding the greatest concentration in the province of West Kalimantan. The most common organizational focus was ‘sustainable development and resource management’ and the most widely practiced activities were advocacy, research, and training – with variations occurring between operational scales. I found a dramatic increase in organization establishment during the last decade, particularly in Kalimantan-based organizations and peaking during years coinciding with initial decentralization reforms. Based on my analysis, I concluded that future efforts by organizations should concentrate on increasing representation in the provinces of East and South Kalimantan, as well as in individual districts across all four provinces; on making the issue of conservation a central focus for a greater number of organizations; and on improving interorganizational communication.





Rosenbarger, Anne (2009). Community-based forestry in Kalimantan: An assessment of authority, policy, and capacity. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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