First come, first served? The partial devolution of forest management promotes rights competition--from the application process for hutan desa, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Cet article explore la concurrence sur les droits a la terre se jouant dans le processus d'une application de reconnaissance formelle de la hutan desa (foret de village); une nouvelle forme de gestion communautaire en Indonesie. Malgre ses origines dans les droits communautaires, le processus de reconnaissance de la hutan desa cree une situation << premier arrive, premier servi >> dans laquelle le premier postulant pour une zone de foret en devient le detenteur de droit foncier, ce qui n'est pas forcement fonde sur leurs droits legitimes a la zone forestiere. Cette etude-cas d'une communaute Dayak Modang dans le Kalimantan de l'est, offre une lecon pour la mise en application de la foresterie communautaire en Indonesie. Il souligne la necessite d'ajuster l'equilibre de pouvoir entre les acteurs impliques dans le processus de securiser une hutan desa. Ces acteurs proviennent des communautes locales, de compagnies et de divers niveaux gouvernementaux. Les regles mettant en application les hutan desa doivent prendre en consideration le pouvoir inegal existant entre les acteurs. Un processus plus adaptable requerant les parties reconnues comme co-gestionnaires est necessaire pour parvenir a un resultat equitable pour les communautes locales.
Quien la pide primero es quien se la queda? la devolucion parcial de la gestion forestal promueve la competencia por los derechos--del proceso de solicitud de hutan desa en Kalimantan Oriental (Indonesia)
Este articulo explora la competencia por los derechos sobre la tierra que tiene lugar durante el proceso de solicitud del reconocimiento formal de hutan desa (bosque de aldea): una nueva forma de gestion forestal comunitaria en Indonesia. A pesar de sus origenes de derechos comunitarios, el proceso de reconocimiento de hutan desa crea una situacion de "quien la pide primero es quien se la queda", en la que la persona que solicita primero un area de bosque se convierte en la propietaria del uso de la tierra, aunque no este basado en derechos legitimos sobre ese area forestal. Este estudio de caso de una comunidad de Dayak Modang en Kalimantan Oriental ofrece una leccion para la implementacion de la silvicultura comunitaria en Indonesia. En el se resalta la necesidad de ajustar los desequilibrios de poder entre los actores (dentro de y entre: comunidades locales, empresas y diversos niveles de gobierno) involucrados en el proceso de registro de un hutan desa. La regulacion que implementa los hutan desa debe tener en cuenta el poder desigual entre los actores, por lo que se necesita un proceso mas adaptativo con las partes solicitantes, reconocidas como partes de la cogestion, para lograr un resultado justo para las comunidades locales.
From decentralization to building adaptive processes into community forest management implementation
Forest tenure reform advanced rapidly following decentralisation in Indonesia, prioritising both indigenous rights and biodiversity (Barry et al. 2010). The growing body of literature on forest management indicates that where power over forest management is localised, resource use is more effective, and deforestation is reduced (e.g., Porter-Bolland et al. 2012, Tole 2010; summarised concisely in Larson et al. 2010). In response, Indonesia's forest governance laws set out various regulations for community management schemes (Safitri 2010). The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) categorises the land largely forest area (Kawasan Hutan) and non-forest area, also referred as "area for other land uses" or APL (Areal Penggunaan Lain) (Decree of Minister of Forestry of Indonesia No. P. 50/2009 in Kawai et al. 2017). There are three community forestry (CF) schemes for the state forest area; community forest or hutan kemasyarakatan/HKm; community-based plantation or hutan tanaman rakyat/HTR; and village forest or hutan desa/HD, the newest CF scheme (Sardjono and Imang 2015). These regulations have not resulted in forest tenure reform on the ground; local people's tenure rights remain weakly recognized and legitimized only insecurely (Siscawati et al. 2017). Customary forests (hutan adat) is another form of forest tenure for customary communities, through which communities can have their management practices recognised by the state. (Siscawati et al. 2017). The recognition of customary communities' rights to forests is growing. (Siscawati et al. 2017). However, customary forests are categorised as private forests (hutan hak or hutan rakyat) in accordance with the declaration of Constitutional Court Ruling No. 35/PUU-X/2012 that customary forests are no longer part of the state forest area (Siscawati et al. 2017). Yet despite the growing recognition of community rights over forest, CF schemes in state forest area provide only partial forest management rights, nor do they give land tenure rights to local people (Safitri 2010, Siscawati et al. 2017).
Since president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pledged in 2009 that Indonesia would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 41% from the predicted "business-as usual" rate by year 2020, environmental policies related climate change and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) have become more important in national polices in Indonesia (Afiff 2016:113). After Joko Widodo was elected president in 2014, the Ministry of Forestry (MoF) was reorganized as the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF (1)), a change that brought together authority for environmental and forest related policies into one ministry (Afiff 2016). Under Joko Widodo's administration, the MoEF committed to increasing the area of CF. Outlined in a mid-term strategic plan, the MoEF committed to a target of 12.7 million ha of community-managed forests between 2015 to 2019 (Nomor: P. 11/PSKL--SETDIT/2015). However, as of year 2014 the total area of forest that has already been approved for community forest management with these three schemes is only 1.4 million ha, indicating that greater efforts are needed to achieve the policy target (Nomor: P. 11/PSKL--SETDIT/2015).
This article refers to hutan desa within the three CF schemes in state forest area. As hutan desa regulation is a relatively new CF scheme, the literature dedicated to examining its implementation is embryonic, and largely in relation to its applicability toward implementing REDD+ (2) (Akiefnawati et al. 2010, De Royer et al. 2015, Urano 2013). This article will contribute to the literature on CF policies, and offers recommendations as to how CF regulations--including hutan desa--should be improved to redress power imbalances among the various parties involved in the application process.
Since decentralisation, forest management rights held by the Indonesian government have only been partially transferred to local communities (Safitri 2010). Forest tenure rights, according to Indonesia's regulations, are considered to be "bundles of rights"; that is, different types of property rights over resources consisting of access, withdrawal, management, exclusion and alienation rights (Schlager and Ostrom 1992). Schlager and Ostrom define management as "the right to regulate internal use patterns or transform the resource" (Schlager and Ostrom 1992:251). In order for decentralisation to be efficient, governments need to allow local users and their representatives the rights to manage resources and make decisions about resource use and exclusion (Agrawal and Ostrom 2001). The actual conditions of rights for communities are restricted and local communities are burdened with the responsibility of implementing forest management (Safitri 2010). An example of partial devolution is evident with co-management CF models, which involve both communities and the government (Cronkleton et al. 2012:93). Co-management arrangements considered to be an efficient, adaptive approach in which both parties maintain powers (Borrini-Feyerabend et al. 2007, Carlsson and Berkes 2005). However, an efficient co-management system must facilitate the re-balance of powers through an adaptive process between all requesting parties (Cronkleton et al. 2012).
This article argues the need to adjust powers among requesting parties, but especially in an application process. A number of studies examine issues with Indonesia's regulatory procedures for CF management - a summary of this literature is outlined in the next section. However, these studies have not been examined in depth, despite it being a crucial first step for local communities to obtain management rights (Pulhin et al. 2007). This article contributes to the literature on CF, by offering detailed analysis of the complex process involved in obtaining recognition of community forest management rights. Drawing on the lessons learnt from the request for, approval of, and implementation of a management scheme in the form of hutan desa (village forest) in East Kutai, East Kalimantan, this article argues how Indonesia's CF policies fail to provide the management rights to the local communities who resides in and around these forests.
Why is there a need to adjust power in the CF application process?
This study presents a case study of the hutan desa application process, detailing the various barriers that local communities face in securing their tenure over forests. There is a growing body of literature in every part of world dedicated to understanding the various barriers local communities face when applying for formal recognition for the forest land on which they have customary or other claims (e.g. the case of Philippines is detailed in Pulhin et al. 2007). A summary of this literature observes that the challenges communities face is divided into three broad categories: (1) regulatory procedures; (2) roles among actors; and (3) resources.
The first category, regulatory procedures, has a number of aspects: processes can be delayed (Australia in Lane 2001, Lane 2002, Lane & Corbett 2005, Cameroon in Oyono 2004, Veit 2006, Indonesia in De Royer et al. 2015, Nawir 2013, Obidzinski and Dermawan 2010); complicated procedures (Cameroon in Veit 2006, Indonesia in Dermawan et al. 2006, De Royer et al. 2015, Nawir 2013, Obidzinski and Dermawan 2010, Philippines in Pulhin et al. 2007); the clarification of policy by government is inadequate, for example, lacking sufficient recognition for communities--who often don't have sufficient formal education--to conduct adequate preparations (Australia in Lane 2002, Bhutan in Dorji and Schmidt 2014, Cameroon in Veit 2006, Philippines in Dahal and Capistrano 2006); government granting overlapping rights to the same land causing violent conflict between applicant parties (Cambodia in Chandet et al. 2010); and the challenges of negotiating bureaucracies (Canada in Bullock and Hanna 2012, Germany in Shusser et al. 2013a, Shusser et al.2013b, Indonesia in Nawir 2013, Philippines in Pulhin et al. 2007).
The next category of challenges is related to roles among actors: a lack of mutual trust among communities, local government and other institutions makes for challenges in implementation (Bhutan in Dorji and Schmidt 2014); the most suitable role for central government, local government, and NGOs is that of a facilitator (Indonesia in Nawir et al. 2013, Bhutan in Dorji and Schmidt 2014, Nepal in Ito et al. 2005); technical experts are needed to be involved in the application process (Indonesia in De Royer et al. 2015, Philippines in Fernando and Herminigild 2008); the number of facilitators supporting indigenous communities' applications have increased but this has not corresponded to an increase in land rights recognition (Australia in Lane 2002).
The last category of challenges is related to resources: a lack of local government budget for CF implementation so that an applicant community is required to finance government officers' visit for the approval process (Cameroon in Veit 2006); a shortage in forest workers causes poor implementation of procedures (Nepal in Ito et al. 2005); or a lack of human resources within applicant communities results in their inability to implement CF by themselves (Indonesia in De Royer et al. 2015, Cameroon in Veit 2006).
In contrast, some literature also identifies improved policy around community forest management: simplified procedures made it easier for communities to obtain management rights or to access forest products for their CF business (Indonesia in Obidzinski and Dermawan 2010, Bhutan in Dorji and Schmidt 2014). Even in these cases, there remain barriers to implementation. This summary of literature identifies an uneven distribution of power between governments and communities. Governments with conclusive authorisation of giving the management rights often do not fulfil their role in the application process. The case of the application process for hutan desa to follow identifies barriers that correspond with all three categories of challenges identified in the literature related to uneven power in the application process for CF. In the hutan desa case the following challenges were evident: complex regulatory procedures as with the first category, unclear responsibilities for decision-making among central and local government by the bureaucracy as with the second category, and lobbying that expensed extra costs and time were needed for management rights acquisition, as with the third category.
Hutan desa policy was established in 2008 (MoF Regulation No. P.49/Menhut-II/2008 on village forest), and revised in 2014 (No. P.89/Menhut-II/2014 on village forest), partly revised again in 2016 (MoEF Regulation No. P.83/Menlhk/Setjen/Kum.1/10/2016 on social forestry). The regulations aim to provide local people with formal rights to manage their forest resources with the purpose of conserving forest resources, and to improve local communities' prosperity (Safitri 2010, Sardjono and Imang 2015). Remaining community forests are mostly found in rural areas, where large-scale industrial developments are advancing rapidly, threatening forests with conversion. In rural areas, local communities are often dependent on forests to fulfil their livelihood needs, however, often access to these forest resources is diminished or lost due to industrial development and subsequent forest loss (e.g., Nanang and Inoue 2000, Sardjono 2004, Wibowo et al. 2013). Rights competition for land use can be a barrier for CF implementation (Larson et al. 2010, Wibowo et al. 2013). Nevertheless, there has been little discussion of what effects to CF implementation where there is competition over rights, and cases from Indonesia are not preceded.
RESEARCH SITE AND METHOD
This study was conducted in rural East Kutai, a district of East Kalimantan province in Indonesia. Industrial concessions have advanced since the 1970s, consuming forests in rural areas in Indonesia's outer islands, including in East Kalimantan (Sardjono 2004, Sardjono and Imang 2015). Currently, oil palm plantation development is being promoted by local government policy in the East Kutai district (Urano 2014). In East Kalimantan alone, the total area of land dedicated to oil-palm plantations increased ten-fold from 17 million ha in the year 2000 to 111 million ha in 2013 (Badan Pusat Statistk 2013, MoA East Kalimantan province, Urano 2014). Most of these are large-scale plantations developed by companies requiring large areas of land (Badan Pusat Statistk 2013, MoA East Kalimantan province, Urano 2014). The village of Long Bentuk, (hereafter, LB village) in East Kutai district--a six-hour drive from the closest city of Samarinda--has applied for hutan desa (Figure 1) (3). The dominant ethnicity in LB village is Dayak Modang (hereafter, Modang), a sub-group of Dayak ethnic (Rousseau 1990). The Modang had been a nomadic group and resided this region along the Kelinjau river at least since 1880s (Bock 1882). According to the villagers, they settled LB village in 1941 after repeated migrations in this region. Their land use is subsistence, based on shifting cultivation, in combination with fishing, and hunting and gathering forest products. The Modang are one of many forest-dependent communities in Kalimantan, whose livelihoods are directly affected by government decisions and policies around forestry and land use (e.g., Devung 2015, Nanang and Inoue 2000, Sardjono 2004, Sardjono et al. 2013). For example, Devung (2015) shows a case of the Bahau Huang Tring community, a forest-dependent community in East Kalimantan, where nearly 60% of their customary forest land was decreased by government issued permits such as for logging operations between 1955 to 2010. Despite the community had traditionally managed their land with their local knowledge and management system, those were not recognised by the government in their land use decisions (Devung 2015).
In contrast to the advance of industrial development policy, MoEF statistics in 2014 and 2015 shows that the determination of hutan desa working area (detailed in results) in total is about 592 000 ha between 2009 to 2015, including the highest figure of 113 765 ha in East Kalimantan (Graph 1.). As also Anderson et al. (2015) described, there is a conflict between the policies related to oil palm plantation development and environmental policy including the CF policy in East Kalimantan (Anderson et al. 2015). To highlight how these conflicting policies hinder the formalisation of CF, a case study in the district of East Kutai is outlined in this article. The data was collected through participant observation, open-ended and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders involved in the hutan desa formalisation process, including Modang community, government officers and NGO staffs, using Indonesian and partly Modang language.
The research was conducted over a 13-month period, between 2009 to 2013, and for a further two months from October to December 2014 once hutan desa had been formalised to observe the implication and follow up. The author was involved with a Japanese NGO, JANNI (Japan NGO Network on Indonesia), a key stakeholder in the hutan desa application process supporting a counterpart NGO in Samarinda city.
The relationship between this local NGO and LB village started in 2004 when village leaders (the village head and a religious leader) requested support to improve their livelihood including the conflicts of community's land rights against oil palm estates. In response to that, the NGO started the community development activities in this area, Busang sub-district. The NGO suggested to villagers that the large-scale oil palm development would threaten the loss of a large amount of the community's customary land, and would undermine livelihoods with rapid land use change, as well as a loss of ethnic identities derived from the customary land. Among the villages, only LB village had accepted the NGO's suggestion. The Modang are the former occupants in this area, and they maintain strong connections with their customary land, which was inherited by their ancestors. Their strong ownership is also expressed through the name "tenoa pelaq" Modang for protected land, the term given for the area of hutan desa. The idea of implementing hutan desa was introduced from the NGO to the village as a potential countermeasure, not long after the hutan desa policy took effect in 2008. NGOs in Samarinda including said NGO, recognise that the CF policy is not the scheme to give the land tenure rights to communities based on the communities' customary land claims but to give partial management rights, and the regulations burdens communities with the task of managing forests. However, it was hoped that gaining management rights through the hutan desa scheme could strengthen the communities' legal status over their customary land territory to prevent the conflicts of community's land rights against oil palm estates or other potential trespassers. In this paper, all views, interpretations, recommendations, and conclusions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the supporting or cooperating institutions.
Challenges involved in the implementation of hutan desa
CF policies in Indonesia has been devolved from the authority of the central government to sub-national governments (Balooni and Inoue 2007, Safitri 2010). Despite this shift in authorisation, the final authorisation for securing management rights remains with the central government. Local communities are burdened with the task of undertaking the bureaucratic steps in formalising their forest claims. (Balooni and Inoue 2007, Safitri 2010).
Hutan desa regulation burdens a great deal of work to the applicant community (P.89/Menhut-II/2014). Recently, a part of the hutan desa regulation was revised within the MoEF regulation on social forestry in 2016. The regulation highlights the transition of authority in the regulatory procedures from district to provincial government for CF scheme implementation. For accelerating and coordinating the implementation of social forestry in provincial level, the MoEF formed the accelerating working group for social forestry or Kelompok Kerja Percepatan Perhutanan Sosial (Pokja PPS) in 2016 (the MoEF regulation SK.33/2016). The working group is expected to monitor the mapping, facilitate for communities' claims including tenure conflicts, and make a networking among multi-interest parties. However, there is no detailed statement about the requirements of communities in implementing the regulation, thus these remain as stated in the previous regulation in 2014. According to the 2014 regulation, the applicant community may apply for management rights for a period of thirty-five years. The regulation requires that a local community establish a management board (lembaga pengelola hutan desa), and submit the board's annual plan and a ten-year work plan to the MoEF. Permission is granted subject to approval of the plans, but it is not stated how many times and how often, or for how long, the permission can be extended by MoEF. The implementation of hutan desa management is supervised, coached, and controlled with monitoring and evaluation by each level of government; the district head (4), the governor, and the MoEF. However, the details of monitoring and evaluation are also not stated in the regulation. Regardless of the revision, the management rights for community-managed forests remain only partially devolved. The regulation does not give the applicant community control over decision making in the application process (see Safitri 2010 to refer hutan desa regulation issued in 2008).
Another characteristic of the hutan desa regulation is that management rights are obtained to an administrative village (desa) through the management board for hutan desa. This management arrangement fits where community forest areas are managed by communities holding the right to manage as communal rights (Devung 2015). However, it does not mean that communal management rights are provided to an administrative village as a whole. De Royer et al. (2015) shows the interest conflicts between the Embaloh Dayak and Iban Dayak communities in the administrative village in West Kalimantan and indicates that hutan desa does not fully cover the complexity of customary people's law claims, as the administrative village is not always representative of the interests of each customary communities within the village, including territory claims (De Royer et al. 2015). The hutan desa regulation requires that a map of the requested area located within the administrative village is submitted. If the land claims including the requested area for hutan desa are not solved, the application process would take time. However, the case with LB village shows the complexity of the conflict of interests over the LB administrative village boundaries. The map of the area requested for hutan desa is submitted remaining the boundaries of LB village remains unclear, caused by a conflict of interests between neighbouring administrative villages.
Some of the LB village's boundary claim had not been agreed to with the neighbouring villages, including the area of forest claimed for hutan desa. Boundaries between LB village and other neighbouring villages originally once agreed upon based on customary land boundaries through consultations over landscape markers such as rivers and hills. More recently however villagers no longer agree and have claimed more land for their interests (see also Urano 2013:53-54). In spite of such a tension between neighbouring villages, the counterpart NGO continued to provide consultation to support the hutan desa application with the aim of both securing customary tenure rights and protecting the area of forest from encroachment by oil palm plantation development. They needed to gain the management rights before the oil palm plantation concessions or other potential parties gain the land use rights. Since 2006, oil palm companies had already encroached onto the Modang's claimed customary territory. As agreement over the boundary of hutan desa had taken a long time, villagers and the NGO assumed that forest resources might be lost to palm oil expansion while they wait to achieve an agreement.
According to villagers, large-scale industrial development supported by the government had been implemented on Modang customary territory since the 1980s, without recognition of their customary tenure rights. Modang villagers have, and continue to, struggle for their rights to land. Recognising the insecurity of their land claims, key members of the community identified the hutan desa area, based on their traditional customary rights. Hutan desa registration was in this way pursued as a countermeasure to strengthen local communities' rights to their customary managed forests, and prevent palm oil companies from further encroachment. The mapping was also completed rapidly using customary boundaries as landscape markers. The area first demarcated was about 40 000 ha, but it was later reduced to 11 000 ha and finally only 880 ha was approved. The process is described in the next section (see the area locations in Figure 3.).
Interest competition on the application process
The discussion above highlighted the conflict of interests between the LB village and neighbouring villages, and large-scale oil palm concessions. This paragraph explains the competing interest in the application process suffered by applicants for hutan desa. In addition to the land requested by oil palm plantation concessions, an industrial tree plantation company, PBA Company, also arrived to claim the forest area under application for hutan desa. They sought 54 000 ha for a new concession.
Both application processes implemented at that period are explained following the procedures in Figure 2.. A represents the hutan desa (abbreviated as HD) application procedure (P.49/Menhut-II/2008) and B represents the application procedures for industrial tree plantation concession rights (P.31/Menhut-II/2014). There are two steps to get the management rights of hutan desa in its application procedure; first, the applicant community applies to get a hutan desa working area, which needs to be approved by the Minister of Forestry (from A.-1 to A.-5). The working area is the area allocated for hutan desa recognised by the Minister, and the administrative village still needs to apply for gaining the management rights. After receiving the permit of working area, they may apply to get management rights to the district head (abbreviated as DH). The application is verified by the provincial head, and approved by the Minister of Forestry (from A.-6 to A.-8). This permit is gained to the management board for hutan desa formed in the administrative village, and with this permit the administrative village is allowed to manage the hutan desa working area through the management board. In case of LB village, the process took more than two years to obtain the hutan desa working area, despite the Directorate General regulation stating that the process should be completed within a maximal of sixty days (The partnership for governance reform 2011). In 2010 when their application started, the hutan desa scheme was under the jurisdiction of the Directorate General of Watershed Management and Social Forestry Department or BPDAS-PS/Bina Pengelolaan Daerah Aliran Sungai dan Perhutanan Sosial, and an industrial tree plantation enterprise was needed to be approved by the Directorate General of Forest Utilisation Secretary General or BUK/Bina Usaha Kehutanan. Both of these units are under the umbrella of the MoF.
First, application documents were delivered by the LB village head, to the district forestry department (abbreviated as DFD) office (Figure 2. A.-1). The documents were reportedly 'lost' on the desk of the office three times, so that the application had to be resubmitted each time. As a result, it took one and half years for the hutan desa application to be approved by the DH in June 2011. The claimed area for hutan desa had been reduced from 40 000 ha to 11 000 ha, after the map was checked against other land use rights by the DFD (A.-2). After a recommendation letter of approval for hutan desa was issued by the DH (A.-3), the MoF verification team from Jakarta visited LB village to conduct an audit in August 2011 (A.-4). It was only then that LB villagers were informed by the verification team that the area under application for hutan desa was competing with the PBA Company's application for 54 000 ha. The DFD officers also explained to the community that both applications are in the stage of processing the determination of each claimed areas, or surat perintah kedua/SP-2 (Figure 2. A.-5 and B.-8), therefore an appeal process could be sought with the MoF. LB villagers sent an appeal letter to the MoF as suggested by the verification team. After submitting their appeal letter, and getting no response from the central government, key village representatives flew to Jakarta to request a response directly from the Director of BUK. Their appeal letter stated that;
'PBA Company might have had a consultation session with communities including LB village, who reside around its claimed area. However, no villagers in LB village were contacted, nor were informed when the session was to be held, which means the requirement of application is not fulfilled. Besides, the company's claimed area overlaps with our applied area of 11 000 ha which has already been approved by the DH. We request that our hutan desa working area be reduced from the company's applied area.'
The consultation session mentioned in the letter is that of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or AMDAL (Analisis Mengenai Dampak Lingkungan), required by a company seeking to develop an industrial project enterprise, as in Figure 2. B.-7 (P.31/Menhut-II/2014). According to the government regulation on environmental permits, an EIA must include three documents; Terms of Reference or Kerangka Acuan, an Environmental Impact Analysis Report or ANDAL (Analisis Dampak Lingkungan hidup) and an Environmental Management Plan and Environmental Monitoring Plan or RKL-RPL (Rencana Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup--Rencana Pemantauan Lingkungan Hidup) (Government Regulation number 27 of 2012). A consultation session must be held before the Terms of Reference are developed, to engage stakeholders including local communities affected by the potential environmental impacts of its development and operations. According to PBA Company's Terms of Reference, the name of LB village was also included as a stakeholder; however, villagers were not informed of the session, nor there are names of LB villagers were signed in a participant list, as villagers claimed. Figure 3 identifies the location of PBA Company's 54 000 ha concession area which overlaps nearly completely with the hutan desa area of 11 000 ha.
Hutan desa working area passed the verification process, then BPDAS-PS in Jakarta issued a letter of recommendation on 12 October 2011 to approve the 11 000 ha of hutan desa under application, with approval from the DH. However, villagers were informed by the director of BUK that PBA Company's concession has already been permitted in March 2011. The director also responded, saying that the approval related to hutan desa scheme is not under the consideration as it is beyond the jurisdiction of BUK. The head of the DFD and officers in charge of LB village answered to the author later that they were offended because they had not been informed of the approval of PBA Company's area. A Jakarta-based NGO who accompanied LB's lobbying efforts told the author that the villagers should have lobbied local government, including the DH and the DFD, because central government only follows the determination as set out in recommendation letters submitted from local government. The DH might have issued the recommendation letter for PBA Company's applied area, before issuing that of hutan desa working area.
The hutan desa working area was approved in April 2012, but the total area was reduced again from 11 000 ha to 880 ha, diminished with the area of PBA Company's concession (Figure 3.). The working area claimed by the community was checked again and subsequently reduced without transparency about the permits already granted to the PBA Company by the local government. Explanations by each government department and NGOs were contradicted; responsibility for decision making was moved back and forth between central government departments, and between central and local governments. This caused extra work and expenses for the requesting community, who had to both compete with the company and lobby the government to push for a response to their application.
This case shows that the local communities' application for hutan desa was deprioritised over that of private concessions. Local communities' forest management practices and tenure claims were not supported when they sought to have these recognised by the state in the form of CF management permits. During the checking of the overlapped land use rights by the DFD, there was no opportunity that community could negotiate with the DFD to explain why community needs the area as hutan desa and applied for it (Figure 2. A.-2). This study reflects the findings of Sardjono and Imang (2015) that industrial forest development such as for timber-logging and tree-plantation concessions are supported over CF applications. The application process for CF lacks the adjustment of uneven power and only prioritises private sector applicants over local communities, where communities are required to compete with external parties--the latter of whom are typically more powerful and are given government support.
Discontinuance of application process--should the community still continue their struggle for recognition of management rights?
According to an interview with the management board members of hutan desa in LB village, two years after its approval, an oil palm company trespassed onto the hutan desa working area in 2014. Villagers once applied for hutan desa to prevent the further encroachment of oil palm plantation development in their customary territory, but the oil palm development expanded regardless of the communities' application's approval. This trespass of an oil palm company raises another but crucial question related to the implementation of land use plan by local government.
Under the national spatial plan or RTRWN (Rencana Tata Ruang Wilayah Nasional) by the Indonesian government, the land use plan is designed in local level. Each province and district has a land use plan to for their respective jurisdictional areas (e.g., East Kalimantan Regulation No. 01 of 2016 on Land-Use Plan in 2016-2036) (5). The CF licenses including hutan desa is permitted only in forest area, and oil palm concessions are only permitted for area for other land uses, as an agricultural development scheme (Kawai et al. 2017). Did district forestry departments of East Kalimantan check whether the hutan desa working area is not in the area for other uses, or the area of this oil palm concession is certainly permitted in the area for other uses but not in the state forest area, according to the Land-Use Plan of East Kalimantan? If it hadn't, this is a failure of the local government to secure the state forest area from other land use rights in the field.
The further application step for management rights hutan desa reminded three steps; community submits an application letter for gaining management rights to the DH; application is verified by the provincial head; and the permit is issued (see Figure 2. from A.-6 to A.-8). However, villagers opted to not continued with the lengthy application process. The members of the management board explained that they felt it was more urgent to prioritise an action to protest the company's operation, rather than spend their time continuing the hutan desa application process.
Another reason of this discontinuance can be derived by a lack of checking the local government jurisdictional boundaries; 880 ha of hutan desa was located in neighbouring administrative village. This became clear when the member of management board surveyed the field with local government officers. In addition, a member told to author that the area was considered as less potential for their management activity because it is too far to go and manage every day. The area that they sought to use and conserve was included in the PBA's concession. Although the neighbouring village had agreed that LB could claim the area of 880 ha as LB's hutan desa, it is easy to imagine how much villagers' motivation had decreased, after observing how the claimed area had been cleared by the oil palm company despite they're having approval for this area, and after a lengthy two-year process. Should the community have continued the application process? The hutan desa regulation in 2014 implies that; if the community obtained the management rights in the midst of the oil palm extension, the community is obliged to have a full responsibility for its management over the approval area, including the forest loss caused by the oil palm estate operation. This creates additional unnecessary burdens to the community.
This article indicates three points as a conclusion; 1) A countermeasure to improve the implementation of CF policies while the land rights competition, 2) Obstacles to CF policies implementation caused by the land use plan and its implementation, 3) Lessons learnt from the case of LB village and feasibility of hutan desa implementation.
1) A countermeasure to improve the implementation of CF policies in the land rights competition environment
First, the case of LB village demonstrates how CF policies create an environment of competition, where local communities rush to claim rights to forests to avoid having their land grabbed by private investors. The competing environment affects each stage of the process from the preparation stage to its final approval of working area. In the preparation stage, the competing environment between potential applicants did not allow a sufficient preparation for the application; taking time for deliberation and to reach an agreement for the application for hutan desa over the boundaries within the community and among neighbouring communities.
In the stage of application submission, there was a competition over the application process with another industrial concession. This competing environment created a rush for land, with communities and companies racing to claim rights. This paper could not reveal whether there was an interest competition between the sectors in central government or between central and local government. However, the communities' competition over land with the industrial concession application resulted in the unilateral decision to reduce the hutan desa working area.
Competing interests made the application process for hutan desa working area complicated and consumed extra time, costs, and extra tasks to the local community in order for them to secure rights to the forest they sought claims to. There was no clarity in the hutan desa regulation over how to establish a space to adjust the interests among applicant parties in each steps of the application process. This indicates that government does not look to local community applicants nor private companies as co-management parties. This promotes a first-come-first-served environment, as opposed to securing just and secure forest rights.
As a recent progress of the hutan desa legal framework, the definition of hutan desa is that it can only be provided to an area where there are no other claimants as stated in Chapter I, Article 1, 7. in MoF regulation P. 89/2014 on village forest was revised. In the new MoEF regulation P. 83/2016 on social forestry, this definition of hutan desa has been removed, highlighting the authority of administrative village over the hutan desa management implementation. Management rights are secure if the boundaries of the administrative village is formally recognized by the government, and there are no other claimants within the administrative village. The role of Pokja PPS is added as the facilitators for applicant communities, but the facilitations expected with Pokja PPS did not detail how much it allows the adaptive approach. The case of LB village indicates the need for improvement of CF implementation; the CF policy should not encourage competition interests'. Government should recognise that communities and companies or other parties that apply for management rights are co-management parties in the CF implementation. As a safeguard for circumstances where power is uneven between applicant parties, measures should be taken that adjust power among parties in the application procedure. These measures must consider the uneven power and abilities of competing parties seeking to access land and their de facto claims to forests, as well as their interest of forest conservation.
In regards to implementation of regulations, government must be responsible with its decision to approve land use rights. Each section of government has a responsibility to clarify their roles in the process, cooperate with other sections of government both horizontally and vertically for each application process and adjust the interests of each sectors to prevent a bureaucratic run-around. Careless management of documents, reduces information available for the application and causes delays in the process and extra time and costs to applicants. The community and the author learnt that the application process requires significant lobbying efforts to ensure the application is considered by government.
2) Obstacles to CF policies implementation caused by poor land use plan and implementation
The working area for hutan desa in LB village was partly cleared for oil palm plantation development despite of the approval. This shows the seriousness of the competition over land rights; and the need to secure local communities' de jure tenure over the forests they claim management or customary rights over.
A tool with significant potential to clarify boundaries, is the national government's One Map policy, established under Yudhoyono's administration and continued under Widodo's (Afiff 2016). The One Map project is expected to develop a single map across government for all forest and land use across Indonesia. In 2017, MoEF also released a regulation to begin mapping out potential areas of social forestry (Peta Indikatif dan Areal Perhutanan Sosial, PIAPS). This strategy would allocate 13.4 million ha for social forestry (SK.22/Menlhk/Setjen/Pla.0/1/2017).
The map is important as a base for all procedures of interested applicants for obtaining land use rights in both of forest area and areas for other uses. In the case of LB village, one of reasons that enabled the industrial companies to encroach on Modang customary land is due to a lack of formal recognition of communities' land boundaries, both customary or LB administrative village. The boundaries are not set out in any administrative maps, so that the industrial concessions have a chance to claim over their territory on the map. The regulation in 2016 stated that the application of hutan desa management rights is prioritised to solve the conflicts (P.83/2016). However, as already shown, the interest within and among communities in the neighbour administrative village is not always a monolith, and the customary territory is not always the same as the territory of administrative village (e.g. De Royer et al.2015, Urano 2014, and in this paper). Thus, the formalization of boundaries should take a time and space for consultation among parties. Government or third parties should clarify boundaries including supporting consultation for securing communities' land rights from other interest parties.
Government also should recognise the seriousness of the impact to the forest conservation from the encroachment over the state forest area by large-scale land related development such as oil palm plantation development which clears large scale of land and forest. The government should secure the de jure state forest area, as well as de facto forest area for further forest conservation.
3) Lessons learnt from the case of LB village for hutan desa application procedure
As already known, CF policies do not give land tenure rights to communities, and the regulation burdens communities with the task of managing forests. Recognizing these limitations, the Modang community hoped that gaining management rights for hutan desa would strengthen their legal status over their customary land territory. They chose to pursue an application for hutan desa from few other options to secure their land tenure claims at that time. The result of their efforts shows more difficulties than they expected; it is extremely difficult to gain management rights of hutan desa where the land rights competition is high. This is particularly true in rural areas where large-scale industrial estates are prioritised through government economic growth-oriented policies. Forest management policies that promote forest conservation and the prosperity of community are not given equal preference. CF policies should be promoted for local communities who rely on forest resources to fulfil their livelihood needs, over the conversion of these livelihood resources to industrial concessions.
In order for the hutan desa application process to be feasible for communities, it should take into account uneven power locally, between and across local villages, including conflicting territory claims. Clarifying village boundaries would support a smooth application procedure, preventing land use rights competition with the potential interest parties.
From the discussion above, the case of LB village indicates that the poor implementation of community forest management permit application processes, and the lack of formal administrative village boundaries stemmed from the local government's prioritisation of industrial land use over forest conservation and the prosperity of community. With decentralisation, the local government gained the economic and political authority to exploit natural resources, leading to their prioritisation of large-scale land development driven by the economic growth motives, limiting the implementation of national policies that aim to conserve forests and enhance human welfare (Anderson et al. 2015, Ardiansyah et al. 2015). Adjusting inconsistencies between local and national policies as well as between authorities is a big challenge. This case study of the process involved in securing CF in LB village highlights the need for an adaptive approach in CF policies implementation, and the need to clarify land rights by recognising barriers to communities' tenure security.
Funding from the Toyota Foundation program through the hutan desa activity is acknowledged. The author thanks JANNI, Perkumpulan Nurani Perempuan, Dr Mariko Urano for supporting this activity. The author is grateful to all villagers in LB village, Margaretha Seting Beraan and Isal Wardhana for years of individual support. Important comments from Dr Makoto Inoue, Dr Motomu Tanaka, Dr Juan M. Pulhin, Dr G. Simon Devung, Kiswanto, Yosuke Sano, and other GFES members are greatly appreciated. English editing from Tessa Toumbourou is gratefully acknowledged. The author also thanks the editors and anonymous reviewers for improving the manuscript.
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Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
(1) This paper uses the term MoF to reflect the literature and regulations issued before its restructure in 2014.
(2) Policy approaches for both reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as enhancing carbon stocks from the forest (Safitri 2010:2, Kawai et al. 2017:1).
(3) This application process of Long Bentuk village for hutan desa management rights is also reported in Urano (2013), which examined whether the CBFM policies in Indonesia would strengthen local land rights and concluded it would not lead to solve the weak land rights of customary landowners. This paper focuses on the application process of hutan desa scheme in LB village, to argue the need of adaptive process in CF schemes in order to the community forest management rights are given properly for the target of CF policies.
(4) In 2016 regulation, the authority of the district government is removed. However, they had the authority on the implementation of hutan desa application process when LB village applied in 2010.
(5) Provincial spatial planning is referred RTRWP (Rencana Tata Ruang Wilayah Provinsi), district spatial planning is referred as RTRWK (Rencana Tata Ruang Wilayah Kabupaten).
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|Date:||Dec 1, 2017|
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