Minutes of Open Session
CIFOR, August 9, 2004
Full English Report [177kb]
Indonesia by Dr.
Murniati and Mr. Lukas Rumboko
Forest cover declined sharply from 143.97 million ha in 1991 to 109.57
million ha in 2000 as per the Ministry of Forestry and degraded forest areas
have increased. Various rehabilitation programs and projects have been
implemented since the Dutch colonial period such as Karang Kitri Movement,
Inpres (Presidential Instruction) on reforestation and afforestation,
rehabilitation on ex-logging concessions by establishing Industrial Forestry
Plantations, and Demonstration unit on Natural Resources Conservation Efforts.
However, the rate of rehabilitation has lagged behind the rate of increase in
During the 1950s-1970s, the driving factors for rehabilitation programs were
mainly natural disasters as resulted from intensive logging in Java. The impacts
of over exploitation from logging in the outer islands also became a problem
since the 1980s, and encouraged the government to start the program of
Industrial Forestry Plantations. During the reform era started in 1998,
widespread forest encroachment and illegal logging pushed the government to
shift towards community based forest rehabilitation/ management. Currently
rehabilitation programs are driven by concern over forest encroachment, forest
fire, and inappropriate land use practices; as well as over and illegal logging.
In the study conducted by CIFOR and FORDA, more than a hundred projects
dealing with forest rehabilitation on forestry, mining and catchments areas
dating from late 1950s have been identified so far. Target project areas range
from 10 to almost 500,000 ha with project durations ranging from 1 to 35 years.
Projects have been mostly dependent on state and donor funding, and focused
mainly on technical aspects.
Institutional arrangements for effective implementation of the programs on the
ground were often inadequately developed and resulted in little adoption of
techniques by local people in the targeted areas. Rights, responsibilities and
tenure status were unclear and there was a lack of consideration of local
cultures and customs. Furthermore, there were no clear institutional
arrangements for management of rehabilitation areas after the projects ended.
There have been some successful projects mainly distinguished by the active
involvement of local people.
An example of a successful rehabilitation initiative from the ten case
studies assessed is farm forestry in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta Province. The
local community started rehabilitating the degraded land in the 1970s to restore
the water resources for their own needs in this dry and poor region. The project
was then implemented jointly by the community and the local forestry service
using participatory approaches. The local government provided funding support.
Other objectives were to increase forest cover, improve forest and land
productivity, and conserve the soil. The dry landscape of 11,072 hectares has
been regreened with mainly teak and some Acacia sp., and now provides both wood
and ecological benefits. There are multipliers effects with a rise in land
productivity, increased forest cover and water availability, decreased
sedimentation rates and improved micro climate. All of the above have in turn
resulted in increased supply of timber, fodder and fuel wood; and improved
community income and access to education, health and other services. Ongoing
challenges are linked to the current harvesting practices that are based on
immediate needs which result in less bargaining power for the community in the
sale of the timber. Identified needs are improved community skills on
post-harvesting technology and management of household income, and better market
information and bargaining strength.
There were some other case studies assessed which succeeded in the technical
aspects (nursery and plantation establishment) but the projects were not
sustainable. The main reasons were poor long-term plantation planning, poor
coordination among the stakeholders and no legal rights over the rehabilitation
Key lessens learnt for enhancing the success of future rehabilitation
- Preliminary assessment at the start of the programs to identify the most
appropriate and cost effective technical interventions.
- More effective and well-planned funding mechanism by a) ensuring the
incorporation of incentive generation and reinvestment mechanisms as part of the
project design, b) integrating centralized and decentralized budget allocation
planning and c) promoting a less bureaucratic mechanism for the release of
- Conducive policy framework through a) consistent and secure policies to
ensure desired impacts in the long term, b) integrating centralized and
decentralized rehabilitation planning as local government policies often
accelerate the success of the project, and c) integrated approach (no
integration was a key reason for failures).
- Institutional arrangements to be continued once the project has ended with
an agency made responsible for continued management based on preliminary
capacity assessment. Clear responsibilities should be assigned for managing the
project during implementation and after completion. There is also a need to
address information gaps at various levels, empower existing local institutions,
and conduct participative evaluation (should not only focus on physical
measures) and monitoring.
- It would be best if the government focused on non-commercial rehabilitation
activities and let other players implement commercial programs.
- In Indonesia, both success and failure of rehabilitation projects are
very site specific and the site (topography, soils, species matching,
culture) should be thoroughly assessed in the initiation of any project.
This issue is ignored in many projects.
- In forest rehabilitation, there is government attempt aimed to restore
the original ecosystems, such as in several National Parks, by planting
native species previously growing in the area.
- Farm forestry in Indonesia is subsided by the government. In Java, farm
forestry was originally initiated by the government but now local
communities are motivated to grow trees on their own land. The benefits of
farm forestry are increased local wood supply, community income, forest
cover and improved ecological conditions (micro climate and water
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