Panel 4


Spatial planning in Indonesia: Insights from research and action in West Kalimantan and Moluccas Provinces

Friday 8 June 10.30-12.00, Fujisan Hall

Presented Papers

For more information on this panel, contact Esther Mwangi ( and Yves Laumonier (


From theories and models to management perspective: the integration of scientific and traditional ecological knowledge in the management of the commons in the Moluccas, Indonesia

Yves Laumonier, Masatoshi Sasaoka, Améline Valet and Ariane Cosiaux

The lack of understanding of how to integrate traditional ecological knowledge into so-called participatory development hampers sustainability in tropical forest landscape management. In the framework of a research program aiming at finding new hypotheses dealing with the transformation of multi-stakeholder consensus into development actions, this paper analyses cases studies on conservation biology applied to participatory development in the Moluccas, eastern Indonesia.

Collaborative ecological surveys were undertaken with the communities, focusing on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and cultural aspects of resource management. For each case study, indigenous knowledge of environment, natural resources distribution, classification and management were documented in parallel with participatory mapping.

The cross-fertilization between participatory action research processes in the communities and the more technical results from studies conducted together with the local governmental agencies, demonstrated the importance of TEK in the management of the commons in the Moluccas. TEK was particularly relevant when dealing with mapping of Land Use (LU), land tenure and preparation of potential PES implementation The technical maps together with maps based on community perceptions of landscape guided the decision process on future desirable land uses, taking into account local people’s preferences. TEK proved to be also very relevant in identifying and monitoring carbon pools, biodiversity and water systems, emphasizing the ecological importance of traditional mixed forest gardens in discussing REDD+ options.

Information generated jointly among various actors on the baseline and historical context of the forests allowed consensus on TEK as a tool in the management of the commons, but the integration of scientific and traditional ecological knowledge is not straightforward. Even when positive dynamics are created through multidisciplinary approaches, the transformation from research to development-scale collaborative actions remains problematic. Three challenges remain: designing operational tools for reconciling ecological and economic principles; integrating customary law into statutory law; and the constitution of fully enabled organizations at village and district level.


Scenarios building in complex commons: Challenges, opportunities and lessons learned in engaging multiple stakeholders to improve land use decisions

Bayuni Shantiko and Nining Liswanti

As one of the most populated tropical forest countries in the world, Indonesia faces huge challenges in balancing development, livelihood improvement of its citizens and conservation of its natural assets. The provincial and district spatial planning authorities design land allocation zoning and land use planning for a period of twenty years. Many stakeholders, especially resource users or commoners, are not involved in the process. An important step in trying to improve the current situation is to facilitate the implementation of a more collaborative land use planning and allocation process that benefits all parties, taking into consideration environmental and social issues.

We conducted research using an applied fore-sighting approach called Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA) in two regencies in Indonesia. Through a series of multiple stakeholder workshops over a two-year period, PPA allowed diverse actors and interests to jointly predict and anticipate trajectories of land use change. Up to five land use change scenarios reflecting social, economic and environmental pressures were constructed by regency government officials, local communities, customary leaders, private sector, NGOs and local universities, and one was jointly selected for future action.

Most important results were consensus on key drivers of change, and the identification of policies (such as land tenure) and social variables affecting the commons. In particular, scenarios provided information to deal with challenges and mitigate future consequences of various land use changes. It enabled decision makers to anticipate actions to achieve the desired economic and conservation goals. Overall, by increasing the participation and integrating the needs and interests of all stakeholders, scenarios developed through this technique are able to contribute more effectively to a better foresight for the future development, use and management of their land.


Spatial land use planning in Indonesia: Pitfalls and opportunities of multi-level governance in Moluccas Province

Louis Durrey, Esther Mwangi, Moira Moeliono

This paper explores the implementation of spatial planning and focuses on multiple interactions and coordination among government agencies involved in land allocation and land use planning in Moluccas Province in Indonesia. Moluccas province is relatively remote from Indonesia’s economic and political center, with significant deposits of valuable minerals, high forest cover, and considerable potential for palm oil plantation development. Unlike other parts of Indonesia, customary regimes are partially recognized in regional laws. Data was collected from interviews with upto 40 heads of sections in Public Works, Land Affairs, Forestry and other related agencies at central, provincial and district levels. Secondary sources such as minutes and reports of meetings were also used.

Tensions between decentralized and deconcentrated institutions and agencies comprise a major bottleneck to land use planning. Asymmetries in power, authority and interests results in conflict and struggles such as a reluctance by regency-level agencies to integrate central government planning schemes, or the central government’s renewed control over the issuance and delivery of mining permits. The central government continues to retain control over the forest estate including conservation areas, production forests as well as conversion forests. Central government also controls the formulation and content of spatial plans and continues to exert itscontrol over the delivery of land use permits by regencies. At the provincial level, some agencies continue to rely on outdated land use maps or very low scale maps for their planning. “Public” consultations mostly exclude civil society or community/customary representatives on the basis of high costs of transportation and low budgets but with no clear strategy for involving them despite legal prescriptions. Indeed, planners are keen to accelerate spatial plan development and view social participation as a hindrance, and customary rights as a particular deterrent to investors.

A view from the inside: Forest communities’ perceptions of tenure security in Indonesia

Helen Markelova, Esther Mwangi, Moira Moeliono, Nining Liswanti, Bayuni Shantiko

Security of tenure in Indonesia is constrained by the dual nature of the land administration. Land designated as forest (covering some 70% of total land area) is controlled by the Ministry of Forestry, which law does not recognize the customary rights of communities living in and around forests. In this paper we analyze local perceptions of tenure based on focus group discussions and key informant interviews conducted in two forested districts in Indonesia (Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan and Seram Island in Moluccas) where customary and state authorities interface and where varying but increasing levels of development interventions exert considerable pressures on forests and people. Drawing from 46 focused group discussions, including men and women, younger and older, in 40 randomly selected villages, we find that villagers view their rights to forest, land and trees as secure even though they recognize the potential threats of oil palm expansion, mining, and transmigration programs. Perceptions of secure tenure are based on the effectiveness of customary authorities, with legitimate authority to monitor and sanction, but which also appear to enjoy some recognition from local authorities and private entrepreneurs, who most often than not consult prior to acquiring land. These results are unexpected in a setting where high levels of conflicts between oil palm and mining companies and communities have been documented, and which NGOs and local governments repeatedly characterize as insecure.


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