Promises and perils of decentralized forest governance: the case of Indonesia's Forest Management Units in Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)

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Indonesia's forest management unit (Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan or KPH) system can be a promising mechanism for balancing international and national interests for global carbon mitigation initiatives with local interests in project implementation. We discuss the potential role of the KPH system in implementing REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects and improving decentralized forest governance. Substantial financial gains from international initiatives like REDD+ and others can provide appropriate motivation for the central government to ensure successful decentralization of forest management. Development and implementation of REDD+ activities can also support the KPHs in performing their basic functions: conducting forest inventory, developing and implementing forest management plans, and strengthening communication and coordination with local communities. However, engaging indigenous peoples and local communities, which is a legal mandate for the system, will require building some measure of democratic process that can hold the KPHs accountable to local people.

DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2014.945061
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