Securing tenure rights in Maluku, Indonesia: Searching for common action

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Key messages

  • Participatory prospective analysis is an effective tool for strengthening the capacity of stakeholders including government agencies, NGOs, academia, private sector and community representatives in joint analysis and problem solving. It allows intense interaction among stakeholders, and helps to develop a common understanding of the current situation, to plan for the future and to begin to construct collective agreements around forest resource management.
  • Experts view tenure security in a multi-dimensional way. It transcends the actual bundle of rights granted to include the institutions and processes deemed necessary for local rights to be exercised and guaranteed. For them, tenure security comprises governance dimensions that are embodied in implementation processes, as well as interventions that are anticipated to generate value/income from the rights that are held by communities.
  • Key driving forces of local tenure security were identified as: regional governance, local government budgets, tourism potential, customary rights and institutions, strengthening the rights and voice of indigenous women, land conversion and spatial planning, local regulation, community knowledge, awareness and community empowerment.
  • Five contrasting scenarios were developed by the expert group members. Each scenario captured their expectation of local community tenure security in the future given different combinations of eight factors that drive tenure security. One scenario was selected as best for future implementation. Based on the best scenario, an action plan for assuring local tenure rights was crafted through public consultation. This will be integrated with regional government programs.
  • The favored scenarios emphasized good governance, collaboration, respect and recognition of customary rights and institutions, while the rejected scenarios exemplified situations that were under the exclusive control of dominant government or private sector actors.
  • Taken together, these five scenarios, regardless of their desirability, point to the key issues in the ability of tenure reforms to achieve tenure security for local communities in Maluku. Important constraints on reform implementation include budget allocation, coordination, changes of policy and regulation, lack of spatial planning data and lack of recognition of customary rights. These factors are important for implementing forest reform and could provide a threat to tenure security.


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