Striving for PAR excellence in land use planning: Multi-stakeholder collaboration on customary forest recognition in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi

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Decentralization has enlivened new, bottom-up approaches for forestry governance in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, social forestry and adat (indigenous) rights have come to the fore. The landmark 2013 Constitutional Court decision MK35/2012 allows adat communities greater control over their traditional forest areas. MK35 is the subject of much attention in national debates on forest devolution, but many questions remain about implementation. This paper examines a unique case of MK35 implementation through a local regulation involving the Kajang adat community of Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. We highlight participatory action research (PAR) processes and methods, such as participatory mapping and survey "ground truthing," which built consensus around vital, contentious policy questions such as the extent of the adat forest. Findings suggest that PAR, albeit time-consuming, is a robust approach for fostering complementarity between stakeholder groups and decision makers in bottom-up land use planning and management.

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