The decentralization program that Indonesia embarked on in 1998 continues to unfold through manifold, sometimes contradictory processes. This working paper presents a concise and up-to-date overview of the aims, dimensions and dynamics of decentralization, with special attention to the decentralization of forestry. It demonstrates the dynamic, inconclusive and contradictory nature of the different decentralization laws and processes, and the resulting confusions, uncertainties and opportunities for the different actors involved. The paper further highlights a number of themes that merit further investigation. The result is intended to support the analysis of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)'s recent research data on the interface between migration and forestry in Malinau, North Kalimantan, and may also be useful to anyone interested in processes of decentralization in Indonesia or elsewhere.