Land and forest tenure reform has been expanding globally, increasingly with the aim of improving the livelihoods and food security of indigenous people and local communities through securing forest access.
In Indonesia, legal rights for local communities to access and manage state forests were partially recognised in 1999. Social forestry only started to advance in 2014, however, following the government’s pledge to transfer the management of 12.7 million ha of forest to forest-dependent communities. Evaluating the impact of these forest tenure reforms on local communities’ food security is critical to understanding the effectiveness of the reforms.
CIFOR has developed a framework to assess the impact of forest tenure reform in Indonesia by comparing the perception of current levels of food security and the perception of changes in food security of communities living in areas that have undergone forest tenure reform with those living in non-reformed forest areas.
Communities’ perceptions of food security are influenced more by household characteristics and level of village development than by forest tenure reform status – the higher the village development, the greater the perception of food security. However, communities that have undergone forest tenure reform are more likely to perceive that their food security status has improved than those who have not.
Communities in customary areas perceived higher food security, however those who had poor access to forests previously, such as those in reform areas, benefitted from forest access through reforms and thus perceived an improvement in food security conditions.