Social Forestry in Indonesia: Fragmented Values, Progress, Contradictions, and Opportunities

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Social Forestry in Indonesia is mostly understood as a government driven program, as a means to improve forest management, empower local people and improve their wellbeing. Over time the form and structure of the program has evolved into the current five schemes, linked to agrarian and land tenure reform. Meanwhile, local and indigenous peoples have managed forests according to their own values and traditions. This chapter will discuss how these different interests and values shaped social forestry in practice. We show how different actors and institutions collaborate in different ways and adjusted the rigid government program according to local situation and needs, and what issues and challenges emerged. We use the concept of ‘social value” on what people consider important, worthwhile and desirable that forms the basis of cultural norms or rules of behavior. We then discuss briefly the issues related to evaluation, as rules for implementation and the actual implementation are based on different values.

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