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Research Report

Decentralisation of Policies Affecting Forests and Estate Crops in Kutai Barat District, East Kalimantan

Anne Casson
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2001
Pages: 42
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. v-viii)
    Christopher Barr and Ida Aju Pradnja Resosudarmo
  2. (pp. 1-7)

    Kutai Barat is one of the newly formed districts (kabupaten) in East Kalimantan. It was officially established in November 1999, in accordance with Law No 47/1999 which outlined the division of the original kabupaten of Kutai¹ into three districts: Kutai Barat, Kutai Timur and Kutai Kartanegara² (Map 1). Before Kutai was divided into three smaller kabupaten, it was the largest district in East Kalimantan covering 94,629 square kilometres (km²) or approximately 46 percent of the province’s total land area (BAPPEDA & BPS 1998). Kutai also had a long history as an administrative unit, having originated from the Kutai sultanate established late...

  3. (pp. 8-18)

    Kutai Barat faces many challenges in the years ahead. As a Benuaq Dayak, the district’s Bupati—Rama Asia—was very popular when he was first elected because he was born and raised in the area. Many were therefore of the opinion that he would work for the best interests of the Dayak people and be more approachable than someone from a different ethnic group (personal communications with several Kutai Barat inhabitants, July 2000). His position as the Bupati of Kutai Barat was, however, weakened by the fact that he was initially installed as a temporary Bupati. This situation continued until...

  4. (pp. 19-24)

    When field work was undertaken in mid 2000, the local governments of Kutai Kartanegara and Kutai Barat were very keen to develop the oil palm sub-sector as they saw it as a potential revenue generator. However, they were becoming increasingly frustrated with the central government, which i implemented a moratorium on further forest conversion for plantation development in 1998 (Casson 2000). At a meeting held in Samarinda, the Assistant Head of East Kalimantan’s Provincial Legislative Assembly (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah or DPRD), publicly stated that provincial and district governments would no longer allow the central government to limit their ability...

  5. (pp. 25-25)

    In Kutai Barat, decentralisation has the potential to build up the physical infrastructure and industrial facilities of the district. Before Kutai was divided into three regions, most of the original districts development occurred within the area now encompassed by the district of as Kutai Kartanegara, while the outer regions of Kutai Barat were more or less neglected. Following the partition of Kutai, the Kutai Barat government now has the opportunity to focus on developing these previously neglected areas and ensuring that more funds are directed to building up local infrastructure. A Kutai Barat government is also likely to pay more...