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Research Report

The Impact of Special Autonomy on Papua’s Forestry Sector: Empowering Customary Communities (Masyarakat Adat) in Decentralized Forestry Development in Manokwari District

Max J. Tokede
Dede Wiliam
Yosias Gandhi
Christian Imburi
Jonni Marwa
Martha Ch. Yufuai
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2005
Pages: 46
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    Following the collapse of President Soeharto’s centralized New Order regime, which had controlled Indonesia for over 30 years, the new government decentralized administrative authority for many aspects of the national governance system to provincial and district-level governments on Indonesia’s far-flung outlying islands. The era of decentralization began for Papua when it was given Special Autonomy status under Law No. 21/2001. Together with Aceh, Papua was awarded autonomous powers – over and above those transferred to other provinces – in explicit recognition of its unusally high levels of poverty. This followed years of under-investment in socio-economic infrastructure and community development by...

  2. (pp. 4-5)

    In 2003, the Center for International Forstry Research (CIFOR) and the State University of Papua (UNIPA) began collaboration on research into the impacts of decentralization on local forests and livelihoods in Manokwari District. The questions that the research team sought to answer were: How have local communities been affected by the first legal opportunity to manage their forest resources themselves? How have local communities benefited from the decentralized forestry system? and, How can benefits be distributed equally between local stakeholders? To answer these questions, UNIPA and CIFOR conducted participatory policy research with local stakeholders in Manokwari District, Irian Jaya Barat...

  3. (pp. 6-9)

    Within the framework of decentralization, the Minister of Forestry issued two national decrees to promote the rights of local communities to benefit from forest management and products⁹. These decrees also transferred some authority to district governments for both customary community forests and state forest management. The new authorities are largely limited to issuing small-scale community-based concessions for logging. Under these policies, formally recognized community groups and/or private companies can obtain small-scale forest utilization permits through HPHH permits (Rights to Harvest Forest Products) or HPHH-MA permits (Rights of Customary Communities to Harvest Forest Products). The first decree, regulating HPHH permits –...

  4. (pp. 10-11)

    For some customary communities in Papua, the system for allocating land rights was originally determined by establishing who was the first to clear and use as yet unclaimed land. Under one model of customary ownership, as soon as any previously unclaimed land was worked by a clan group the land fell to the clan as collectively owned land (hak ulayat). These land rights were passed on through the generations to male heirs within the clan. In other communities, a clan’s land rights were established over the area of forest in which it hunted (as long as it was not claimed...

  5. (pp. 12-21)

    Overall, the local people involved in this study felt that the Kopermas (Community Cooperative) system had had a very positive impact on the distribution of benefits from forestry by giving them legitimate access to timber resources for the first time. However, the system was seen to have had little success in preserving water sources, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) or timber stocks in the local forests.

    This section outlines the nature of the partnerships between communities and external investors and provides a more detailed outline of these impacts on community incomes, benefit sharing opportunities, and accessibility and transport infrastructure.

    Forest concession...

  6. (pp. 22-28)

    Policies introduced in Papua after decentralization had the official objective of maximizing the development and poverty alleviation functions of forests by involving local communities more closely in managing the forestry sector. The previous sections looked at the impacts of this new paradigm of forest management. There is still some way to go before Papua achieves a forest management model that is suited to local forestry conditions and local people’s actual needs. The first step is for the provincial and district governments to demonstrate political will by involving local people in drafting more suitable policies and devising better ways to implement...

  7. (pp. 29-31)

    Special autonomy in Papua has given positive opportunities to the regional (provincial and district) government and to customary communities to play a larger role in the development of Papua’s forestry sector.

    Central government legislation on community forestry was aimed initially at encouraging community empowerment processes. However, the legislation is not yet entirely successful as it does not take into account the socio-economic and ecological conditions in Papua nor the specific characteristics of prevailing customary law. Central policies and regulations governing forestry-based development opportunities for communities living in extreme poverty tend to be unclear and inconsistent, both in terms of their...