Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

MANAGING FOREST RESOURCES IN A DECENTRALIZED ENVIRONMENT: Lessons Learnt from the Malinau Research Forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Petrus Gunarso
Titiek Setyawati
Terry Sunderland
Charlie Shackleton
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2007
Pages: 202
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep02096
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. vi-vii)
    FRANCES SEYMOUR and WAHJUDI WARDOJO

    The devolution of forest management from central to provincial and district governments has been a dominant feature in national forestry sectors around the world in recent years.

    In Indonesia, decentralization was implemented abruptly as part of many government reforms that marked the country’s transition from the highly centralized control of the New Order regime to the democratic and decentralized government of today. Indonesia’s experience with decentralization is evident in the name of the forest where the research was undertaken. The Bulungan Model Forest of the first phase had transformed into the Malinau Research Forest by the time the second phase...

  2. (pp. 1-8)
    Petrus Gunarso

    The district of Malinau lies in the ‘heart of Borneo”. The district is comprised of over 90% forest and represents the largest remaining contiguous area of Dipterocarpus forest in south-east Asia. Most of the district’s 40,000 inhabitants practise swidden agriculture and hunting and gathering from the forest. They include more than 20 ethnic groups, including the largest group of Punan hunter-gatherers in Borneo. The district includes a significant portion of the Kayan Mentarang National Park and has high conservation value for plants and animals. As all forest lands are under the control of the state, timber concessions allocated through previous...

  3. (pp. 9-26)
    Patrice Levang, Soaduon Sitorus, Darif Abot and Dollop Mamung

    The district of Malinau hosts one of the largest remaining populations of hunter-gatherers in Asia, the Punan. All forest-dependent people of the district have been faced with the many changes – political, social and economic – since the district was created. But all did not experience the changes in the same way. For people living close to the district capital of Malinau, the changes have been considerable. For people living in remote upstream areas, little has changed.

    The main results from the Phase 1 study (Levang, 2002) showed that people’s dependencies on forests in the Malinau District were multifaceted. In...

  4. (pp. 27-46)
    Douglas Sheil, Michael Padmanaba, Miriam van Heist, Imam Basuki, Nining Liswanti, Meilinda Wan, Rajindra Puri, Rukmiyati, Ike Rachmatika and Ismayadi Samsoedin

    There is much soul searching on how to achieve conservation in the tropics (Kramer et al., 1997; Brandon et al., 1998; Terborgh et al., 2002). Decision-makers in many tropical countries view conservation as something imposed by rich countries and foreigners. Conservation is rarely viewed as a significant local priority and often remains dependent on donor support and pressure.

    Additionally, various spokespersons for global conservation continue to see local people as a problem (Redford, 1991; Redford and Stearman, 1993; Alvard, 1995; Ghimire and Pimbert, 1997; Terborgh et al., 2002; Mittermeier et al., 2003). Conservationists rarely seek genuine allegiances with local people,...

  5. (pp. 47-64)
    Aritta Suwarno, Marieke Sandker and Bruce M. Campbell

    Environmentalists worldwide are concerned about the conversion of Indonesian rainforests to oil palm. Between 1980 and 2000 global palm-oil production increased by 360% to 20.9 million tonnes in 2000 (Koh and Wilcove, 2007) and it is forecast that global demand will double in the next 20 to 30 years (Sargeant, 2001; Reinhardt et al., 2007).

    Mittermeier and Bowles (1993) consider the forests in Kalimantan to be one of the world’s 15 tropical rainforest hotspots. Malinau is one of the newly designated districts in East Kalimantan Province, Indonesia (see Gunarso, this volume). Over 95% of the 4.3 million hectare area is...

  6. (pp. 65-74)
    Eva Wollenberg, Ramses Iwan, Godwin Limberg, Moira Moeliono, Steve Rhee and Made Sudana

    Adaptive collaborative management (ACM) has become widely accepted as an approach for facilitating decisions about natural resources in complex, uncertain environments in which decision-making among interest groups is required (Chess et al., 1998; Sinclair and Smith, 1999; Wondolleck and Yaffee, 2000; Buck et al., 2001; Colfer, 2005). However, ACM assumes that cooperation among different groups can be guided in predictable ways. We suggest, to the contrary, that cooperation itself can be chaotic and uncertain, especially during times of political or organisational instability. How can ACM work under such conditions?

    In this chapter we show that adaptive collaborative management in ‘chaotic’...

  7. (pp. 75-86)
    Eva Wollenberg, Imam Basuki, Bruce M. Campbell, Erick Meijaard, Moira Moeliono, Douglas Sheil, Petrus Gunarso and Edmound Dounias

    Any efforts at achieving sustainable management of mixed dipterocarp forest are fraught with disincentives due to the lucrative short-term gains from destructive, and often illegal, timber extraction. Logging in the tropics, as conventionally practised, depletes timber stocks and causes severe ecological damage to residual forests. In general, conventional forest logging may cause detectable changes in environmental variables, depending on the intensity of disturbance and the extent of forest cover removed. By the same token, forest clearance and forest conversion to other land uses cause greater impacts on hydrology and soil-erosion processes. With the progress towards sustainable forest management, improved harvesting...

  8. (pp. 87-106)
    Hari Priyadi, Plinio Sist, Petrus Gunarso, Markku Kanninen, Kuswata Kartawinata, Douglas Sheil, Titiek Setyawati, Dwiprabowo Hariyatno, Hadi Siswoyo, Gerald Silooy, Chairil Anwar Siregar and Wayan Susi Dharmawan

    Any efforts at achieving sustainable management of mixed dipterocarp forest are fraught with disincentives due to the lucrative short-term gains from destructive, and often illegal, timber extraction. Logging in the tropics, as conventionally practised, depletes timber stocks and causes severe ecological damage to residual forests. In general, conventional forest logging may cause detectable changes in environmental variables, depending on the intensity of disturbance and the extent of forest cover removed. By the same token, forest clearance and forest conversion to other land uses cause greater impacts on hydrology and soil-erosion processes. With the progress towards sustainable forest management, improved harvesting...

  9. (pp. 107-128)
    Godwin Limberg, Ramses Iwan, Moira Moeliono, Made Sudana and Eva Wollenberg

    Indonesia is one of the few countries in Asia that has yet to implement nationwide policies to devolve communities’ access to state forests. Despite more than two decades of experience in social forestry in Java, increasing experience of local projects throughout the country and lessons available from similar policies implemented elsewhere in Asia (e.g. Kumar, 2002; Adhikari and Lovett, 2006; Salam and Noguchi, 2006) most villagers in Indonesia’s outer islands remain without formal rights to State forest land. Yet at least 50 million people are dependent on Indonesia’s forests (Brown, 2004). Moreover, between 62% and 75% (estimates differ) of Indonesia’s...

  10. (pp. 129-142)
    Haris Iskandar, Kresno Dwi Santosa, Markku Kanninen and Petrus Gunarso

    It has long been appreciated that logging activities in natural forests throughout the world can have deleterious impacts on the local ecosystem processes and biodiversity (Johns, 1988; Whitmore and Sayer, 1992; Anderson et al., 2002). However, the positive economic gains from logging operations have usually been sufficient to brush aside criticism of these negative aspects. This is now being questioned at both the national and local levels. At the national level, approaches such as full-cost accounting, in which the full ecological and societal costs of any land-use system can be factored into the economic models of profitability, have raised serious...

  11. (pp. 143-156)
    Erik Meijaard and Douglas Sheil

    There is an increasing awareness that wildlife species in Kalimantan can benefit from forests that are managed for sustainable timber extraction (Colón, 1999; Lammertink, 2004b; Sheil et al., 2004). In the last few decades, conservation efforts have focused on strictly protected areas, but recent insights, in common with other areas of the world (e.g. Hulme and Murphree, 2001) have suggested that these reserves are insufficient to protect rare and/or threatened species. The reasons include the fragmentation of the protected area network and its failure to consider the representation and presence of threatened species as key criteria in its planning (Jepson...

  12. (pp. 157-180)
    Edmond Dounias, Audrey Selzner, Misa Kishi, Iwan Kurniawan and Ronald Siregar

    It may seem a truism to say that the future of forest ecosystems is inseparable from the future of people living in these forests. But facts on the ground sadly indicate that this evidence is not fully addressed by decision-makers and practitioners of forest management. Accordingly, damage to the health of both the forest and humans should be investigated jointly. Unfortunately, research that is devoted to the consequences of biodiversity loss on human health has long focused on the ecological and global systems and persists in neglecting the more local human sociological and psychological factors that come into play. It...

  13. (pp. 181-190)
    Petrus Gunarso, Kresno Dwi Santosa, Charlie Shackleton, Terry Sunderland, Bruce M. Campbell, Hari Priyadi, Patrice Levang, Douglas Sheil and Edmond Dounias

    This chapter synthesises the key themes emanating from the work in Malinau Research Forest (MRF), as pointers towards the sustainable management of tropical forests and positive outcomes for forest-based livelihoods. This book, a summary of the research findings from Phase II, and the technical report from Phase 1 (CIFOR, 2002) both present a picture of extreme change, from a period of centralised control characterised by large-scale logging operations to a period, following decentralisation, dominated by many smaller operators. This has resulted in local communities getting more of the action, and the local authorities becoming more powerful and influential. A new...