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Research Report

Decentralisation and Forest Management in Kapuas District, Central Kalimantan

John F. McCarthy
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2001
Pages: 58
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. iv-vii)
    Christopher Barr and Ida Aju Pradnja Resosudarmo
  2. (pp. 1-6)

    Kapuas district is extensive. With an area of some 34,800 square kilometres (km²), the district comprises over 23% of Central Kalimantan, covering approximately the same area as the entire province of Central Java. However, in stark contrast to Central Java, Kapuas has a population of just 500,000 people.

    Kapuas has five major rivers, and two of these, the Kahayan and Kapuas, stretch over 600 km. A recently sealed highway connects Kuala Kapuas to Palangkaraya, the provincial capital, and on to Sampit. Another 12 of the district’s 24 subdistricts (kecamatan) are accessible by unsealed road in various states of repair; consequently...

  3. (pp. 7-16)

    To reduce the difficulties involved in governing such an extensive district, for many years Kapuas has been divided into three administrative areas. Pembantu Bupati (Assistant to the Bupati or district head) have been appointed to coordinate the administration of two of these areas – Gunung Mas and Pulang Pisau. However, it is widely felt that there is a critical need to divide Kapuas into new, more manageable districts, and indeed there are plans for these two administrative areas to become separate districts in their own right. The Bupati, governor and both district and provincial legislative assemblies (DPRD) have agreed to...

  4. (pp. 17-30)

    In Kalimantan, Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia ‘Outer Islands’, the New Order state used national forestry laws to facilitate access and use of resources for timber companies, in the process generating significant revenues for government budgets. Close associates of the president and other key politico-bureaucrats largely controlled these companies. The political power of these figures guaranteed timber companies access to cheap raw materials, ensured them of high levels of profit, and assisted the capital accumulation strategies of the powerful corporations that came to dominate the sector. While state legislation provided some environmental guidelines with respect to forest operations, in...

  5. (pp. 31-33)

    Kapuas district faces significant challenges proceeding with regional autonomy. Due to the enormous size of the district and its low population density, the area received small development budgets during the New Order and remains underdeveloped. This is evidenced by the poor transportation facilities; the district has only one sealed highway, and even today most of the region can only be reached by river, and then only when water levels permit. Many upriver Dayak communities still live in isolated villages where education and health services are elementary and electricity, postal and telephone facilities practically non-existent.

    During 2000, district and provincial elites...