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Research Report

The Impacts of Decentralisation on Forests and Forest-Dependent Communities in Malinau District, East Kalimantan

Christopher Barr
Eva Wollenberg
Godwin Limberg
Njau Anau
Ramses Iwan
I Made Sudana
Moira Moeliono
Tony Djogo
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2001
Pages: 61
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. iv-vii)
    Christopher Barr and Ida Aju Pradnja Resosudarmo
  2. (pp. 1-7)

    Located in the northern corner of East Kalimantan, Malinau officially came into existence as a kabupaten, or district, in October 1999, following the partition of the expansive kabupaten Bulungan into three districts of somewhat more modest size. Kabupaten Malinau is now the largest of the province’s eight districts, encompassing 42,000 square kilometers (km²) — an area the size of the Netherlands (Bappeda Tk II 1998). The district has just over 35,000 inhabitants, over half of which are concentrated in and around the town of Malinau, the kabupaten’s administrative center (Bappeda Tk II 1998). In contrast to much of East Kalimantan,...

  3. (pp. 8-37)

    The specific effects of decentralization and regional autonomy in Malinau have, thus far, been heavily shaped by the fact that the district only came into existence in late-1999. As such, Malinau’s kabupaten government is still in the process of developing its core administrative and regulatory structures, and its institutional capacity in many areas remains quite limited. For the first 18 months following its inception, Malinau was administered by a provisional Bupati appointed by the Bupati of kabupaten Bulungan. Malinau had no District Legislative Assembly (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah or DPRD) during this period, and the newlyformed district government could not,...

  4. (pp. 38-41)

    Decentralisation has encouraged an unprecedented race for claims to forest benefits and resources in Malinau. During this time, the new kabupaten has had a limited capacity to manage the resulting competition and conflict over forest resources. These circumstances, when taken together, suggest disturbing implications for long-term forest management and the well-being of groups likely to get left behind in the competition.

    As demonstrated above, IPPKs have been a key instrument affecting these trends. With authority to grant small-scale timber harvesting and forest conversion permits, the newly founded district government has suddenly gained tremendous rights and responsibilities in relation to a...