Case Studies: Central Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara
The good forests governance seems to be the unfinished issue in Indonesia. Forestry Law no.41 of 1999 is expected to give spaces for openness and inclusivity in the forestry governance, in fact still so far from the expectation in its implementation. Several regulations on forestry information, public involvement in forestry planning and forests area establishment haven’t really answer the needs of Indonesia peoples. Horizontal conflict between the communities who live in the forests with communities who live around the forests remains high.
HuMA found that the conflict in communities that happened in the forestry sectors happened in 722,637 Hectares area. That a figure is not included the overlapping government policies that obstructing the implementation of good forests governance. There are several problems that need to be solved in order to improve the forestry condition in Indonesia.
The Indonesia Governance Forest Initiative (GFI Indonesia) since 2009 has been developing the indicator tools to analyze the gap between policies and good forests governance in Indonesia. This analysis tools, at first developed by the global network that based in the USA and Brazil. This network then expanded and including Indonesia and Cameroon as countries that have wide forests cover.
As global tool, the implementation of criteria and indicators in the tools need some adjustment with the local characteristic in the user countries, including Indonesia. GFI Indonesia has done some assessment and revision as effort of the context adjustment, especially in Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).
Forests Governance Assessment
Assessment by GFI Indonesia was not intended to give index comparison of “good” and “bad” scale, but highlights on depth analysis on aspects of actors, policies/regulations and effectiveness/ practices in forestry governance in Indonesia. All of that aspect viewed from the good governance perspective (transparency, participation, accountability and coordination). Hopefully the analysis can give real recommendations for the improvement of forests governance in Indonesia. The analysis highlights more into the State’s action in recognizing and fulfilling the basic rights of its people.
All indicators developed with considering the impact implication that experienced by the communities who live in and around the forests area. The scope of this research is more into all actors’ point of view on the implementation of forests governance in their own area. It means the research also looked at how the existing actors (government, civil society, academics, NGOs, Parliament and media) have roles in the process.
Based on the basic issues faced by the forestry sector in Indonesia, this research looked at the forestry sectors from the forests management problem (including law enforcement), land tenure and other important aspect is revenue or State’s income from the forestry sector. The problems are not easy to be answered, even through research because a lot of variables impacted the resolution. The complexity of this problem is understood as one of the consideration in this research, so the objective of the research is not to find a secret recipe “one size fits all” but to find what can be improved and what the priorities to be resolved immediately are.
From the assessment of the issue, we get the preview of the real conditions of forests governance processes. The assessment in this research conducted in 2 provincial areas in Indonesia, Central Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara. The reason why those 2 provinces are selected based on the thinking that both sites have unique characteristics in Indonesia. Central Kalimantan is a province that can be considered as a mainland province while West Nusa Tenggara is a small archipelago province. The forests management on those sites also different, where in Central Kalimantan there’s huge deforestation problems, besides that this province also a pilot province for several REDD+ schemes in Indonesia. While for West Nusa Tenggara, the forests cover is smaller and have several Forests Management Unit (FMU) model in Indonesia, including the West Rinjani Protection Forests Management Unit (KPHL)-one of the pilot FMU in Indonesia. With those two reasons, the researchers conducted in Central Kalimantan and West Nusa Tenggara.
1. Portrait of West Nusa Tenggara Forestry Governance
The assessment findings in West Nusa Tenggara resulted in interesting information and facts on the portrait of forests resources governance. It showed that the management of forests resources in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is still weak in implementing the principles of good governance in the forestry sector.
This conclusion came from the accumulation of long process of assessment conducted the GFI Indonesia, with highlighting the assessment on the consistency of implementation of governance, in the level of regulations, actors and the practices, for example, the mechanisms of information management in the agency/FMU level. To date, the information on forests management in NTB can be accessed through one document which titled forestry statistic. There are no groupings or categorization of information by the FMU, to comply with the regulations. In the other side, there aren’t any systematic and comprehensive efforts by the FMU/agency to disseminate the information to public through accessible and easy-to-understand media. The information dissemination still conducted limitedly through extension and socialization processes.
2. Portrait of Forests Governance in West Kalimantan
The forests governance in Central Kalimantan is still weak which showed with the unclear Spatial Planning. There’s conflict of interests between National and Regional Spatial Planning Agency, where the national institution refers to the Letter of Decision Ministry of Forestry 529 (SK Menhut 529), while the regional/local institution refers to the Agreed Functional Forest Classification (TGHK) 1982 and Provincial Spatial Planning 8/2003. In that differences, related to the change of forests status to date, is still facing a dead-end.
The communities who would like to initiate and to manage their forests better facing complex and long bureaucracy and processes. This could be seen by on the struggle of Kalawa village communities in Pulang Pisau Regency, where they need 7 years (2005-2012) to get what they want, to get the legality of forests management in the Village Forests status that defined by the Ministry of Forestry. The struggle of indigenous peoples in the recognition of their indigenous forests in the local/regional context is supported by the Local Regulation no. 16/2008 on Dayak Tribe Institutions in Central Kalimantan. In this context, it is intended to encourage the recognition on the forests management by the indigenous institutions, which then strengthened by the Governor Regulation no. 13/2009 on Indigenous Land and Indigenous Rights of Land. Of course, this is a red notes on the ineffective coordination between the national and regional in fulfilling the rights of indigenous peoples which already recognized through the law and regulations.
In the public disclosure issue, Central Kalimantan province at least already showed some efforts on implementing the principles, even before the issuance of Law no 28/2006, through the Governor Instruction 28/2006 on Responsibility to Publish Central Kalimantan’s Data and Information to Public. It is the responsibility of public institutions in Central Kalimantan to disseminate the information through the Central Kalimantan government’s website (http://kalteng.go.id/). Unfortunately, not all public institutions comply with this instruction, proven by several public institutions that never give any information at all about their programs on the government’s website. The information on the website provided on the website is only general/ceremonial information. If there’s any important data from public institutions, it’s not the updated version. A year after the issuance of Law no 14/2008, Central Kalimantan province has established the Provincial Information Commission, through the Governor Regulation no: 188.44/322/2011 on the Provincial Information Commission’ Members Appointment for 2011-2015 period. Of course the public expect that this commission can encourage the information disclosure in this province.
Road to the Forests Governance Improvement
The consistency of implementation on good forest governance is what every party longed for, including the communities. Of course, this is not only an “empty” dream, keep in mind that findings in this research already identified several opportunities for the implementation of the principles, though it is still not apart with the existing limitations.
The implementation of transparency principles in government system is an important pillar to encourage good forest governance. The issuance of Law no. 14/ 2008 on Public Information Disclosure, supposed to be the main instrument in the implementation of that principle. Without any transparency and proper information access, it can trigger the resistance and bias of interests on the policy-makers.
The needs for information transparency in the forestry sector have been responded by the Ministry of Forestry with the issuance of Ministry of Forestry Regulation no.2/2010 (Permenhut no.2/2010) on Forestry Information System and Ministry of Forestry Regulation no.7/2011 (Permenhut no.7/2011) on Public Information Services in the Ministry of Forestry. We can see the progressive process of preparation of the tools and facilities in the national level related to the information transparency. This is also should be happening in the local/regional level.
The public involvement in the decision-making related to the forests management is a part of Forestry Law (Chapter X). In fact, the Forestry Law based on the participative and just principles (article 3, letter d). This legal basis, though categorized as general and not stating clearly how the communities’ participation implemented in the forests management, the basic and general guarantee have given the communities to their rights to participate in the forests management, including in the forestry policy-making processes. The communities who live in and around the forests have the rights to be involved in each process of forestry policy-making.
The Development Planning Consultation (Musrenbang) from the village until provincial level is one of the interpretation of public participation in the development and policy-making processes. But is that enough for the participative and just forests governance context? This research looked at several basic regulations that can accommodate the public participation in the policy-making and forestry planning processes. This is important to be done because to implement the ideal participation, it needs clear mechanisms for the communities to be able to involve. The general and principle regulation tends to blur the participation process and in the end will make the participation aspect further.
An issue that never been apart with the discussion on forest governance in Indonesia is the issue of coordination. In the last almost 40 years, the coordination issue always showed up but never resolved and gets clear solutions and answers. The forestry sector also is not apart with that issue. The cross-ministries/institutions coordination is still shadowing the implementation of forests governance in Indonesia. The implementation of coordination sometimes interpreted through the law, with the issuance of multi-stakeholders forum. Just like happened in the forestry sector, where in the Forestry Law stated about the establishment of the forestry experts forum (article 70 clause 3). In its implementation, the National Forestry Council (DKN) is established. In the context of spatial planning, the multi-stakeholders forum accommodated through the National/Regional Spatial Planning Coordination Body (BKPRN/D).
Looking at the regulation structure and the availability of resources, the portrait of coordination implementation in Indonesia supposed to be going well. But in its process, the existence of those instruments still leaves problems in the implementation. Of course everyone hopes for one same direction towards the sake of the State, but that direction will be understood differently by each stakeholder. Based on that, the coordination from the government and non-government institutions is important to be improved and implemented. With that, all actions can be done effectively, systematic, and integrated.
The final result of the good governance with highlighting the information transparency, participation and coordination is a decision from the government that can be accounted for. It means that the public can question each decision made, if they feel that decision is not in accordance with their aspirations. This condition is a logical consequence of a law state. Same thing with Indonesia, it is already stated clearly in the constitution that each citizen have same position in the eyes of law (article 27 clause 1). This legal basis is a basic principle for public to have same position and rights to ask for accountability. However, the accountability in this context is interpreted widely not only in the relationship between the public with policy-makers, but also look at how the mediation process implemented when conflict happened between the communities.
Several facts covered in the process of research in West Nusa Tenggara and Central Kalimantan, generates several ideas to encourage the optimization and improvement of forest governance. Related to that, GFI Indonesia suggests several important recommendations to be followed –up, which:
- To improve the capacity and the technical skills of the communities and the government, in the context of fulfilling the communities’ procedural rights (information, participation, and accountability).
- To improve the accuracy, availability, and the disclosure of information from institutions related to forestry sector. The principle of “every information is open, unless the exception” needs to be used as main reference. To strengthen the data and information baseline through optimization the activity of Periodic Comprehensive Forest Inventory (IMHB) nationally, is an effort that needs to be done.
- The provided information also needs to include the information on permits, mapping, environmental condition, and other important information, so the community can also monitor.
- To immediately implement the mandate from Law of Public Information Disclosure, to prepare and establish the institutions in the local level, in order to effectively implement the information disclosure across Indonesia. This needs to be done through the appointment of Information and Data Management Officials (PPID) in all government and public institutions, especially in provincial and regency level.
- To evaluate the implementation of Musrenbang, which more systematic and inclusive, especially the ones related to the forestry sector. The process from village Musrenbang (Musrenbangdes) to the national Musrenbang (Musrenbangnas) needs to be improved to be more systematic and open. This to resolve the discrepancy between the planning (and budgeting) in the national level with the local/village’s needs.
- To provide and have minimum services standard for information provision and communities’ participation in the whole process of forests management. The inclusive (involving all stakeholders) needs to be done, started from the planning, implementation until the evaluation.
- To optimize the inclusive process to be implementation through the acceleration of the Forests Management Unit (FMU) establishment-not only in the areas distribution but physically existence). Tools, facilities and capacity from the FMU’s actors have to be prepared so it can be immediately effective once it’s established.
- To improve the effectiveness of law enforcement on the forest crimes actors in order to give deterrent effect for the intellectual actors of the forest crimes and to encourage law breakthrough with using instrument from other regulations, such as corruption and money laundering, in order to strengthening the law enforcement in forestry sector.
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