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IASC 2013: Communities' perceptions on land tenure
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IASC 2013: Communities' perceptions on land tenure


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Security of tenure in Indonesia is constrained by the dual nature of land administration. Land designated as forest is controlled by the Ministry of Forestry, which does not recognize the customary …

Security of tenure in Indonesia is constrained by the dual nature of land administration. Land designated as forest is controlled by the Ministry of Forestry, which does not recognize the customary rights of communities. We will analyze local perceptions of tenure where customary and state authorities interface and where varying but increasing levels of development interventions exert considerable pressures on forests and people.

CIFOR Scientist Esther Mwangi alongside Helen Markelova, Moira Moeliono, Nining Liswanti and Bayuni Shantiko presented on 8 June 2013 at a panel a panel discussion "Spatial Planning in Indonesia: Insights and research from and action in West Kalimantan and Moluccas Provinces" at the 2013 IASC conference held on Mount Fuji in Japan.

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  • 1. A view from the inside: Forest communities’perceptions of tenure security, IndonesiaHelen Markelova, Esther Mwangi, Moira Moeliono, Nining Liswanti,Bayuni ShantikoIASC 2013, June 3-7, Mt. Fuji
  • 2. Outline Objectives Study setting Methods Findings: forest use andmanagement; tenure; perceptions oftenure security Conclusions: Disconnect betweenpeople’s perceptions and broaderrealities—or is there?
  • 3. Introduction (2) Identify local level forest resource tenure and resourcemanagement systems Local perceptions of tenure security and key threats to currentand future accessObjectives
  • 4. THINKING beyond the canopyThe setting: West Kalimantan and Central Moluccas
  • 5. Seram Island: Central Moluccas Rich biodiversity(117 birds, 38mammals) Manusela NP(covers 11% ofSeram) 10 sub-districts &108 villages 175,500 peopleliving on Seram Lower populationdensity (15.2inhabitants/km2) Central Malukucovers 7,700 km2 Main districtrevenue:agriculture &fishery
  • 6. • lack ofopportunity aslogging ban• lack of resources,conflict with NP• gold mining:opportunity vs envrisks•Highly depend onNTFP• Concessionthreat (PT Toras atMendalamwatershed)• gold mining:opportunity vs envrisks• palm oilplantation willcontinue• drylandconverted byrubber• Palm oilplantations areestablished• lack ofopportunity,conflict amongvillagers related toland for palm oilallocationKapuas Hulu (West Kalimantan)Hill dipterocarp forests,sub-montane and montaneforests2National Park & Forestreserves = 50% Human population:208,915; 94% rural;7 persons/km2 Main district revenue:agriculture, fishing, timberand NTFPs
  • 7. Methods Stratified random selection of 20 villages eachin Seram Island and Kapuas Hulu Household surveys Key informant interviews Focused group discussions Dissaggregated by gender and age (35yrs cut off) 120 ; average 6 individuals Analysis Responses categorized according to key issues ofinterest based on questions in the FGD instrument Used nVIVO to organize data and identify patterns inthe responses
  • 8. Findings:Forest use Daily subsistence : food crops andperennials, NTFPs, firewood, herbs Income: timber and non-timber forestproducts, hunting, fruit trees Cultural: sacred groves, burial sites Services: clean water, prevention offloods, erosion, and landslides,
  • 9. THINKING beyond the canopyProducts Subsistence SaleWood-based products Firewood FirewoodTimber (lengua, ironwood,mangrove tree)Timber (lengua, ironwood,bamboo, Samama,mangrove)Leaves for roofing/householditemsRattanNon-timber forest products Medicinal plants DurianHoney Sugar palm treesSago SagoBamboo sprouts ClovesGaharuResinRubberHoneyCrops coconut, cocoa, cassava,bananas, sweet potato, tarococonut, cocoa, nutmeg,cassava, taro, sweet potatoes,bananas, oranges, beans,chilly, peanuts, green peasForest vegetables bamboo sprouts, ganemoleave, mushrooms, fernbamboo sprouts, ganemoleavesGame animals boar, cassowary boar, deer, cockatoo,cassowaryBirds finch, Cucak Hijau, cockatooOther Cattle feed BatsButterflies
  • 10. Findings: forest management• Participation in various forest managementfunctions (see table)• NOT: externally initiated projects– Preferred species for income (rattan, rubber);improved market access for forest products
  • 11. THINKING beyond the canopyManagement Functions Actors (internal and external)involved, across sites---SeramActors (internal and external)involved, across sites---Kapuas HuluDefining/protecting borders(SDA)villagers, village government, resourceowner, village police, villagestaff/officials, King, sub-districtgovernment, Agrarian Office, ForestryOffice, National Park officers,customary leaders, clan, regionalgovernmentcustomary leaders, village head,villagers, village officials, Tuai RumahDeveloping/Enforcingrules/regulationsking, sub-district government, villagegovernment, villagers, village head,customary head, Forestry office,regional governmentcustomary head, village head, villageofficials, Tuai Rumah, villagersMonitoring compliance village staff, government, villagers,king, village police, Forestry Office,Kewang, head of development affairsoffice, forest rangers, customary head,neighboring villagers, village headcustomary head, village head, villageofficials, Tuai Rumah, villagers,Resolving conflicts village government, king, police,Forestry Office, village head, Babinsa(non-commissioned officers for villagecontrol), customary leaders,government, village officials, religiousleaders, the policecustomary head, tumenggung, villagehead, sub-district head, Tuai RumahProvidingleadership/organizationSub-village head, customaryinstitutions, village government,villagers, King, members of the villageyouth organization, village head,Forestry officers, village officials, farmgroups, governmentvillage head, hamlet head, customaryhead, Tuai RumahAssessing fines/sanctions sub-village head, customaryinstitutions, King, villagers, police,Forestry Office, government, forestrangers, village governmentNo responses recorded
  • 12. Findings: rights and accessShared village forests• Cultivate, harvest, manage• Responsibility to protect• Withdrawal and management rights(making them “claimants” according toSchlager’s and Ostrom’s bundle ofrights, 1992).Land parcels for cultivationInheritance through families across generationsCustomary rulesSeram: land rights are allocated by the clanand authorized by the village government (men);land certificates
  • 13. THINKING beyond the canopyRights and access (contd)Source of rights-customary nature of rights to forests-geographical proximity-members of the clan-generally unaware of state laws regarding the use of non-state forests (savefor concessions)-villagers in close proximity to National Parks or protected forestsknowledgeable
  • 14. Findings: tenure securityPerceptions of tenure security Will continue to have access to land and forest resources inthe following 5 years Enjoy easy access to forests under functioning customaryrights Families have their own plots for cultivation Forests in their areas still vast and customary restrictions onopening up forest Threats : oil palm plantations; mining; national park/PAs;illegal logging; Opportunities: stricter rules on use and who can use;reforestation; delineating borders between household landand forests; infrastructure and market access; involve morestakeholders
  • 15. Concluding remarks Multiple uses: subsistence, income, environmental Customary authority and some interaction with officials in Seram Overall secure per villagers’ perceptions Disconnect between perceptions & realities around them.Does it matter, really?
  • 16. Thank you!