My name is James Erbaugh, and I am affiliated with the University of Michigan, advised by ArunAgrawal. This work, however, comes from my time at the University of Oxford, advised by Dr. Paul Jepson, as well as Dr. DodikNurrochmat at the Ag Uni of Bogor, and HerryPurnomo of CIFOR. Before I begin, thank you for this opportunity to present at the World Agoroforestry Congress. It is very exciting to be a young researcher amid so many similarly interested professionals.
My presentation follows a typical section format. I begin by clarifying some terms from our title.
To being considering “Security beyond the political forest: Regulation, formalization, and smallholder timber production in northern Central Java” requires, first, an understanding of what we mean by “timber smallholder” is.In this work, “smallholder” and “grower” refer to individuals who plant, manage, and/or harvest trees for personal benefit from non-state lands, which, in Indonesia, have been referred to as “political forests.”. Typically, smallholders plant production forests on a smaller scale than industrial forestry for personal benefit (Byron 2001). In certain regions throughout Indoneia, and indeed, within the region of our study site, STP generates more timber than the networks that begin in political forests managed by the state. While the term “smallholder” might sound diminutive, the importance of smallholders is immense.Given the importance of the STP and an increasing demand-supply gap for tropical timber in Indonesia, caused by declining stocks of state-owned timber and general increases in demand, new forms of governance throughout the archipelago are seeking to secure timber production beyond the political forest. These new forms of governance are increasingly “devolved” and involve a variety of different stakeholders, including but not limited to, market actors, communities, NGOs, and citizens.
To this end, Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is an initiative by the European Union only import timber products that have been deemed legal through internationally approved methods of timber legality verification. Regaled by some and demonized by others, FLEGT initiatives leverage the EU market to incent internationally approved methods of verifying legal timber. Thus, the EU provides continued market access ONLY to those countries that implement FLEGT standards. Due to this continued market access and an emphasis on strengthening domestic institutions, FLEGT has received wide acceptance.FLEGT proceeds through Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs), whereby a timber producing country creates mechanisms by which to control and regulate timber production. In turn, the EU provides support to improve and/or establish these systems. After signing the agreement on how timber will be verified legal, VPA requirements must be ratified; currently, the Indonesian VPA has been signed, but it yet to be ratified by the Indonesian legistlature and thus obtain complete legal status.SistemVerifikasiLegalitasKayu, abbreviated SVLK, is the Indonesian mechanism by which FLEGT operates. It requires third party auditing and licensing for ALL timber and timber products produced within Indonesia. Ultimately, this will demand static ties between timber producers and craftsmen/industry, and is set to shape the world of STP.
Given this game-changing regulation and previous experience in rural Indonesia, we became interested in how timber production outside the political/industrial forests of Indonesia is practiced, and how regulation and future regulation affects this production.In order to consider and appreciate fully this “new future” for timber production in Indonesia, we sought to collect and analyze information on1) Who smallholders are and why/how they plant, grow, and harvest timber, and2) The regulations that govern STP (present and future), and how these regulations shape production
We focused our research on the island of Java, home to the majority of Indonesia’s population and a rich tapestry of land-use.
Within Java, we considered smallholder timber production in the Muria Peninsula. The Muria peninsula is dominated by GunungMuria, a collection of peaks reaching approximately 1600 meters in elevation. This work focuses on data collection and analysis from the regency of Jepara, in northern Central Java.
Jepara occupies the western half of the Muria peninsula, and has longstanding ties to timber production through the furniture trade. The CIFOR Furniture Value Chain project contributed greatly to understanding the importance of furniture production in generating employment and structuring networks throughout Jepara. Further, as a regional hub for timber products, Jepara is significant for timber production throughout Java and the Indonesian archipelago.Due to this interweaving of timber product craftsmanship with local culture, there is a preponderance of different networks that bring timber to market within Jepara. The importance and prevalence of the timber trade in Jepara made it an ideal location within which to study STP and regulation.
To understand the iterative relationship between policy and local timber production, we collected and analyzed information on contemporary forest policy and perspectives on this policy, as well as grower practice. Through these methods, we provide qualitative and quantitative information on how smallholder timber is produced and regulated.
Specifically, we combine key-informant interviews with policy assessment to determine the regulation that shapes STP in Jepara. Additionally, we conducted a survey aimed at who timber smallholders are, how and why they produce timber.
Using a semi-structured interview that focused on relevant regulation for STP and the importance/enforcability of this regulation, we approached local officials, NGO administrators, and village leaders through snowball sampling. We combined these interviews with field observations of timber felling and selling. Not only did these interviews and observations provide insight into what regulations were most important within the local context, and how these regulations are practiced, but they also contributed to our Sampling Frame by contributing grower lists.
Our grower survey was adapted from the Poverty and Environment Network survey, an instrument developed by CIFOR. We randomly selected smallholders from lists provided by village officials, NGO administrators, Perhutani or state forest company employees, and farmer organizations. This sampling frame extended across 18 villages, which three enumerators (including this author) surveyed over a 3 month period between October and December, 2012. All surveys were conducted in either Bahasa or Javanese, and they asked about practices and values associated with timber production, what trees they grow and in what quantity, and information on their socioeconomic status, including assets, income, occupation, and institutional affiliations.
Following our mixed-methods approach, our results are qualitative and quantitative.
First, our key-informants, field observations, and policy analyses indicated that the Ministry of Forestry Regulation number P.30 . . . 2012 is the regulation that currently guides STP within our sample. This regulation requires different forms of official verification depending on tree species and territory from which the timber originates.The verification that most concerns STP within this study, the timber origin certificate or SKAU, requires a smallholder report to the closest Village Head/Forest Official who has been certified for SKAU approval. This official then conducts a physical examination of the timber to be transported. Then, the smallholder must complete the Location Verification form, which requires proof of land ownership. The verification receives a serial number upon publication, and six copies of it must be delivered to specific officials and offices. Our observations and informants indicate a mixed level of enforcement for this verification; timber destined to go across regency boundaries often included the document, while timber that stayed within the regency was less often accompanied by the document. We were unable to determine the extent to which this document was completed and enforced via “good-practice.”
We turn now toward our grower survey. From our sample of 204 households across Jepara:88.4% of household heads we surveyed were male.The mean age was 48.9 years, mean HH size was 4.4 persons, years of education was 6.9 years, median income 2,709.33 USD, and median land owned was 2,300 m2.It should be noted that within our sample 33% of respondents identified “private business or employment” as their primary occupation, and approximately 25% listed agricultural as their primary employment. Further, we only surveyed smallholders with legal title to their land, as these were the only respondents captured within our sampling frame. Thus we largely neglected to survey impoverished laborers in Central Java who are often without land and/or title.
In total, our respondents accounted for 151,891 trees across 761,037 m2. 76% of this crop is 1-5 years with the rest mostly being 6-10 years. Approximately 1/3 of our respondents grew teak or mahogany, while over 2/3 grew sengon, a fast-growing leguminous tree. Further, 80% of the trees within our sample were teak, mahogany, or sengon.
By far, the most common (and almost only) reason smallholders had for growing trees was for short- or long-term profit. Over 75% grew trees to benefit financially within one to five years as well as six to ten years.Our growers reported four different sources for their trees. The KebunBibit Rakyat program (KBR), a community nursery program implemented by local forestry offices (DinasKehutanan), was the most common institutional affiliation. 36.9% respondents were affiliated with Perhutani, receiving or purchasing seeds from the state forest company; and T4T, an NGO that operates across Central Java and provides seedlings and resources to smallholders throughout all points within the timber production process accounted for 33.4% of the sample. Finally, ¾ of our sample purchased seedlings privately from markets or traveling seedling salesmen, with 24.6% of our respondents ONLY purchasing seedlings privately.When going to purchase, 68.6% of our sample planned to sell to a local middleman as opposed to a timber middleman from another village, or an industry representative. Further, smallholders know a variety of middlemen whom they use these to set prices. 49% of growers responded that they learned of normal timber prices from buyers,while 38.7% responded that they would sell for whatever they wanted or needed at the time (38.7%).
In order to begin understanding how socioeconomic variables are associated with timber production, we ran Pearson correlations to determine strength and significance of relationships.Land owned and trees planted were strongly positively correlated, this being particularly true for sengon.Income and luxury tropical hardwoods were moderately positively correlated.Years of education and income were both weakly positively correlated with trees planted. This association between income and trees planted supports that from Siarudin’s presentation, “” Timber production and poverty: management strategy of smallholder timber farmers in West Java, Indonesiapresented in this congress, though the sample from that study reported a much smaller yearly income from growers within this sample.
Using this combination of qualitative and quantitative results, we move to understand the current and future case of STP in northern Central Java.
If we imagine am modicum for economic activities, with one end representing informal activities that are completely outside the “net of structures of official governance” and unpredictable structures and behaviors, and the other end representing economic activities that are entirely regulated by official governance and completely predictable, our results indicate that STP in north Central Java to be pulled along this modicum TOWARD the formal end of economic activities. This increase in formalization is currently occurring through resource providing institutions. Further, we expect this trend of increased formalization to continue at an accelerated pace through the continued implementation of SVLK.Currently, resource providing institutions are able to provide rosters, they keep records of what community or individual received what type of seedling and in what quantity, and they are able to locate these smallholders. However, these records are scattered and they do not demonstrate predictable selling/growing behaviors. With approximately 75% of our respondents indicating an institutional affiliation with a resource providing organization, we can see that formalization is occurring, as compared to a baseline of private seedling purchase. HOWEVER, this amount of formalization pales in comparison to the predicted changes by SVLk.With SVLK, timber smallholders will be paired with craftsmen and/or industry to ensure legal timber verification. This will further pull STP along the modicum of economic activitiy, toward formalization. It will reshape the way in which growers currently practice timber production. As such, it represents a variety of opportunities and challenges.While our original work presents further information on how formalization is occurring, using Focauldian concepts of governmentality, I will turn here to highlight four policy insights we draw form analyzing our results.
With an abundance of programs within our sample provide seedlings and promote reforestation, there exists an opportunity to pair regulation with resource provision to promote legal timber and a smallholder base with greater knowledge about fair timber prices. Our sample demonstrates wide coverage of these resource providing institutions which are already able to provide information on timber origin and location. Further, these institutions promote good-faith deals, as they provide seedlings and/or support to smallholders. They thus can assist in the regulation of timber, to ensure legality verification and compliance.Further, by pairing regulation with resource providing institutions, information concerning fair timber prices can be disseminated to growers, so that purchasing power is not concentrated in the hands of middlemen or industries. Indeed, this combination of regulation and market education is being practiced through the NGO Trees 4 Trees.While certain organizations have already been targeted to assist with SVLK licensing, these are typically at the craftsperson level. Perhaps similar grouping is possible through resource providing institutions.
There is a major gap between the time horizons of industrial timber production and STP. Thus, we suggest that licensing and certification reflect these different cycles, if possible, to ensure legality verification is best supporting different modes of timber production.The implicit challenge within this insight is to tailor licensing and regulation differently for different modes of production within a system that is already facing financial difficulties, especially at the smallholder level.
As Nurrochmat et al point out in a recent working paper and in a forthcoming article, the need for SVLK is not due to an ABSENCE of timber legality verification, but is required because of a LACK of LEGITIMACY. Addressing the legitimacy of SKAU verification might circumvent certain problems that SVLK is bound to face. Further, it still remains possible the the national mandate for SVLK regulation is not ratified, and that ONLY timber products for the EU are required to have SVLK liscences. Thus, the legitimacy of SKAU will remain domesitically—and potentially internationally—important.
Within regencies, negative reinforcements seem to be less than maximally effective. Additionally, there is a growing demand-supply gap for luxury tropical hardwoods we find are more commonly grown by wealthier smallholders. Perhaps combining positive incentives to follow regulation by providing luxury hardwood seedlings would mitigate BOTH the challenge of ensuring local compliance with verification AND providing future luxury hardwood timber.
Following from this discussion, there are myriad opportunities for future directions. We consider the following:
First, further studies similar to this one are necessary to understand regulation and STP across Indonesia.Second, it is of UTMOST importance to ensure that the regulatory instrument is working properly in principle. That is, does the regulatory instrument provide continued and privileged access to EU markets at a national level? How is this reflected within STP?Finally, and this is a question I am personally fascinated by, how do flow-based regulations that govern commodity chains and territory based regulations that regulate territories complement and constrain one another across forest landscapes? As this room of professionals understands, the interface of human-environmental relationships is as fascinating as it is complicated to study. FLEGT collaboration has provided an ideal moment for the Indonesian state to increase its legitimacy within global timber product markets. Combining a consideration of local practice and national policy is essential to understanding the efficacy of future regulation, the condition of smallholders, and how STP and producers are affected by the interlacing of local practice with global, national, and local policy.
Session 6.1 security beyond the political forest, central java
Security beyond the political
Regulation, formalization, and
smallholder timber production
in northern Central Java
James Thomas Erbaugh, University of Michigan
Dr. Paul Jepson, University of Oxford
Dr. Dodik Nurrochmat, Institut Pertanian Bogor
Herry Purnomo, CIFOR
Seedling salesman, Jepara, Central Java (All Photos:
Smallholder Timber Production
• Indonesian smallholder timber production (STP) traditionally
takes place outside the “political forest” (see Peluso &
• Newly “decentralized” and/or “devolved” forms of governance
(Barr et al. 2006, Lemos and Agrawal 2006, Agrawal et al.
2008, Colfer et al. 2008).
• Involves “lower level authorities and non-state actors such as
market actors, communities, NGOs, and citizens” (van
Heeswijk and Turnhout 2012).
Acronyms on Parade:
FLEGT, VPAs, and SVLK
• Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT)
• European Union (EU) initiative to only import timber products
verified legal through bilaterally approved methods
• Also seeks to strengthen domestic institutions
• Proceeds by way of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA)
• Indonesia’s VPA was signed in September, 2013
• Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) is the Indonesian
mechanism by which FLEGT operates.
• Requires third party auditing and licensing of timber legality for
all timber products
• Requires static ties between timber producers and
Formalization and Smallholder
• In light of this “new future” for timber production, we sought
to collect and analyze information on:
1) Who smallholders are and why/how they plant, grow, and
harvest timber, and
2) The regulations that govern STP (present and future), and how
these regulations shape production
Indonesia with Java highlight (Source:
Author’s own, made with QGIS)
Central Java and the Muria
Above: Java with Muria Peninsula highlight (Source:
Author’s own, made with QGIS)
Left: Gunung Muria and surrounds
Jepara, Central Java
• Historical and
importance of timber
products within the
regency (Roda et al.
2007, Purnomo et al.
• Significant for timber
throughout Java (FVC
2008, Purnomo et al.
• Many networks govern
different paths of
Muria Peninsula with survey villages (Source: Author’s own, made with QGIS)
Policy and Practice
To provide information on STP in Jepara Regency, we use:
1. Key-informant interviews, field observations, and policy
assessment to determine regulation on Java and in Jepara
1. Grower surveys conducted in Jepara to glean information on
smallholder timber producers and production
• Seeking to understand how STP proceeds and how it might
continue to proceed, in conjunction with regulation
Regulation, Interviews, and
• Seek to understand contemporary policy through semistructured interviews with key-informants and field
observations of timber harvest
• Key-Informants: local officials, NGO administrators, and village
• Semi-structured interview focused on policy/practice interface
and generating a Sample Frame
• 18 villages throughout Jepara
• 3 month period
• 3 enumerators
• Surveyed respondents on:
• Practices of timber production
• Timber crops
• Socioeconomic variables
Muria Peninsula with
own, made with QGIS)
Sawyer, Jepara, Central Java
Key-Informants and Current
• 12 key-informants; over 50 hours of field observations (wood markets
and timber harvesting)
• MoF Reg. No. P.30/MENHUT-II/2012 requires one of the following:
• Species-based verification, typically for timber from food crops
(i.e. rambutan, mango)
Self-usage distribution note
• Territory-based regulation, for timber from public facilities
Or timber origin certificate (Surat Keterangan Asal Usul Kayu –
• Species- and Territory-based verification, for timber crops NOT
produced on public land.
• SKAU not as commonly enforced WITHIN regency (according to
Household Survey (N=204)
Basic Information from head of household:
• 88.4% male
• Mean age:
48.9 years (±10.32)
• Mean household size:
4.4 persons (±1.60)
• Mean years of education:
6.9 years (±3.30)
• Mean income/assets by year:
4,735 USD(±7,661 USD)
• Mean land owned:
3,730.57 m2 (±6,660.59
• 151,891 trees planted across 761,037 m2
• Timber 1-5 years:
• Timber 6-10 years:
• Timber 11+years:
76.0% of total crop
• Teak (Tectona grandis)
• Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) 35.2%
• Sengon (Paraserianthes falcataria) 72.0%.
• These three species accounted for over 80% of the sample
• Affiliation Information:
Kebun Bibit Rakyat (KBR):
Trees 4 Trees (T4T):
Private Purchase ONLY:
• 68.6% sell or plan to sell to a local timber middleman
• Average number of middlemen known: 2.66
• Little interest in “normal” or “fair” price for timber
• 49.0% only learn about timber prices from middlemen, and 38.7%
sell for “whatever they wanted or needed,” again, letting
middlemen set prices.
Variables with Timber Production
• Land owned and trees planted: strong positive correlation
(r=.778, p<.001, n=204)
• Particularly true for sengon planted (r=.806, p<
• Income and luxury tropical hardwoods: moderate, positive
• Teak (r=.421, p<.001, n=68 )
• Mahogany planted (r=.495, p<.001, n=204)
• Years of education and trees planted: a weak, positive
correlation (r=.238, p<.01 , n=204 )
• Income and total trees planted: weak, positive correlation
(r=.219, p<.01, n=204 )
Break from Sengon harvest, Pati,
The Present and Future Trend
• STP is becoming INCREASINGLY formalized
• Policy and institutional affiliation (KBR, T4T, Perhutani) are
contributing to this trend
• Formalization will continue through SVLK requirements
• THUS, how BEST to formalize STP, according to our sample data?
1. Use resource providing institutions to assist with regulation
and licensing and bolster smallholder education concerning
• Wide coverage throughout the regency, smallholder buy-in,
linkages with farmer groups
• Provide a niche for implementing SVLK regulation that can
support fair pricing
• Certain timber product associations (i.e. APKJ) are already
targeted by auditors
• May want to combine this with resource providing
2. Provide certification renewal cycles that reflect the average
time to harvest for major timber species within specific villages.
• STP occurs within shorter timeframes than industrial timber
• Long-term audits/re-certification may not be conducive for
• Certification renewal for SVLK might need to reflect shorter
3. Tackle the legitimacy of SKAU certification rather than relying
exclusively on compliance verification
• Problem with SKAU is its perceived legitimacy in international
markets (Nurrochmat et al. 2013)
• Addressing the legitimacy of SKAU in conjunction with SVLK
regulation might improve domestic governance and legitimacy
• Pre-existing regulation should not be scrapped, but enhanced
4. Provide positive incentives for adhering to timber regulation
standards, especially in the form of faster growing strains of
luxury tropical hardwoods
• Growing demand-supply gap for luxury tropical hardwoods
(Affif et al. 2005, Astraatmaja 2008, Peluso et al.
2008, Purnomo et al. 2009, Soedomo 2010 )
• Within regency, negative incentives do not seem to be highly
• Teaming with resource providing institutions and providing
positive incentives for adherence to regulation might address
these opportunities for improvement.
Young teak Pati, Central Java
Expand this Work in Scale and
• How does SVLK implementation alter networks for STP within
and outside northern Central Java?
• Is SVLK increasing access to EU (and/or American) markets at a
national level? How is this reflected by STP?
• How do flow-based regulations (SVLK) and territory-based
governance complement and constrain one another across
James Thomas Erbaugh, University of Michigan
Right: Mango and motor Pati, Central Java (Source: Author’s own)
Below: Sengon harvest Pati, Central Java (Source: Author’s own)
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