Marrakesh, Bureau of Public Relations at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 06 November 2016
Social forestry is a concept that the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF) has developed regarding sustainable forest management and sustainable development. The government is planning to work with both local communities and relevant stakeholders to manage Indonesia’s forests.
Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, has appealed to all parties to work with existing corporations and communities. Through cooperation and just and effective management, utilisation of state forests will be possible, and will build collaboration and productivity. This will allow the country’s forests to be utilised for the welfare of the people, as urged by President Widodo.
Social forestry can be viewed as the link between forest management and social welfare. From this perspective, social forestry is closely aligned with climate change issues.
The Director General of Social Forestry and Environmental Partnerships in the MOEF, Hadi Daryanto, has said that social forestry development cannot be separated from the reality of poverty in these areas. Despite Indonesia maintaining economic growth rates of over 4%, poverty persists because people don’t have legal rights and access to manage natural resources. Hadi Daryanto spoke at the Indonesian pavilion at COP22 in Marrakesh on a panel about social forestry in Indonesia.
The Executive Director of Kemitraan (The Partnership for Governance Reform), Monica Tanuhandaru, also said that the government needs to move carefully regarding its commitments to social forestry. According to her, “there is no doubt about local communities’ abilities to manage forests. In addition to producing non-timber forest products, communities living around forest areas can also take advantage of other related economic activities and environmental services such as tours.”
Community to Forest Leader in the Multistakeholder Forestry Programme III, Nur Amalia, believes that the operationalisation of the Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan, or the Forest Management Unit (KPH) is vital in encouraging public access to forest management. Amalia said, “KPH understands how to accelerate social forestry on the ground due to having forest management at the site level.”
Social forestry is not just about managing Indonesia’s forests. Social forestry activities also aim to create jobs and improve the welfare of the community. Developments in the field will be one of many innovative solutions Indonesia will employ to mitigate climate change. But the support of stakeholders is required to make the programmes highlighted in President Widodo’s development agenda run smoothly. **