Multi Beneficiary/Multi-stakeholder Reforms in Indonesia for Protecting Forest Commons and Enhancing Local Livelihoods: Articulating and Assessing Prospective Decentralization Policies

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"Five years into Indonesia's wide ranging decentralization initiative, pressures are rising for solutions to issues concerning the management of forest commons by local communities, including maintaining viable and productive partnerships with local governments and other interest groups within and around forest areas. Securing access to markets and community based property rights, including individual rights, remain major problems that contribute to the large scale land conversion of forest commons. "Sectoral responses by national government institutions to millennium development goals (MDG's) have been generally reactive and lacking in vision. Many decentralized local governments have vision but lack required skills and financing. A multi-stakeholder forestry programme (MFP) of the Indonesian and British Governments is generating opportunities for a wider range of interest groups and agencies to tackle these problems and engage civil society in participatory policy-making. Established in cooperation with the Ministry of Forestry, this DFID-supported program is being implemented as Indonesia undergoes radical and rapid internal political, economic and social change. The highly dynamic context, characterized by rapidly changing relationships, has created opportunities for many new voices to be heard and addressed. "The MFP connects high level national officials in the Ministry of Forestry to local decision makers at Village, District and Provincial levels. Its presence is maintained through skilled and independent regional facilitators in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java-Madura, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and Papua who are agile in finding and bridging local initiatives with national level ones. This arrangement is supporting the emergence and amplification of local voices, including the development of decentralized policy innovations that demonstrate to national officials how forest commons can be better governed in the midst of chaos and its aftermath."



IASC, forest management, stakeholders, livelihoods, decentralization, state and local governance, forest policy