Change without Reform? Community Forestry in Decentralizing Indonesia

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"The 1999 decentralization law in Indonesia has created a great influence on legal and governance reforms. Nevertheless, it has received the fair share of criticism and praise. Decentralization has created broader authorities for local governments; but it is used for stimulating rent-seeking behaviour of local bureaucrats and politicians, not resource sustainability, better livelihood for local communities, most importantly clarifying people's rights to land and forest. As a result, Indonesian decentralization law, even if perceived as an amazing moment of changing governance system, has a little impact on state-people relations. In such a situation, devolution, another form of decentralization, to some extents, can be found in Indonesian community forestry policies. Yet, the central government does not indicate its serious support to those policies. Local governments have a variety of response through different types of local community forestry laws. On the field, communities demonstrated their distinctive reaction to the laws. All make Indonesian community forestry become more complex and being in a long pathway to be an effective law, even in the decentralization period. This paper explores these complexities in one of Indonesian province, namely Lampung, which is well-known with its complicated problems of deforestation and conflicts."
IASC, decentralization, community forestry, environmental policy, state and local governance