Project: Marrying community land rights with stakeholder aspirations in Indonesian Borneo
Funder: Darwin Initiative, 2016 – 2019
Researchers: Matthew Struebig (University of Kent) and Freya St. John
Collaborators: Fauna and Flora International Indonesia programme, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Borneo Futures, University of Queensland
Community forest management (CFM) is championed as a way to benefit local livelihoods and forest conservation, and Indonesia recognises this as part of its efforts to reduce poverty. Growing decentralisation and policy reform now supports community-based management throughout Indonesia, where the government aims to reallocate 12.7 Mha of state forest to poor indigenous communities.
While these reforms support human rights and could alleviate poverty, counter-intuitively they also allow communities to clear forest. The governments' plan to improve rural wellbeing thus risks compromising the very ecosystems and biodiversity on which its people depend. By producing spatial datasets and developing case-studies within CFM areas this project aims to assess the impact of CFM on wellbeing and build the capacity of local governments of Kalimantan to better incorporate environmental and developmental needs into their spatial land-use planning processes.