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Forest Ownership and Management in Indonesia

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Arianto Patunru

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Anthea Haryoko

Despite a moratorium by the Indonesian government rejecting new logging concessions since May 2011, Indonesia saw 840,000 hectares of forests cleared in 2012 and deforestation levels continue to increase at an alarming rate every year. International experiences have shown that chances of sustainable long-term forest management improve when the ownership and management of forest resources remain with local communities. Once they have secured long-term access to resources through property rights they become confident enough to widen their time horizon and to invest in sustainable forestry practices.
However, Indonesian forests are owned by the national government, which then delegates management rights to local levels of government. The ensuing struggle over control of forest resources between all levels of government caused weak legal and regulatory frameworks and a major barrier for sustainable forest management.

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