Community Forestry Certification: Has Our Community Forest Self Sufficient?

With the strong support of

The promulgation of the Forestry Social Program currently appears to be still in the stage of granting use permits and land use rights and land management plans in the medium and long term.

The concept of social forestry was born as a response to the failure of forest management by the government, this spirit has at least been established long before Indonesia’s forests were ravaged, namely since the World Forestry Congress in Jakarta in 1978, which took the theme Forest for People (forests for the people).

Social Forestry is still unable to meet the expectations of many parties and needs to be addressed. The causes of the lack of success of social forestry in the past include policies that do not support, weak coordination between related institutions, social forestry is considered a project, and community involvement is not actively involved in decision making and program formulation.

However, the idea did not get an adequate response from foresters and policymakers at that time. Now that almost everything has been degraded, a new awareness has arisen to activate social forestry. The question is there is still hope and is it proper to have big expectation from social forestry work?

The era before 2000 was the era when the paradigm of managing forests was still based on wood. Forests are considered merely wood that can grow the economy. Pro development people consider forests to be exploited by utilizing wood as much as possible operated to the forestry industry to get a double economic effect afterward: labor, taxes, infrastructure. At least 34 million hectares of forests become HPH and HTI.

Reflecting from the other countries’ experience, various countries have indeed carried out social forestry movements by handing over land ownership to local communities.

In Latin America it was reported 1. million hectares of forest have been managed by communities. Nearly 75 percent of the people in Mexico have obtained rights to forest resources.

Likewise, in Africa, East and South African countries have almost entirely increased recognition of the rights of local communities to forest resources. Between 1994 and 1998, 2.5 million hectares of forest (nearly 20% of the Philippines) were classified as indigenous territories.

Similarly in India, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and China. The World Summit of Sustainable Development in South Africa, which was attended by 130,000 people worldwide, also acknowledged that the community forestry movement would be the synthesis of the global forestry movement.