Community Forest Certification: Managed against ignored

By Happy Tarumadevyanto – Certification Specialist and Stakeholder Engagement

In the management of an area, human intervention sometimes has unexpected impacts. Likewise, when dealing with the Community Forest Certification program, it still causes questions and wondering as to what types of certification will be applicable and appropriate for Social Forestry program.

“If it has a positive impact, then the surrounding environment will also be positive”

If it has a negative impact, it is necessary to question the form of either human intervention or interference that causes a negative impact.

Product Certification for Social Forestry

Social Forestry Certification: Sample of Government’s Intervention in the field

Strong government intervention is likely considered to hamper the power of creativity and innovation in a community. On the other hand, the community needs to be appreciated for their traditional wisdom.

The development of the economic base in the countryside had long been carried out by the government through several programs. But still need to be improved in the near future.

The main strategies for developing social forestry are:

  1. Manage area is a series of precondition activities carried out for
    support the implementation of social forestry activities in the context of optimization of forest resources utilization.
  2. Institutional management is a series of efforts in the context of optimization implementation of social forestry through strengthening organizations, setting rules, and increased capacity of human resources.
  3. Business management is a series of activities that support growth and development business in social forestry work areas through partnerships with equal rights and responsibilities. Various forms of Social Forestry programs that have developed in context
    forest management in Indonesia has developed further following the process and the dynamics of community life and institutions in rural areas at the field level among them is the PHBM (Community-Based Forest Management) Pattern by Perum Perhutani on Java, MHBM Pattern (Managing Forests Together with Communities), Forests
    Partnership and Managing Community Forests (MHR) in HTI areas outside Java. With the development of the dynamics of community life within and on around the forest the community-based forest management policy was born which can cover and support the strengthening of forest management institutions by communities such as: Community Forestry (Permenhut No. 37 of 2007), Village Forest (Permenhut No. 49 Year 2008), Community Forest Fund (Forestry Minister’s Decree) No. 49 / Kpts-II / 1997) which has developed very broadly in Java and even has become an alternative source of raw materials for the timber industry in Java and Outside of Java Island).

Government’s Support through Village Funds

Village funds that have been disbursed since 2015 are often welcomed with a variety of positive responses. Various forms of support flow from various directions. One of Regency in Eastern Indonesia welcomes the policy of the central government which allocates 30% of village funds for labor-intensive activities. One of the local agencies suggested labor-intensive activities aimed at advancing the creative economy. And directs the use of village funds to realize the village area independently by respecting local potential.

In this context, village funds are believed to be able to generate local-based economic activities. The enthusiasm, ideas, and creativity of rural communities in finding livelihoods are based on local institutions. PDTT Ministry of Health data shows that 61,821 villages have agricultural potential, 20,034 villages have plantation potential, 1,902 villages have potential to become a tourism village, while 12,827 villages have fishery potential, 64,587 villages have new renewable energy potential. This potential is what the local government should continue to work on.

A number of factors to be the cause of the less successful of these programs, one of which is because of inappropriate the government’s intervention in the program of community development near the forest.

“That would hamper the creativity and innovation of rural communities in managing and running the economic engine in the countryside.

Systems and mechanisms of economic institutions in rural areas that are not working effectively have implications for dependence on government assistance, which in turn kills the spirit of independence.

How Much Government’s intervention allows in community development?

Government intervention in environmental management is a matter which is already considered common and commonly found so that it intervenes it is considered as something that should exist. The intervention of government in environmental management can be seen from the various kinds of regulations regarding environmental management, including regulations concerning various kinds of quality standards, or in the form of licensing obligations, including requirements for granting permits, or in the form of supervision and law enforcement.

The point is that intervention is needed at certain times. The rest let nature “develop” itself. There are some areas where when omission occurs, succession also occurs. There is no need for intervention and regeneration will eventually occur in a particular habitat.

Over the past two decades, the terms Farm Forestry (FF) and Community Forestry (CF) have emerged as a fundamental reaction to the problem caused by the increasing land area and the number of trees lost in developing countries. The goal of FF and CF is to help the community/people solve their own wood supply problems, meet their own needs and maintain the environment in which they live by planting trees on community farming land and around the village.

Community Forests and Economic Feasibility

From the historical record of forest and HKM management policies, it can be seen how the long road to the certainty of community management spaces becomes like a tug of war. This can be seen from the policy issued by the Ministry of Forestry regarding the same object (HKm) which was allocated 2.5 million hectares, which changed in a relatively fast time and allocated 12.7 million hectares for Perhutanan Sosial. This policy change has passed through at least six periods of Government / President with nine ministers responsible for its achievements.

Based on an internal source of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry; The main problem of social forestry policy is the scarcity of community companions to achieve the goal of social forestry, namely economic prosperity through forest products, reducing social conflicts due to land disputes in state forest areas, and ecological objectives, such as achieving forest cover in the area of ​​social forestry permits. It is a necessary and high expectation on KPH’s program to become a mentoring designer to help farmers find their product markets.

Limited access to the community, at least due to 2 main things, namely (1) regulations governing community access to forest resources only began in 1995, since the existence of P.622 / 1995 regarding HKm Guidelines, (2) socialization of regulations governing community access, is still limited to bureaucratic officials and has not yet touched the community around the forest directly. Meanwhile, regulations on forest utilization and use have been going on since 1970, in the form of Forest Management Rights (HPH), Forest Product Collection Rights (HPHH), Industrial Plantation Forests (HTI), and others.

So far, the facilitators have come from non-governmental organizations that have financial support from donor agencies to become community partners so that they can get economic benefits from their forest products. Even though the number of KPIs has now reached 309 units in 28 provinces.

To the KPH Heads, researchers, and foresters are further encouraged the FMU to play an active role by becoming a verifier of the application for social forestry licenses. Problems were found in five locations that there were not have enough personnel to verify the number of social forestry permits entering the KLHK.

It was encouraged the FMU to work closely with the Provincial Forestry Service and the governor to establish an acceleration verification team so that incoming licenses were immediately examined in terms of the proposed clear and clean land. During this time, the delay in the realization of permit issuance has been hampered because of the long verification due to personnel being out of balance with the submission.

Forest Certification, Economic Value and Lessons Learned

Evidence 1

The Farm Village Community Institution (LMDH) Ngimbang Prosperous Community Forest Management Unit (KPH) in Tuban, can now feel the tangible results of the Social Forestry program. Since obtaining a Social Forestry Decree (SK) in November 2017, with an area of ​​77.25 hectares for 147 households (KK), today they have been able to harvest corn planted between the Sengon and Teak stands, with an estimated yield of around 33 .75 tons for 7.5 hectares or 4.5 tons per hectare.

“By using a corn-cropping pattern before harvesting, it is possible to harvest twice a year. Plus the dry cropping pattern applied has a local selling price, around double or Rp. 3,200 per kilogram, from the wet harvest pattern at Rp. 2,000 per kilogram,” he said. The Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, in the presentation of the Social Forestry Decree by President Joko Widodo, in Tuban, Friday, March 9, 2018.

Starting in 2017, the Jokowi-JK administration focuses on economic equality, such as how to reduce land inequality, reduce conflict, create employment in rural areas, one of which is through Social Forestry.

The granting of management access rights to communities through Social Forestry allows communities to cultivate state forest areas legally without destroying forests, by developing ecotourism and agroforestry. “We only received the Social Forestry Decree in November 2017, within five months we were able to harvest corn,” said the forest farmer whose LMDH Ngimbang Makmur, Sujiyem.

Sujiyem admitted that in half a hectare, he could get 6-8 million rupiah per harvest of corn and twice a year harvest. Not only that, since receiving the Social Forestry Decree, he also got easy access to capital through the People’s Business Credit (KUR). “Previously it was difficult to get capital, so I had to borrow through loan sharks,” he said.

Supported by