MoEF Launched the Map of the Customary Forest Indicative Area (WIHA) Phase 1
Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) launched the Decree and Map of the Customary Forest Indicative Area (WIHA) Phase 1 on May 27th 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Instead of functioned as a new policy, the map is a tool to set the priority of working areas to be used for determining the customary forest, which one day can be a bridge to proceed the customary forest recognition process; to be proposed to the Government.
Speaking on the event, the Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, informed the public that the Decree issued on April 29, 2019 has established the map of customary forests and indicative areas of phase I covering ± 472,981 Hectares. The said area is covering State Forest, Other Use Area, and Customary Forest.
Siti Nurbaya also suggested that this process should not taking too much time, given that the target is clear; that there are around 13 million hectares of indigenous forest potentials, and it is hoped that the process will not be exceeding into 10 phases.
Through this decree, the recognition will be made periodically and cumulatively every three months. At the same time, KLHK will follow up on the potential that has been identified through a process of technical verification and validation in the field.
Up until May 27, 2019, there were 49 customary forests with an area of 22,193 hectares recognized and determined by the government after the issuance of MK 35 / PUU-X / 2012 over an area of 22,193 hectares, while the target of customary forests according to Minister of Environment and forestry in her main speech was 13 million Hectares, where 6 million of which is included in the State Forest area. According to RMI research conducted in 2018 incorporated in the Customary Forest Coalition with HuMA, YMP, Bantaya, AMAN South Sulawesi, Qbar and LBBT, it took 196 years to establish customary forests for 2,332 customary law communities in Indonesia.
During the Talk Show session entitling “Government Commitments in Customary Forests” which carried out in the said event, Director of Complaints on Conflict, Tenurial and Customary Forests, MoEF, Muhammad Said acknowledged that the main obstacle to recognition of customary forests was the requirement for local regulations on recognition of indigenous peoples by local governments. This is also the main finding of the research.
As for the record, in the research of the Customary Forest Coalition, a multi-stakeholder monitoring and evaluation team which measured the success of customary forest management for communities whose customary forests had been recognized was recommended. It should also be borne in mind that the measurement of the success of the established customary forest management is actually based on the indicators of success built by each indigenous forest owner. Not from the measurement of success whose indicators are compiled by outsiders. The latter is also a recommendation from the research of the Indigenous Forest Coalition which is also supported by FAO.
The indicative map is also submitted to 14 Regional Secretaries representing the Regency / City area, where indicative forest area phase 1 are situated.
This can be realized thanks to intensive and ongoing collaboration between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoFE).
Writer (Indonesian version): Situ Marfu’ah
English editor: Dinda Tungga Dewi
Proofreader and copy editor: Dinda Tungga Dewi and Mardha Tillah