Community based forest management: Commercial harvesting of the rainforest of Indonesia

TitleCommunity based forest management: Commercial harvesting of the rainforest of Indonesia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsNolan TM
JournalInternational Forestry Review
KeywordsCommunity-based harvesting, Dyak, illegal logging, KALIMANTAN, Revenues

The paper describes the outcome of the joint Indonesia/Federal Republic of Germany Social Forestry Development Project (SFDP) which has the overall goal of contributing to "increasing the welfare of the local population in forest areas while maintaining the sustainability of the forest resource base". The project focuses on timber harvesting as an activity to potentially supplement community livelihoods and has shown that commercial harvesting of the natural forest by local communities is possible and can be mutually beneficial to all concerned. The strengths and weaknesses of community-based harvesting of the natural forest are assessed. Its strengths lie in the simplicity of the system and its capability to be satisfactorily implemented by the target group. As such, the system itself would appear to be sufficiently robust to be adaptable to most situations, regardless of country, culture or tradition. Its weakness lies in the vulnerability of the system to those external factors that set the framework conditions in which the system is to be applied. The usefulness and replicability, both inside and outside of Indonesia, of the approach as a system that can provide opportunities to improve community livelihood and welfare largely depends on the support of the respective governments for community-based forest management, and their readiness to create compatible frameworks for their implementation. New investigation is required into how policy and institutional change can be made to improve governance at all levels, in order to motivate and support community based initiatives.