Illegal forest activities in Indonesia

TitleIllegal forest activities in Indonesia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsObidzinski K
JournalThe Indonesian quarterly
Date Published07-11-07
Call NumberTA 4166
KeywordsBerau, crimes, Excerpta Indonesica, forestry, INDONESIA, Kalimantan Timur, Kutai Timur, Logging, POLITICS

The government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono places a high prioriry on addressing the problem of illegal logging. Law enforcement operation have so far focused on timber smuggling. This article argues that stopping smugglers is only part of the solution; at least as important is addressing related irregularities such as logging operations cutting out of block, the issuing of land-clearing permits for dubious purposes, under-reporting of timber production, shipping document forgery, and tax evasion by logging and woodworking enterprises. The author reports the result of a 2004 study in the East Kutai and Berau districts which provides an estimate of revenue lost. The most important driving force behind illegal forest activities is the potential for extracting enormous rents, which outweighs the fear of being prosecuted. In order to address this problem more effectively, the scope of law enforcement measures must be wideing to include abuses in the entire range of extractive and processing activities, and should be supplemented by a number of other initiatives including bilateral agreements with timber-importing countries, generating incentives for timber producers to adhere to the legal standard, and supporting grassroots movements for greater accountability and transparency in the forestry sector.