Seventy percent of Indonesia’s land area (128 million ha) is classified as forest land. Estimates of the number of villages located on these lands vary from 25 000 to 33 000 with an estimated population of 50 to 70 million people. Many of these inhabitants claim customary rights to around 40 million ha of state forest land, claims that were recently recognized, in principle, in a ruling of the Constitutional Court on 16 May 2013. Joint forest management arrangements are widely practised in the 3.2 million ha of forest lands in Java, complemented by various community and village forest management arrangements in the other regions but on a much smaller scale. In addition to the constitutional court ruling on customary forest land rights, other recent relevant reform initiatives include the establishment of Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan or forest management units (FMUs), the creation of a working group and road map for tenure reform, many different initiatives on the role of forest in relation to climate change and a forestry governance reform process initiated by cabinet ministers and the heads of major state institutions.
One in a series of RECOFTC country engagement strategies, this publication analyses the community forestry (CF) situation and challenges in Indonesia, and recommends priorities for the country’s CF development. The report presents RECOFTC's strategic programme framework, based on the organization's vision and mission, in Indonesia and how RECOFTC can effectively contribute to the advancement of CF in the country.