Academic journal article Austrian Journal of South - East Asian Studies

Restoring State Control over Forest Resources through Administrative Procedures: Evidence from a Community Forestry Programme in Central Java, Indonesia

Academic journal article Austrian Journal of South - East Asian Studies

Restoring State Control over Forest Resources through Administrative Procedures: Evidence from a Community Forestry Programme in Central Java, Indonesia

Article excerpt

In recent years, community forestry has emerged as a means to reform power constellations with regard to forest governance. Through community forestry, the central state promised to devolve several forest rights to local communities and encouraged them to get involved in decision making processes and the implementation of forest activities. However, experience in some countries indicates that the implementation of community forestry programmes is rarely followed by genuine power devolution to local forest users. Instead, these programmes may even serve as a means to retain or restore the central state's control over forests. Using a case study of a community forestry programme implemented in Java, Indonesia, by a state forest company, this paper argues that the implementation of community forestry is also driven by the state's interests to regain control over the forests. Research in eight villages in Central Java province reveals that the community forestry programmes are carefully structured according to numerous administrative procedures and establish a mode of control through a bureaucratic design.

Keywords: Administrative Procedures; Community Forestry; Indonesia; State Control; State Forestland

In den letzten Jahren hat sich community forestry als Mittel zur Reform von Machtkonstellationen in Bezug auf die Verwaltung von Wäldern herausgebildet. Der Zentralstaat versprach durch community forestry bestimmte Waldrechte an lokale Communities abzugeben und ermutigte sie, sich an Entscheidungsprozessen und der Implementierung von Forstaktivitäten zu beteiligen. Erfahrungen in einigen Ländern zeigen jedoch, dass die Implementierung von community forestry-Programmen selten mit einem tatsächlichen Machttransfer an lokale ForstnutzerInnen einhergeht, sondern diese Programme sogar als Mittel zur Rückgewinnung von zentralstaatlicher Kontrolle über Wälder dienen können. Anhand eines Fallbeispiels eines community forestry-Programms, das in Java, Indonesien, von einem staatlichen Forstunternehmen implementiert wird, argumentiere ich in diesem Artikel, dass die Implementierung von community forestry auch von den Interessen des Staates, Kontrolle über die Wälder zurückzugewinnen, vorangetrieben wird. Meine Forschung in acht Dörfern in der Provinz Zentral-Java zeigt, dass die community forestry-Programme sorgfältig nach zahlreichen administrativen Verfahren strukturiert sind und eine Art der Kontrolle durch bürokratisches Design etablieren.

Schlagworte: Community Forestry; Indonesien; staatliche Kontrolle; staatlicher Wald; Verwaltungsverfahren

Introduction

Over the past decade, there have been calls for the devolution of forest control from the central state to local communities. The calls were principally driven by concerns about the absolute control by the central state - particularly in the developing world - over forest resources and their uses (Agrawal & Gibson, 1999; Assembe Mvondo, 2009; Gilmour & Fisher, 1991; Shackleton, Campbell, Wollenberg, & Edmunds, 2002; Webb 2008). The implementation of community forestry in recent years has been a starting point in reforming the power constellations in forest governance (Acharya, 2002; Lachapelle, Smith, & McCool, 2004; Nygren, 2005; Ostrom, 1999). Community forestry promised to devolve several forest rights to local communities and encourage them to get involved in decision making processes and the implementation of forest activities from reforestation to harvesting. For example, McDermott and Schrekenberg (2009, p. 158) elaborate that community forestry comprises local people's exercise of power to influence decisions regarding the management of forests, including the rules of access and the disposition of products.

Many countries across the globe have experimented with different programmes that included the participation of local people and that formally mentioned power devolution as one of the core policy goals (Bull & White, 2002; Gilmour, Malla, & Nurse, 2004). …

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