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Jakarta Post

Social forestry program derailed by pandemic

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, November 12, 2020   /  06:34 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Two women carry pasture grass for cattle in Parangbatu village, Tuban, East Java. Residents in the village still depend on forests for their livelihoods.(Antara/Aguk Sudarmojo)

The COVID-19 pandemic has derailed Indonesia’s social forestry program, which grants local communities the right to manage state forests. The Environment and Forestry Ministry has predicted that only about 400,000 hectares of state forests will be allocated to local communities under the social forestry program by the end of this year, because social restrictions are hampering the on-site verification process.  In 2018, and again in 2019, the central government issued land management permits for around 1.5 million ha of forests to local communities. But observers say the problems plaguing the program go well beyond the sluggish permit issuance. They say that, without support from local authorities, the program will not contribute much to efforts to improve the livelihoods of people living inside and near state forests who already hold permits. In 2014, President Jo...