Skalanews – The central government should immediately implement the Constitutional Court Decision Number 35/2012 by handing over the management of indigenous forests to the locals.
As per the court decision, indigenous forests are not owned by the State and their management can be handed over to the locals through regulations made by the local government.
“The locals are actually ready to manage their forests and the local governments have already prepared the regional law,” said the Program Coordinator of Society for Social and Ecological-Based Law Reform (HuMa), Nurul Firmansyah, here on Wednesday.
The constraints, according to Firmansyah, include the lack of assessment or formal recognition of the natives by central government and no standards for mapping the indigenous territories, including the forest area.In line with Firmansyah, the representative of the Network of Aceh Natives, Zulfikar Arma, said that the central government seemed unwilling to hand over the management of the forest to the locals since it was concerned lest the locals harm the forest.
The natives in Aceh have good forest management skills because they accord priority to ecological, social and economic aspects. They even have forest supervisors called ‘Panglima Uteun’.
HuMa has already carried out research in 13 locations of Indonesia such as Aceh, Bengkulu, Padang, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, West Java and Lebak (Banten).
Handing over the management of the forest to the locals will conserve the natural resources and improve the income of the locals living near the forest. (ant/mar)