1. Community Forests and Village Forests  

Forest resources in Indonesia, when they are managed wisely, can contribute to the eradication of structural poverty happening in forest areas. According to a research by Prof. Didik Suharjito (2014), the number of poor people living in villages around the forests reaches 12 million people or 32.4% from the total population living around the forests or 66.3% of the total population living under poverty line.

One of the Forestry Ministry (now Environment and Forestry Ministry) programs that can be a solution to this problem is Perhutanan Sosial or Social Forestry. This program gives access right to community members who had been using the forests to earn a living. The program has two branches: Community Forests (Hkm) and Village Forests (HD). The Ministry gives access rights for 35 years, which can be extended. The right to manage Hkm is given by a head of district and HD given by governor. This program needs supports from the provincial and district administrations, NGOs, private sector, etc. The community needs more than the right to manage but also needs trainings to build their institutional capacity, managing the commodities they produce, post harvesting process, and the marketing, and at the same time, they have to pro-actively guarding their Hkm or HD from various disturbances or from illegal activities cause destruction.

Kelambu waterfall in Hkm Air Berik in West Nusa Tenggara is one of outdoor recreation or ecotourism sites (Wiratno, 2014).

As of November 2014, Forestry Ministry had issued permits called Working Area Approval (PAK) for 328,452 hectares of Hkm in 78 districts, 23 provinces, for 100,212 families or 510,060 people. But the follow up to the permits, in the form of Utilization Permit (IUP) issued by districts had only reached 89,880 hectares of Hkm in 28 districts. On average, a family manages 3.3 hectares.The Ministry had issued 318,024 hectares of HD in 223 villages, 53 districts in 18 provinces. It allows 112,472 families or 563,370 people to manage the HD. On average a family manages 2.8 hectares. But the follow up to the permit issued by the governor, in the form of Managing Rights of Village Forests (HPHD), has been given to only 67,737 hectares in eight provinces: West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu, South Sumatra, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, and Central Sulawesi.

2. The distribution of Community Forests

There are seven provinces that got high portion of Working Area Approval (PAK), beginning with Lampung with the biggest area, followed by Aceh, Bengkulu, East Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara, and South Sulawesi. The following graph describes the spread:3. The Spread of Village Forests

The spread of Village Forests that have gained the approval is in West Kalimantan province, which has the biggest approved area, followed by Central Kalimantan, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, East Kalimantan, West Papua, and South Sulawesi.

4. Social Forestry and Prosperitya

A. Coffee Economy on Community Forests, Tanggamus District

Tanggamus district in Lampung province has got an approval to utilize 40,043 hectares of Community Forests or almost 50% of the total approval for the entire community forests in the province. Most of the Community Forests has been planted with Robusta coffee without shaded trees among. The productivity is 750 kilograms per hectare and the coffee beans containing 13 percent of water are tagged at Rp. 20,500 per kilogram. It generates Rp 15.37 million per hectare.

If 60% of the Community Forests farmers grow coffee, the economic value from coffee in Tanggamus district could reach Rp. 392 million.

Supported by PT Ulubelu Cofco Abadi, a coffee exporter, the farmers formed a cooperative and the company helped provide the infrastructure like the warehouse, training for more productive coffee agriculture, and managing pests.

B. Community Forests in West Lampung

A research conducted by Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) on Community Forests (Hkm) in West Lampung in 2009 proves that Hkm has succeeded in reducing poverty in farmer households by 10% to 90%, depending on the agroforestry technique the farmers use and the institutional capacity on each Hkm site. The research suggests the Social Forestry model is synergized with national policy on poverty eradication. Coffees contribute to 44% of total household income. (Aji, G. B., et al, 2014).

Coffee plantation without any shaded treesin Hkm Tanggamus. (Wiratno, October, 2014).

C. Community Forests in West Nusa Tenggara

In Sesaot Community Forests (Hkm), the contribution from Hkm to household income is, on average, between Rp 500,000 to Rp 1.5 million a month. Hkm farmers in Aik Berik get in general Rp 500,000 to Rp 1 million a month, while Hkm Santong can get Rp 1.5 million to Rp 3 million a month. Hkm Santong’s biggest income is from cacao, coffee and banana. From a survey on the three locations, it can be concluded that planting  various trees could support and allow better growth of other plants. One key to success in the tree farmer groups in Sesait, Aik Berik and Santong is to maintain the density of the plants to above 900 per hectares. Reports from previous researches (Markum et al., 2012; SCFBWM, 2011), also showed the surface run-off in various agroforestry pattern in Sesaot was low, below 5%.

5. Farmers Capable to Manage Forests

According to a research, people’s forests in Wonogiri, Gunung Kidul, Kebumen, Lumajang, and Konawe Selatan have granted an ecolabel certificate. This has proven that people’s forests have been managed in a sustainable manner. Local people’s knowledge and experience have been the basis for the capacity building of the villagers near forests in sustainable forests management amid the local dynamics in social, economic and political conditions. The government has an important role as supporter and facilitator in community forestry and reducing domination’s roles. Government and forestry agencies in province and district level, agroforestry extension workers on the field should always be ready to serve and facilitate the people (Suharjito, 2014).

6. Challenges

People empowerment for those live near forests is not limited to provide planting permits. Facilitation to empower people or farmers’ group has become key factor to develop people’s self reliant. Facilitation is needed for institutional building for forestry management that takes into account both ecological and economic aspects.

Running farmers’ cooperatives in Hkm or HD become challenge to answer many problems faced by members who are trapped in ion system. Their coffee price is controlled by middlemen. Appropriate technology is necessary for processing various post-harvest products in order to increase in profit margin and value added of their commodities.

Problems of pests, diseases, and low productivity of commodities managed by relatively poor farmers have to be answered by trainers, facilitators or extension workers at regional administration, and business groups.  They should take care of poor farmers or farmers’ group at Hkm or HD.

The government roles, which used to be domination, should shift to serving and facilitating poor people living in villages near the forests in order to develop the Hkm and HD. It has become a particular challenge for the government that should be answered by doing real works in the field instead of being trapped in rhetoric’s of “mental revolution.”

Another challenge is to maintain the ecological function of the forests despite as an impact of Hkm practices. Hkm in Sumberjaya, in West Lampung district has shown changes from coffee monoculture to shaded coffee in the past 15 years (Verbist, B., et. al., 2004).  This is important considering reduce erosion level of to less than 5 metric tons per hectare per year. Meanwhile, most of coffee plantations in Tanggamus district have not yet intercropping with trees as a shaded tree.


Aji, Gutomo Bayu., 2014. The Policy Paper. Poverty Reduction in Villages around the Forest. The Development of Social Forestry Model and Poverty Reduction Policies in Indonesia.  Research Center of Population.  Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

Suharjito, D., 2014. Devolusi Pengelolaan Hutan dan Pembangunan Masyarakat Pedesaan. Orasi Ilmiah Guru Besar IPB, IPB. Auditorium Rektorat, 03 Mei 2014.

Verbist., B.dkk., 2004.  Penyebab alih guna lahan dan akibatnya terhadap fungsi Daerah Aliran Sungai pada lansekap agroforestry berbasis kopi di Sumatera. ICRAF SE Asia. Agrivita Volume 26 No.1, 1 March 2004.


Director of Area Preparation for Social Forestry Directorate General of Social Forestry and Environmental Partnership, Ministry of Environment & Forestry, Government of Indonesia


  • Indonesian Forest area is about 130.68 million ha, classified into: 
  • Conservation forest  (26,8 million Ha)
  • Protection Forest (28,86 million Ha)
  • Production forest (32,60 million Ha)
  • Limited production forest (24,46 million Ha)
  • Convertible production forest (17,94 million Ha).
  • The Vision of the Indonesian Forestry development is “Sustainable Forest for the Prosperous and Justice Society”
  • The Indonesian Government initiatives on environmental protection have existed through various National Policies and Acts – National Policy on Climate Change 2009: 
  • cb-indonesia-statStrengthening forest designation to secure forest area
  • Maintaining and enhancing the functions and the carrying capacity of watershed
  • Forest protection and controlling forest fire
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Revitalization of forest use and forestry industries
  • Empowerment of communities surrounding forests

Overview on Indonesia Social Forestry (SF)

  • Community is the main actor, the government as facilitator, regulator and supervisor
  • Implemented at the state owned forest and private land
  • Implementation of sustainable forest management for economic development and socio cultural
  • Aim to alleviate poverty
  • Community capacity building.

Priorities of Social Forestry in Indonesia

  • Providing legal access to communities in managing state forest, through schemes called: Community Forest (HKm), Village Forest, Private Forest, and People’s Timber Estate
  • Providing scheme of low interest loan for the development of Community Forest, Village Forest, Private Forest and People’s Timber Estate
  • Development of partnerships between forest farmers and forest product based industries.

National Target Forest Cover for SF Development (2010-2014)

  • Community Forest (HKm): 2 million Ha
  • Village Forest (VF): 500.000 ha
  • Private Forest: 250.000 ha
  • People’s Timber Estate: 2.75 Million ha

Strategy for Achievement of SF National Target

  • Developing intensive communication with local governmet (Governor and Head of District) and NGO
  • Encourage Local Goverment to propose SF and VF
  • Assissting farmer groups to prepare administration requirements.

Regulation Concerning Indonesian Social Forestry

Ministry of Forestry Regulations:

  • P.26/2005 concerning Development of Private Forest
  • P.37/2007 concerning Community Forest
  • P.49/2008 concerning Village Forest
  • P.35/2007 concerning Development of Non Timber Forest Products.

ASEAN – Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Programme support for SF in Indonesia:

  • ASEAN – Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Programme support for SF in Indonesia
  • CF Permit for 10 Farmer Groups consisting in total of 1987 farmers and covering about 5,094 ha, has been issued
  • Activities conducted at Sikka CF:
  • Internship Learning on CF Practices at Aik Berik, Central Lombok  – West Nusa Tenggara/NTB
  • Developing CF operational plan for 2012 and 2014
  • Training on Carbon Measurement and providing measurement tools for Farmer Groups
  • Training on institutional strengthening for Farmer Groups who have received SF Permit
  • Training on Community Livelihood Appraisal and Products Scanning (CLAPS)
  • Identification of NTFP Potential using CLAPS tools
  • Training on NTFP Production Process and providing modest equipment for NTFP production process
  • Training on Financial administration for Farmer Groups
  • Training on institutional strengthening for farmer groups who have not received SF permit.
  • Exchange Learning for Forest Farmers, NGOs, Government Representatives to Bantaeng VF and Jeneponto CF. Attended by participants from Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia, including participants from 5 different Provinces of Indonesia.
  • Promote Social Forestry Awareness through National Calendar of SF Development Programmes and Activities for Farmers and Local Governments. Distributed to Forest Farmers in CF and VF sites of Yogyakarta, South Sulawesi Watershed, Lombok and Sikka.

National Policy Addressing Climate Change:

  • Indonesia is one of nine Countries piloting implementation of REDD
  • The Government of Indonesia has committed to reduce emission by 26% of the level ‘ business as usual’
  • by the year 2020 with its own funding, or 41% with the support of international contributions
  • Following the commitment, some actions have been conducted:
  • ‘Quick Studies’ in collaboration with Indonesia Forest Climate Alliance (IFCA), to ensure the readiness in implementing REDD
  • Establishing National Board on Climate Change
  • Establishing Demonstration Activities in several provinces, followed by establishment of REDD+ Working Groups, involving local people
  • Issuing Ministry of Forestry Regulation No. P. 36/2009, concerning procedure for issuing permits for utilizing absorption and/or carbon stock in production forest and protection forest
  • Issuing Ministry of Forestry Regulation No. P. 30/2009, concerning mechanism of emission reduction from deforestation and forest degradation
  • Issuing Presidential Regulation No.16/2011 concerning National Action Plan for reducing emission
  • Issuing Instruction of the President of Indonesia No.10/2011 concerning delay issuance of new permits and improvement of natural forest and peat land forest governance
  • Issuing Ministry of Forestry Decree No. SK 323/2011 concerning determination of indicative map for delaying of issuance of new permits, utilization of forest area and forest land use change
  • Issuing Ministry of Forestry Regulation No. P. 20/2012, concerning implementation of forest carbon.

SF Activities contributing to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

  • Implementation of Enhancing the Sustainable Community-Based Management of Wood Pellets Production – a Renewable Energy, to Support a Low Carbon Economy and Mitigation to Climate Change in Bangkalan, Madura, East Java
  • Planting 184 ha with Calindra for raw material of the wood pellet mill
  • Community empowerment through training and group discussion

SF Activities Contributing to Reduce Illicit Timber Harvesting

  • Civil Society Organizations Engagement for CF and VF Development
  • National Meeting on Community Forest and Village Forest, to ensure effective coordination in  achieving CF and VF. National Targets, attended by Central Government, Local Government, NGOs, Community and Media (more than 400 people).

Next Steps

  • Participatory Research on Potential NTFP to be developed in CF/HKm or VF/HD, to enhance commodities productivity and suitability of community forest
  • Developing NTFP for the community at CF/HKm and VF/HD, to develop the capacity of the community at HKm/HD
  • Development of partnership for private forest farmers, to improve income of the private forest farmers
  • Promoting leading commodity from community forestry in trade fair, to assist community receiving fair value of their products
  • Development of benchmark for community forest and village forest for ASEAN level
  • Enhance capacity of community forest involving renewable energy (Wood Pellet) in Madura, to improve community’s knowledge  on business sense with simple economic analyses tool on operating wood pellet production
  • Executive study tour on social forestry in Community Forest site to showcase viable and feasible economic activities in the community/village level to the policy makers within national and regional scope
  • Exchange visit on social forestry (for community and NGO)  in leading AMS’s learning sites, to share knowledge and experiences on social forestry practices.