Three Generations of Forest Peoples’ Empowerment in Indonesia: Process Towards Sustainable and Equitable Forest Management

  • Jun Harbi Forestry Economics and Management, College of Economics and Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China 150040
  • Yukun Cao Forestry Economics and Management, College of Economics and Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China 150040
  • James Thomas Erbaugh Environmental Studies Department, Dartmouth College, Hanover, USA 03755
  • Faris Rafi Almay Widagdo Forestry Economics and Management, College of Economics and Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China 150040
  • Jerry Mauri Forestry Economics and Management, College of Economics and Management, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China 150040
  • Supriyanto Department of Mechanical and Biosystem, Faculty of Agriculture Engineering and Technology, IPB University, Indonesia
  • Noril Milantara Forestry Program Study, Muhammadiyah University of West Sumatra, Padang, Indonesia
Keywords: forest peoples, empowerment, forest conservation, human well-being, socio-cultural dynamics


Human activities that alter land cover have destroyed natural ecosystems and caused conflict. In Indonesia, community-based forest management (CBFM) policies implemented by the government seek to empower communities, ameliorate forest conversion, and reduce environmental conflict. This article critically assesses contemporary CBFM policy in Indonesia by analyzing its history and outcomes through policy analysis. To systematically review previous literature on CBFM, this research uses the PRISMA method. It finds that communities are often able to manage forest areas sustainably through sociocultural systems that combine management customs and culture. Empowerment through CBFM policy therefore promises to promote community subsistence, equity, and security regarding forest management. However, granting total resource rights to communities can result in land conversion unless managerial safeguards are in place. Many studies find that the clarity of land boundaries, the consistency of regulation, and the partiality of land governance drive CBFM program success. To facilitate land governance for the successful implementation of Indonesian social forestry, communities need access rights, authority to manage forests, and sufficient knowledge transfer to participate in formal forest management. In contrast to previous iterations of CBFM in Indonesia, current social forestry policy acknowledges these governance needs and seeks to implement them.


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How to Cite
Jun Harbi, Cao, Y., Erbaugh, J. T., Widagdo, F. R. A., Mauri, J., Supriyanto, & Milantara, N. (2020). Three Generations of Forest Peoples’ Empowerment in Indonesia: Process Towards Sustainable and Equitable Forest Management. Jurnal Manajemen Hutan Tropika, 26(2), 91.