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The Government Is Assessed Failed to Manage Access to Indigenous Forests in Papua
13 February 2020 - by Ab Yomo

Manokwari (12/2/2020), - Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Papua, Dr. Jonni Marwa, S.Hut, M.Sc said, the central and regional governments failed to manage the access given by President Joko Widodo regarding access to management of indigenous peoples to customary forests , even though it was given from 2016.

The statement was delivered by Jonni Marwa when presenting the results of his study in the seminar on Forestry Policy and Governance in West Papua, made by WRI (World Resources Institute) Papua, in Manokwari, Wednesday (02/12/2020).

In fact, said Jonni, the conditions were very easy, only three, namely, there were indigenous peoples or customary rights holders who were recognized by the local government with local legal products, then there were customary territories which were partly or wholly in the form of forests and a statement of indigenous peoples agreeing their customary territories to become customary forests. (Procedure for managing customary forests can be seen on the link .

The failure of the central government, continued Jonni Marwa, was related to the authority to determine the Customary Law Community Law and other legal products, while the Regional Government in the matter of initiating the Regional Customary Law Regulations in the regions in accordance with the authority in Permendagri 52 of 2014, while awaiting the perdasus of the Customary Law Community for implementation.

"The important thing is there is recognition and protection from the local government first. But, the question is how many regional legal products have been produced related to the recognition and protection of indigenous peoples (Papua)? As far as I know in West Papua there are only three districts, namely Tamrauw, Bintuni and Malamoi (Sorong). Yes, I think this needs to be taken seriously by the Government, "said the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Unipa.

In the discussion session, one of the seminar participants, Dr.Sepus Fatem, S.Hut, M.Sc added, that talking about Papuans, it is inseparable from the forest and its customs. But there is no social forestry scheme in Papua that is legitimized by the state.

"The Social Forestry Working Group is also only oriented towards the pre-target area conditions, but there is no post. On the other hand, there is no clear customary forest scheme in Papua. On the other hand, we say that customary land and forests belong to Papuans, but in the social forestry scheme it forces the community to recognize that this land belongs to the state. If there are people from the Social Forestry Working Group who want to support my statement, please, "said Sepus Fatem who is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Forestry, Unipa.

Responding to this statement, West Papua CSO Coalition Coordinator, Esau Yaung said that related to customary forests is not entirely a failure of the local government, because the forest management system regulation is fully the authority of the central government.

"For example, the determination of customary forests, the authority is in the Central Government. The silvicultural system used to manage the Papua forests is also the same governed from the center. "With the status of special autonomy, for example, there should be a policy in the field of forestry for the Land of Papua," he explained.
The issue related to social forestry was also raised by Dahniar Andriani from the Society for Ecological and Community-based Legal Reform (Huma), at the Stakeholder Strategic Meeting: Strengthening the Contribution of Social Forestry to Support the Achievement of the NDC Indonesia Target, at Century Park Hotel Jakarta, April 2019. (

"We will also turn upside down and will not solve the problem at the site level, if overlapping rules have not been resolved by the Government. For example, to talk about customary law, see how many legislative instruments are there in this country ?, "Dahniar asked.

So Dahniar hopes that the future President of the Republic of Indonesia will be more serious to see this issue. If you want social forestry to be carried out well and have a big impact on achieving NDC 2030, let's be serious, don't just make social forestry an accessory. *)
Written by: Ab Yomo for

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