Indonesia has taken a significant step toward improving management of forest resources through its moratorium on new licenses to convert primary natural forests and peat lands. By extending the initial moratorium for two more years until 2015, Indonesia has reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable development. In this paper WRI presents research on challenges to the implementation of the moratorium at the local level, and the state of ongoing governance reforms.
Most local officials interviewed know little about the moratorium. The effectiveness of the moratorium is hampered by poor understanding of what lands the moratorium protects and what activities are prohibited in these areas. For example, five out of eight interviewed officials from district forest agencies knew the types of land protected from new conversion permits by the moratorium, while only three out of eight knew the areas protected by the official moratorium map within their district boundaries.
The national government has provided limited technical guidance to local government agencies. This includes technical guidance for implementing, monitoring, and enforcing the moratorium. Because administrative and regulatory authority is decentralized to the district level, the moratorium will only be effective if it is clearly understood, implemented, monitored, and enforced at the local level.
Governance reforms have progressed slowly. The Indonesian government has made headway to-ward improving key permitting processes, accelerating spatial planning, and strengthening data coordination, transparency, and access. While these reforms may have progressed in the absence of the moratorium, the extension of the moratorium provided additional momentum to advance key changes.
Authors: Kemen Austin, Ariana Alisjahbana, Taryono Darusman, Rachmat Boediono, Bambang Eko Budianto, Christian Purba, Giorgio Budi Indrarto, Erica Pohnan, Andika Putraditama, and Fred Stolle