Collaborative Governance of Forest Resources in Indonesia: Giving Over Managerial Authority to Decision Makers on the Sites

M. A. Sardjono*, M. Inoue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


A decade and a half of the implementation of forestry decentralization in Indonesia has resulted in impacts beyond the theoretical assumption that it would have implications for better forest governance. In fact, the decentralization still keeps standing deforestation and forest degradation rates going up. Moreover it is unable to increase local community welfare significantly. The main problems considered were less optimal span of control in terms of limited professional foresters within local forestry services compared to very large areas that have to be monitored, an insufficient budget, as well as limited physical resources. The recent concept of Forest Management Units (FMUs) with the understanding of institutions equipped with professional foresters at the site level (Kesatuan Pemangkuan Hutans (KPHs)) is believed will become a solution to governance-related problems, and therefore an analysis of its potential is an objective of this chapter.An in-depth analysis of forest decentralization under regional autonomy found that conventional characters still existed and hampered good governance, such as political interests of limited local elites at autonomous levels and dominant perspectives that forests are productive resources for revenue generation supporting economic development. Unfortunately, forests are no longer attractive revenue generators and have changed into more favorable land uses (especially coal mining and oil palm plantations). Forest decentralization led to frequent vertical conflicts; for example, government and forest operators' policies versus local communities' claims. Shifting some authority to a lower level, particularly the on-site level as conceptualized in FMUs/KPHs, enables cleaner (from political interests) and clearer (for distributing rights and responsibilities) governance and creates possibilities for promoting nine guidelines of collaborative governance. Three potential advantages of FMUs/KPHs include resource conflicts resolution, reduced bureaucracy to achieve lower costs, and socioeconomic facilitation of local institutions. However, some challenges have also been identified in FMUs to optimize the implementation of forest collaborative governance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Natural Resources Management in Dynamic Asia
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128104705
ISBN (Print)9780128054543
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Forest collaborative governance
  • Forest management
  • Forest management units (FMUs/KPHs)
  • Local governments
  • Regional autonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Collaborative Governance of Forest Resources in Indonesia: Giving Over Managerial Authority to Decision Makers on the Sites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this