Permits for the forestry industry are getting easier to be obtained through Draft Omnibus Bill on Job Creation, which claimed to create a just and prosperous society. Abolishment of the coop; exclusion of individual, local, and indigenous communities’ permits; access to forest resources that can be obtained only through collaboration with State-Owned Business Enterprises, and other private companies; are contrary to create a just and prosperous society.
In line with it, the Minister of Trade Regulation No. 15 the Year 2020 has been revoked and the previous rule, Minister of Trade Regulation Number 84/M-DAG/PER/12/2016 on Provision of Export of Forestry Industries Products is put in place. The reason that many reject it, is that the regulation dismisses the V-Legal implementation on timber industry trading and cut off the governance of upstream-to-downstream timber product legalization. If the regulation was passed, it would have caused Indonesia to violate its FLEGT-VPA commitment with the European Union and would result in a deteriorating image and reputation of Indonesia’s forest governance and timber products at the international level. Moreover, business and investment actors that have complied with the SVLK implementation would lose their trust.
Furthermore, cases on Social Forestry on three districts of East Java Provinces showed that the implementation is not serious because of the weak bureaucracy at the ministry level. The government policies; civil society participation; and independent monitors on monitoring and reporting violation cases are important aspects to realize better forest governance and law enforcement. Negligence and weak handling of reports and complaints of forestry crime cases such as illegal logging, encroachment, forest and land fires, and land conversion are obstructions on law enforcement.
Indonesia is a country with rich natural resources, including forestry and plantation sectors. However, threats on the communities’ livelihood who live on those sectors continue to happen, just like portrayed in articles of this 15th Edition Newsletter. Loss of livelihood, the emerging conflict between the communities and land-based companies are results of weak monitoring and law enforcement. The government’s concrete and real efforts are needed to manage conflict through implementing policies and strict actions on the forest crime actors. Transparency and public information disclosure must be improved so that the public and independent monitors can easily access and know the practices and development of natural resources management.
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