Gender and Forest Tenure Reform in Indonesia


Siscawati, Mia. 2020. "Gender and Forest Tenure Reform in Indonesia." Working Paper 258, Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia.

Author: Mia Siscawati


This report considers the gender dimensions of forest tenure and forest tenure reform in Indonesia. Data were derived from CIFOR’s research on forest tenure reform in Indonesia at the national and provincial levels, focusing on the provinces of Lampung and Maluku. Additional data were taken from training workshops on gender and community-based forest tenure reform held at these two sites. The study shows that, at the macro scale, the gender dimension of forest tenure reform is marked by the intersection of global efforts toward gender equality and women’s empowerment with the development of equitable and sustainable forest resources through forest tenure reform. At the national level, policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment have contributed to the development of gender mainstreaming policies within the forestry sector. However, national forest tenure reform policies and programs still give little consideration to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The meso scale of provincial and district levels is marked by the implementation of gender-neutral national forest tenure reform policies and programs at landscape level. In Lampung Province, two permits within social forestry schemes, namely hutan kemasyarakatan (HKm or community-managed forests) and hutan tanaman rakyat (HTR, community-based plantation forests), predominate. In contrast, hutan adat (customary forest) is more commonly found in Maluku Province. Local communities in Maluku Province are currently searching for a forest tenure reform scheme that best protects their tenurial rights to forest lands and resources. At the micro scale, the case study of Lampung Province shows that the implementation of forest tenure reform schemes has not significantly changed gender norms. Nevertheless, women’s participation in decision making at household and community level is gradually increasing, albeit in a limited way. Since the implementation of HKm permits, household income from secured forest lands has increased. This rise in income is slowly increasing the likelihood that girls will have higher education. The application of forest tenure scheme(s) at micro scale in Lampung has made women feel safe and secure in managing the land, without fear of intervention by authorities. They are able to manage non-timber forest products and earn cash income to cover living expenses. They also contribute to sustainable forest management, replanting to preserve plants from extinction. In addition, security of tenure rights appears to have led to a decrease in the number of men temporarily migrating in order to look for work or additional cash income. The presence of more adult men in the family has positively contributed to the utilization of the forest land under HKm permits, which has had a positive impact on the land and resources. The case study of Maluku Province shows that the existing tradition of active participation of women in household and community decision making could contribute to the recognition and protection of their rights, and those of other marginal groups, over forest lands and resources.

Topics: Education, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Land Tenure, Governance, Households, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2020

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