2013 国際助成プログラム International Grant Program      
(Grant Number)
(Project Title)
Building a Common Platform of Local Government and the People in Restoring Customary Forests in Lebak District, Indonesia
Safitri, Myrna Asnawati
Epistema Institute
(Grant Amount)
企画書・概要 (Abstract of Project Proposal)


This project will study and set up dialogues to local lawmaking concerning the recognition of the rights of the indigenous peoples, Kasepuhan, in Lebak District to their customary forests. For decades, the forests had been classified as state forests. Indonesian Constitutional Court recently annulled the provisions of Forestry Law that stated customary forests as part of state forests. This court ruling has been a new legal instrument in the recognition of customary forests in current Indonesian forestry policies. More efforts, however, are required to make the ruling affect local policies and the people. Lebak district would be instrumental for this purpose because the Kasepuhan community was one of the petitioners to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of anti-customary forest articles in forestry law, and there have been initial steps to make local regulation to recognize the Kasepuhan forests.

実施報告書・概要 (Summary of Final Report)

After being neglected for decades, customary forests in Indonesia finally recognized in 2013. The Constitutional Court made a ruling that acknowledged these forests as private forests. Previously, the Forestry Law placed them as part of state forests. The Kasepuhan peoples are one of indigenous groups who live in the surrounding of the Halimun-Salak national park in the west of Java Island. Since Dutch colonial times, they had been appropriated from their ancestral land. The Epistema Institute and other non-governmental organizations have been assisting the Kasepuhan to obtain state recognition. Supported by the Toyota Foundation, the Epistema Institute made legal opinion and set up policy dialogues between local government, the national park authorities and the Kasepuhan. At the end of this project, the District parliament agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kasepuhan and NGOs, including Epistema. This MoU confirms the parliament’s commitment to process a regulation concerning the Kasepuhan and their ancestral domain in 2015. It becomes a great achievement of legal advocacy for the Kasepuhan in the last ten years.

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