Strengthening Community-Based Peat Forest Management in Indonesia

Startdatum1 juli 2024
Einddatum30 juni 2026
RegelingPVG Thematische calls 2023
  • Duurzame landbouw-, water- en voedselvoorziening

Indonesia’s peat forests remain severely threatened by forest fires, oil palm plantation development and extractive industries, which leads to biodiversity loss, increased emissions of greenhouse gases, and the marginalization of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. In 2008 the Government of Indonesia introduced the Social Forestry Programme under which Indigenous Peoples and local communities can acquire a 35-year management permit. Since then, about 10 percent of Indonesian State Forest has been designated for community-based forest conservation and restoration initiatives. The devolution of authority to the local level has created a new playing field. The Social Forestry Programme reverses more than a century of centralistic forest policy, and requires a fundamental re-orientation of all actors working in the forestry sector. The central question underlying this proposal is how Dutch civil society organizations (applied universities and NGOs) can effectively support Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the protection and restoration of peat forests in Indonesia. This project aims to set up a Living Lab in Ketapang District in West Kalimantan to study, identify and test novel ways to work together with a variety of stakeholders to effectively conserve and restore peat forest. In Ketapang District, Tropenbos Indonesia has assisted three Village Forest Management Groups (Pematang Gadung, Sungai Pelang and Sungai Besar) in securing a Social Forestry Permit. Students from three Dutch Universities (Van Hall Larenstein, Aeres Hogeschool and Inholland) will conduct research in partnership with students from Universitas Tanjungpura on the integration of local ecological knowledge and technical expertise, on the economic feasibility of community-based forestry enterprises, and on new polycentric governance structures. The results of these studies will be disseminated to policy makers and civil society groups working in Indonesia, using the extensive networks of IUCN NL and Tropenbos Indonesia.


Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences

Peter van der Meer, contactpersoon