Socio-Economic Assessment Production Forest Simpang Heran Beyuku
Socio-Economic Assessment for Collaborative Governance and Community Economic Institutional Development in a Ecosystem Restoration Program
Production Forest Simpang Heran Beyuku, Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra Province
In the midst of the widespreading haze disaaster and its relation to the forest fire problems of, the public including institutions representing environmentalists have set out demands against companies that hold permit for production forests and palm oil companies are being accused for causing forest fires. Although there have also been cases of forest fires caused by locals during land clearing for farming, the existance of palm oil and other companies in the industrial crop business, are somewhat unavoidable given that most of their concession are located on the peat swamps. As a solution, the Indonesian government finally established Badan Restorasi Gambut (BRG) which is directly under the President with the purpose to integrate every prevention and handling of peatland fires.
Ecosystem Restoration (ER) or also known as recovery, is actually nothing new in the context of forest conservation in Indonesia. In a sense ER is not just an idea responsive to the forest fires, which happened recently. It began as an initiative from several NGOs and community groups to restore a forests ecosystem, including mangrove, which has been a process that has been carried out for quite some time. The government has also issued policies to encourage ER to be implemented by various parties, including the Ministry of Forestry Regulation No. SK. 159 / Menhut-II / 2004 on Ecosystem Restoration in Production Forest Area and Regulation No: P.48 / Menhut-II / 2014 on ER in nature reserves and nature conservation. Not only that, Regulation of the Minister of Forestry Number: P. 61 / Menhut-II / 2008 also provide an opportunities for the involvement of business entities or corporation to take part in ER while achieving business aims with the Utilization of Wood-Ecosystem Restoration (IUPHHK-RE) permit scheme.
The involvement of the local community will also determine the success of an ER program therefor manifestations in the program’s activities should be supported by in depth analysis of the socio-cultural and economic. This is done to minimize the chances of a discrepancy between the designed activities and how the locals responds during implementation.
From the 1990s until the 2000s, was a period full of challenges for forestry in Indonesia. Illegal logging was very common in forest-rich regions in Indonesia. Deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia tends to increase (Forest Watch Indonesia / Global Forest Watch, 2002; Tacconi, Obidzinski, & Court, 2004), therefor the negative impact is very broad, both for ecological, economic, institutional, and socio-cultural ( Gintings & van Noordwijk, 2002; Anggraeni, Watopa, & Sumantri, 2004) aspects. The Indonesian government later realized ecosystem improvement efforts must be made through rehabilitation and conservation, and utilization of forest resources should be done carefully. Government regulates the recovery effort through such activities, in the form of ecosystem restoration on Production Forests by opening opportunities for ecosystem restoration to investors. Ecosystem restoration was first set out by the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Forestry Regulation No. SK.159 / Menhut-II / 2004 2004 on Ecosystem Restoration in Production Forest Area. Policies of the Ministry of Forestry and reinforced by national policy in Government Regulation (PP) No. 6 Year 2007 in conjunction with Government Regulation No. 3 of 2008, which contains IUPHHK-RE as a new type of Industrial Forest management along with the Natural Industrial Forest and Plantation Forest.
The Objective of the Assessment
This assessment was conducted to collect basic data related to socio-economic conditions of rural communities around the concession area of PT. KEN. As a baseline data, results from this assessment will be very useful in:
- Preparing implementation strategies for ER by PT. KEN,
- Developing community engagement programs around the ER area by PT. KEN, as well as
- Developing indicators of achievement in the process of monitoring and evaluation of ER activities by PT. KEN together with the local community.