Facts about Forestry in Indonesia (part 1)

Updated: Feb 18

Hi everyone!


I wrote about then vs now of Borneo Island and negative emission strategies in Indonesia in my previous blog posts. Now, I would continue to write about forestry in Indonesia. I just learned it since I don't have any backgrounds related to forestry. I only learned about the environmental management system, hydrological cycle, and natural resource management in my courses and thesis project. I read a report a few days ago. The title is '2020 Indonesian Forestry Vademecum'. It is said that this report aims to give a short guide for foresters and anyone who needs information on Indonesia's forests and forestry.




As a beginner who learns about forestry in Indonesia, I would tell you some facts about Indonesia's forestry. The first one: the definition of forest in Indonesia. Indonesia uses the definition of "forest", which differs from other definitions used in the world. The UNFCCC has recognized definition of "forest" in Indonesia through agreement on Reference Emission Levels (Forest Reference Emission Level / FREL) for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (KLHK, 2018). Global Forest Resource Assessment from FAO defines forest as land an area of more than 0.5 ha with a tree canopy cover of more than 10%

and overgrown with trees more than 5 meters at adult age (GFRA FAO, 2010). Despite the definition, it fits in a global context. However, in the Indonesian context, it would be different. For Indonesian tropical natural forest ecosystems, the forest is defined as the land area with canopy cover 10% more accurately describes the type of non-forested vegetation. So, what is a forest in the Indonesian context? The forest is defined as “a unit ecosystem in the form of a filled expanse of land predominantly living natural resources in the communion of the natural environment with one another cannot be separated ”(Law 41 of 1999 about Forestry).


Then, the second fact is about forest status in Indonesia. Nowadays, there are several issues related to the customary forest (Hutan adat). You could check it in the regulation, but I would write here. Indonesian forests, based on their status, consist of state forest and private forest. The state forest is a forest that resides on yang land not burdened with land rights. The private forest is a forest that resides on yang land encumbered with land rights. The Government carries out determination of status forest. Next, what is the customary forest? According to the regulation, it is categorized as a state forest. However,

since the issuance of the new regulation in 2012, "State" in the definition of the customary forest does not have binding legal force, so the definition becomes "customary forest is a forest within the territory customary law communities". If you follow some issues these days, this definition would be found in some discussions.



The third fact is about forest types in Indonesia. Before I read this report, I only know the tropical forest and mangrove forest. Based on this report, the distribution of forest ecosystem types and definitions of forest ecosystems vary from one expert to another. According to Kartawinata (2013), Indonesia has 57 natural ecosystem types. However, in general, Indonesia's vegetation type can be grouped into several major ecosystem types, such as Mangrove, Coastal, Freshwater Swamp, Peat Swamp, Kerangas, Monsoon Mountain, Monsoon Savana, Plantation, and Urban Forest.


The last one: Rehabilitation, Remediation, Reclamation, Reforestation and Restoration. If I have to explain the differences between them, I cannot describe well. The good news is, I found the definition and a simple picture to explain them.



Various options for restoring degraded ecosystems


Rehabilitation is defined as the action of restoring a thing to a previous condition or statue. The definition is similar to the definition of restoration. The difference is rehabilitation does not imply perfection because its ecosystem is not expected to be similar or as healthy as the ecosystem before degraded (Francis et al., 1979). The restoration means to bring back to the original state or healthy or vigorous state. At first, restoration was interpreted as a process for restoring that environment damaged due to human activity becoming the original dynamic ecosystem (Jakson et al., 1995), which was later expanded to a recovery-assisting process and the management of the ecosystem integrity (SER, 1996). Remediation is the act of remedying. It emphasized the process, not the result. The last one, the definition of reclamation, is a land fit for cultivation, which makes the land condition more either to cultivate or to make something already good becomes better.


I got a lot of information and knowledge about forestry from this report. A few years ago, I was tired when I introduce myself that I'm from Kalimantan; people asked, 'do you ever go to the forest?'. But now, when I learn more about forestry, I would say that I'm happy when I say I'm from Kalimantan :D


See you next post!

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