Legal Decree over Customary Forests by Indonesian President

The Indonesian President, Joko Widodo delivered legal decree on Customary Forest for 16 groups of customary forest management. Ten of the total groups are from Jambi consisted of seven groups in Sarolangun District, two Groups in Kerinci District and one group in Bungo District. This event was held in Istana Negara (State Palace) this morning.

We need to appreciate this event as one indication of strong legality and recognition from the government for the local people on their attempt to keep and participate in customary forest management.

Although the community has managed their forest very well, there are still a lot obstacles and challenges they would have such as illegal logging and encroachment. Hence, the legality and recognition from the state would strengthen the community related to various threats they would find anytime and anywhere.

The communities realized that there is so much they could get from maintaining and keeping their forests safe. Abdul Hamid, the head of Forest Resource Management of Meribung Village stated that the areas or forests they kept have long been water catchment areas. Thus, they called the area as rimbo larangan, an area where no one is allowed to use and exploit.

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