The Securing Forests : Customary Forest and Laws Support Program

Since 16 May 2013 as the starting point of the great thing due the customary values. Indonesia’s Constitutional Court ruled that indigenous peoples’ customary forests should not be classed as “State Forest Areas”. This is a landmark ruling and an important step for the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights in Indonesia. The Indonesia’s 1999 Forestry Law previously stated that “customary forests are state forests located in the areas of custom-based communities”. The Constitutional Court’s ruling deletes he word “state” from that sentence. The ruling revised the Law so that state forests no longer include customary forests.

The court also ruled that the government had to recognize indigenous communities’ ownership of customary forests. “Indigenous peoples have the right to own and exploit their customary forests to meet their daily needs. The court last week decided to scrap the word “state” from Article 1 of the 1999 Forestry Law, which says “customary forests are state forests located in the areas of custom-based communities”. The court also ruled that the government had to recognize indigenous communities’ ownership of customary forests, saying that “indigenous peoples have the right to own and exploit their customary forests to meet their daily need.

The ruling has been seen as a victory for the indigenous people, who have long had their rights to make a living by making productive use of their forests denied by the state. indigenous peoples in Indonesia won a major victory regarding their rights to customary lands, after a landmark rulling by the country’s Constitutional Court declared state control of customary forests unconstitutional. The ruling theoretically puts 40 million hectares of forest in the hands of indigenous communities. However, over 30 million hectares of customary forests are not yet mapped, leaving communities vulnerable to land grabbing by companies for plantation expansion or other development projects.

It a basic fundametal reason for SRI to declare & start to focus on assistance program due the important values of involvement as facilitator to supports indigenous and local communities to set up and carry out community-based research studies to document information related to traditional knowledge, customary practices and use of natural resources within their territories. The strong indigenous and local communities with effective implementation of customary values including management of their laws & natural asset will give long term contribution for sustainable natural resources managemet & protection.

The Objectives are: (1) To re-identify customary forest-tenure boundaries with aime to provide the acurate of mappings of the customary lands including the landuse system by oral histories, GPS & GIS methodologies and sketch maps; (2) To support the customary peoples with their laws enforcement & reconstruction the court of customary justices including the leadership of indigeneous or local peoples ; and (3) To support the socialization and efforts of recognition by all parties to the ownership of customary forests including local based NGOs for management of assistance the customary forests.