The Decentralization of Forest Governance

Edited by Moira Moeliono, Eva Wollenberg and Godwin Limberg 
Earthscan  November 2008  

Hardcover  320 pp  ISBN 9781844075867      £80.00
Published with CIFOR

The devolution of control over the world's forests from national or state and provincial level governments to local control is an ongoing global trend that deeply affects all aspects of forest management, conservation of biodiversity, control over resources, wealth distribution and livelihoods. This powerful new book from leading experts provides an in-depth account of how trends towards increased local governance are shifting control over natural resource management from the state to local societies, and the implications of this control for social justice and the environment.

The book is based on ten years of work by a team of researchers in Malinau, Indonesian Borneo, one of the world's richest forest areas. The first part of the book sets the larger context of decentralization's impact on power struggles between the state and society. The authors then cover in detail how the devolution process has occurred in Malinau, the policy context, struggles and conflicts and how Malinau has organized itself. The third part of the book looks at the broader issues of property relations, conflict, local governance and political participation associated with decentralization in Malinau. Importantly, it draws out the salient points for other international contexts including the important determination that 'local political alliances', especially among ethnic minorities, are taking on greater prominence and creating new opportunities to influence forest policy in the world's richest forests from the ground up.

This is top-level research for academics and professionals working on forestry, natural resource management, policy and resource economics worldwide.



Part I: Theoretical and Contextual Background
  • Between State and Society: Decentralization in Indonesia
  • The Geography of Malinau
  • The Cultural Politics of Collaboration to Control and Access Forest Resources in Malinau, East Kalimantan
  • Biodiversity, Landscapes and Livelihoods: A Local Perspective

Part II: Small-scale Timber Harvesting in Malinau

  • Impact of Small Timber Harvest Permits on Villages in the Malinau Watershed
  • Who, How and for What? Negotiations and Outcomes from IPPK Agreements between Communities and Brokers in Malinau
  • The Effect of IPPKs on Household Livelihoods in Malinau District, East Kalimantan
  • A Comparison of Damage Due to Logging under Different Forms of Resource Access in East Kalimantan, Indonesia
  • Tane' Olen as an Alternative for Forest Management: Further Developments in Setulang village, East Kalimantan

Part III: Other Developments Driven by Decentralization

  • Winners Take All: Understanding Forest Conflict in the Era of Decentralization in Indonesia
  • Tenure and Adat in Malinau
  • The Realpolitik of Village Representation and Participation
  • New Experiments Shaping Government and Society Interactions
  • Riding the Rapids: Synthesis and Conclusion


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