As one step in the process of obtaining management rights under the Village Forest (Hutan Desa) Programme, in April, in the District of Malinau, the proposed Village Forest for Setulang, covering an area of about 5.300 ha, underwent a field verification process in order to ensure that the proposed location does not overlap with any other licences. The FORCLIME Programme supported the village in preparing for this process both in technical aspects such as improving draft map that previously developed by CIFOR and Malinau Forestry Service, and in facilitating coordination between the community, Malinau District government and the field verification team.
Following up on the proposal for managing the Setulang Protected Forest (Tane 'Olen) under the village forest (hutan desa) programme, the Ministry of Forestry together with the East Kalimantan Provincial Forest and Malinau District Forest Services carried out a field verification process. The team consisted of the Directorate General of Watershed Management and Social Forestry (DG BPDASPS), the Technical Unit of Watershed Management (UPT BPDAS) Mahakam Berau, the Center for Forest Area Consolidation (BPKH) Region IV Samarinda, East Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service, and Malinau District Forestry Service. The proposed area consists of protection forest and limited production forest and is located within the administrative area of Setulang village.
During the field verification, the team consulted directly with the village forest management institution and relevant village government officials , to discuss what kind of potential conflicts might occurr, about the village forest management in the future and other issues. The team also checked the coordinates of the boundary of the village forest area in the field. Results of the field verification process will be reported to the Ministry of Forestry for consideration in the decree which will establish the working area of the Setulang village forest. According to the official minutes of the field verification Setulang Village Forest complies with all legal requirements. Also the commitment, facilities and facts from the field support Setulang’s application for the Village Forest.
In a meeting with the verification team = the Secretary of Malinau district, Adry Patton, commended the Ministry of Forestry (Kemenhut), for providing support to the village forest in Malinau. According to him, the Village Forest Programme is in line with the development objective of the Malinau district and its = Village Development Movement (Gerakan Desa Membangun-Gerdema). Gerdema is a movement to promote community-based economic development to reach the villages so that the people of Malinau will become smarter, healthier, more productive and prosperous. He expressed his hope that the Ministry of Forestry can approve the proposal without delay, so that the village community can get legal access and rights to manage the forest.
The Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia through the Minister of Forestry’s decree No. P.49/Menhut-II/2008 concerning Village Forest provides good opportunities for local communities living in and around forests to manage and utilize forest areas in their villages. It is expected that the available access can be used for improving the welfare of local communities. Setulang is the first village in Malinau that has proposed the Protected Forest (Tane 'Olen) as a Village Forest.
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