Forest inventories serve the purpose of collecting forest data and other relevant information for management (here: forest management units - FMUs). They provide the basis for all further analyses and planning steps as defined in long-term as well as annual business and management plans.
The application of sound and efficient forest inventory methods at FMU level is a precondition for the formulation of 10-year as well as annual management plans of FMUs and therefore of central importance to the forest sector reform of the Indonesian Government. Specific inventories need to be conducted at regular intervals at FMU, resort (RPH) and compartment level to provide the basis for forest management by determining the potential of forest and non-timber forest products.
Challenges for forest inventories at FMU level:
The previously developed inventory guideline (released in 2012) as well as the general conditions for forest inventories caused various challenges and difficulties to the implementation at FMU level:
- The previous Technical Guidance for Forest Use Planning and the Development of Forest Management Plans in Protection Forest Management Units (KPHL) and Production Forest Management Unit (KPHP), August 2012.” (Technical Guideline for FMU Inventories) recommended applying the same forest inventory methods at FMU level as were developed for the National Forest Inventory (NFI). The simple replication of the NFI method seemed inappropriate for the FMU level with the result of high sampling errors. The NFI sampling method with cluster plots consisting of 1 permanent sample plot (square plot 100mx100m with 16 measurement units), 8 temporary sampling plots with 8 subplots each is very time consuming and costly.
- Private sector forest concession companies within FMUs are currently using a different inventory methodology (IHMB) based on a design with large 20x125 m rectangular plots resulting in a time and labour intensive implementation.
Capacities of stakeholders:
- There are limited technical and financial capacities of subnational institutions such as within the 22 existing Technical Implementation Units (Balai Pemantapan Kawasan Hutan – BPKH) of the Directorate General (DG) of Forestry Planning and Environmental Governance of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), FMUs, research institutions, etc.
- Local communities are often not adequately integrated into local forest inventories despite their local knowledge on forest areas and species.
- Most forest inventories are conducted by private sector timber concession companies which often have the primary interest in creating highest revenues from timber harvesting despite maintaining the forest ecosystem services and functions in the long run.
- Specific inventories (e.g. forest carbon inventories) are often conducted by research programmes of universities, NGOs or smaller specialized consulting companies, and rarely integrated into the NFI system.
Mandates of stakeholders:
- Mandates, roles and responsibilities between different stakeholders at national level (ministry) and subnational level (provincial and district level) on forest inventories are not always clear.
- The mandates of most FMUs are very complex covering sustainable forest management (SFM), emission reduction measures (e.g. RIL, REDD+), watershed management, biodiversity conservation, production of timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and thereby improvement of local livelihoods. However, their capacities to fulfil these mandates are rather low.
Scale and topography:
- Most FMUs are responsible for managing large forest areas with different functions (conservation, protection, production), ownership types and utilization rights (forest dwellers, communities, private sector).
- Due to the size, ecology and topography, the sustainable utilization of most natural forests in Indonesia is difficult. Additionally, forest inventories are time and labour intensive and require dedicated and skilled staff.
Land tenure and utilization rights:
- In many cases boundaries and tenure rights of specific forest areas are unclear and subject to disputes and conflicts.
- Existing land use conflicts and/or lack of local community involvement are obstacles for inventories in some forest areas. Forest inventory teams are often considered as intruders.
FORCLIME supported the revision of the FMU forest management inventory guideline
FORCLIME has supported MoEF’s Directorate for Forest Resources Inventory and Monitoring (IPSDH) in the review and revision process of the technical guideline for FMU forest management inventories since 2015. In close collaboration with IPSDH and together with the ForestEye consultant team from the University of Goettingen, Germany, several Focus Group Discussions (FGD), workshops and trainings have been conducted which finally led to a revised technical guideline and a minimum standard:
- March 2015: Preparatory meeting. Assessment of the problems and challenges with the current technical inventory guideline, identification of key personnel within MoEF and set-up of a roadmap for the FORCLIME supported revision process.
- April 2015: Focus Group Discussion. Presentation of results from the critical review of the current guideline by the consultants and preliminary recommendations on sampling design alternatives and options for the design of management inventories.
- July 2015: Information and Training Needs Assessment. Assessment of the actual purpose of inventories on FMU level to identify information required to be collected during inventories. The link between inventory information and sustainable management plans was a critical issue. The expressed training needs were addressed through subsequent workshops and intensive training sessions in November.
- November 2015: Workshop and training. FMU, BPKH and MoEF staff discussed possibilities to increase the cost-effectiveness of the inventory methodology as well as the clear formulation of the inventory purposes and objectives according to FMU needs. The one-day workshop was followed by a three-day training on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), data management, remote sensing and modern forest mensuration devices.
- March 2016: Final workshop. A large group of forestry experts from MoEF, universities, FMUs, FAO and GIZ came together for a two-day workshop. Participants provided final inputs and discussed the minimum standard guideline for forest management inventories at FMU level compiled by FORCLIME and ForestEye Consultants.
- September 2016: Final minimum standard for forest management inventories on FMU level available in English and Indonesian.
- January 2017: Publication of the Director General’s Decree on the technical guideline of forest and socio-cultural inventories in protection and production FMUs (Perdirjen PKTL No. 1/2017) and publication of the minimum standard with forewords from the Director General of Forestry Planning and Environmental Governance and the FORCLIME programme director.
For further information please contact:
Tobias Goedde, Strategic Area Manager for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)