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Decentralization and forestry in the Indonesian archipelago: beyond the big bang


Warman, R, Decentralization and forestry in the Indonesian archipelago: beyond the big bang, South East Asia Research, 24, (1) pp. 23-40. ISSN 0967-828X (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 IP Publishing

DOI: doi:10.5367/sear.2016.0294


The much studied 1999 big bang of Indonesian government decentralization was, in the end, relatively muted and quickly undone in forestry. This paper assesses the big bang as it relates to forestry. It reviews the extensive body of literature that was produced in the years immediately after the big bang occurred, as well as siting it in the longer sweep of Indonesian forestry history. The paper finds that there has been a long-term centralizing tendency in forestry governance, with nation-building and assertion of power over resources in the periphery being key centralizing forces. However, there are valid reasons for decentralized forestry management, such as improving rural development and respecting traditional rights through more accountable and responsive institutional arrangements. It is suggested here that a number of changing factors in Indonesia and in forestry could provide opportunities for a more enduring decentralization in forestry. These include strengthening democratic institutions, a declining role for natural forests in wood production as plantations replace supplies, and a shift to forms of governance built on systems thinking. For these reasons, it is suggested that the promises of decentralized forest governance might be delivered, not as a central government-ordained big bang, but rather as a progressive, paradigmatic evolution.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:decentralization, forestry, Indonesia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Asia's past
UTAS Author:Warman, R (Dr Russell Warman)
ID Code:107896
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2016-03-31
Last Modified:2017-10-13

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