Payment for What? The Realities of Forestry Benefit Sharing Under Joint Forest Management in a Major Teak Plantation Region of Java, Indonesia

Abstract

This paper explores the realities of forestry benefit sharing under joint forest management in a major teak plantation region of Java, Indonesia, with reference to empirical information about the uses and effects of monetary benefits in terms of stakeholder power relations. The authors intend to enrich current understandings of the pitfalls of benefit-sharing mechanisms at the local level. The analysis focuses on institutional designs of benefit sharing, recent statistical realities of shared benefits, the uses of monetary benefits in villages, and the livelihood and conservation implications of shared benefits through household surveys. The results confirm that the benefit-sharing system has been neither effective nor equitable economically (ineffective investment, a distribution policy preferring villages’ wants, and a lack of attempts to improve general farmers’ livelihoods and pro-poor arrangements), ecologically (little change in forest protection systems and continuing illegal logging and unofficial forestland cultivation), and in terms of governance (elite capture and a lack of downward accountability). Limited capacity, downward accountability of committee executive members and a laissez-faire attitude of forest administrators were also observed. A laissez-faire policy of forest administration under the frameworks of joint forest management can create room for elite capture as well as ineffective conservation and poor livelihood outcomes and should thus be avoided. Appropriate and supportive facilitation and collaboration from the outside to develop the capacity and downward accountability of village-level decision makers is needed. These issues are increasingly important in the context of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+).

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Fig. 1

Adapted from Randublatung Forest District (2016)

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Adapted from Shiga et al. (2012)

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Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP15KT0127, JP16K16240, and JP18K18235. The field research was conducted with foreign research permits from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education in Indonesia. The authors appreciate Prof. Lilik B. Prasetyo at Bogor Agricultural University for being the research counterpart as well as staff members of the Randublatung Forest District and village respondents for cooperating with the research. The data, analysis, and opinions presented in this paper are the sole responsibility of the authors.

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Correspondence to Masahiko Ota.

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Ota, M., Masuda, M. & Shiga, K. Payment for What? The Realities of Forestry Benefit Sharing Under Joint Forest Management in a Major Teak Plantation Region of Java, Indonesia. Small-scale Forestry (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11842-020-09446-5

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Keywords

  • Stakeholder
  • Power bargaining
  • Forest administration
  • Elite capture
  • Encroachment
  • Livelihood