Restoring State Control Over Forest Resources Through Administrative Procedures: Evidence From a Community Forestry Programme in Central Java, Indonesia
AbstractIn recent years, community forestry has emerged as a means to reform power constellations with regard to forest governance. Through community forestry, the central state promised to devolve several forest rights to local communities and encouraged them to get involved in decision making processes and the implementation of forest activities. However, experience in some countries indicates that the implementation of community forestry programmes is rarely followed by genuine power devolution to local forest users. Instead, these programmes may even serve as a means to retain or restore the central state’s control over forests. Using a case study of a community forestry programme implemented in Java, Indonesia, by a state forest company, this paper argues that the implementation of community forestry is also driven by the state’s interests to regain control over the forests. Research in eight villages in Central Java province reveals that the community forestry programmes are carefully structured according to numerous administrative procedures and establish a mode of control through a bureaucratic design.
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