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Forest Farmers Group of Kulon Progo Community Forest: Towards Self-Sufficiency

  • Published in Indonesia
  • Tuesday, 29 October 2013 14:49

Seven groups of Kulon Progo Community Forest farmers (KT-HKm) that are gathered in a forum called “Komunitas Peduli Lingkungan Alam Lestari (Lingkar)” (Community of Surrounding Nature Environment) formalized their business partnership with Joint Enterprise Group (KUB) “Tiwi Manunggal” that is based in Hargowilis Village, Kokap Sub District, Kulon Progo District, through the signing of Partnership Agreement on 25 September 2013. The event was made possible with the support from Directorate of Social Forestry Development of the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia, the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), and the Watershed Management Agency “Serayu Opak Progo” (BPDAS SOP), as well as the District Agriculture and Forestry Agency of Kulon Progo. Also present in the event were the Vice Regent of Kulon Progo District and the Head of several District line Agencies of Kulon Progo, as well as Representatives of the Provincial Forestry Agency, the Joint Enterprise Group, and Forest Farmers Groups of Community Forest (KT-HKm). 

The Joint Enterprise Group (KUB) “Tiwi Manunggal” is running a small-scale business producing palm sugar with production capacity of approximately 36 tons per month, which have been exported to the international markets, to the UK and Germany in particular. The palm sugar produced by KUB Tiwi Manunggal contains ginger as part of its ingredients.  In fulfilling the need for ginger as raw material for the palm sugar products, the KUB Tiwi Manunggal has engaged its business with the Kulon Progo Community Forest farmers groups who have been cultivating ginger as part of their commodities of Community Forest.

Discussion on Management of Ecotourism of Kulon Progo Community Forest, facilitated by Dr. Herry Santoso of JAVLEC

On the same day during the evening, the Community Forest farmers groups of Kulon Progo (KT-HKm Kulon Progo) conducted a Focused Group Discussion to improve the management of eco-tourism located in the HKm area. The Discussion was facilitated by Dr. Herry Santoso of Java Learning Centre (JAVLEC), one of the NGOs based in Yogyakarta with focus on community empowerment.

This Focused Group Discussion was organized with facilitation of the Directorate of Social Forestry Development and with support from ASFN. Also participating in the Discussion were the caretakers (Representatives) of the seven Community Forest farmers groups, facilitators of the forest farmers groups, Head of the District Tourism Agency of Kulon Progo, as well as Representatives of the Directorate of Social Forestry Development and ASFN Secretariat.

The establishment of Kulon Progo Community Forest farmers groups (KT-HKm) was resulted from long journey since the rapidly increasing intensity of state forest encroachment in Kulon Progo in the beginning of reformation movements during the years of 1997-2000. A great deal of illegal logging activities by irresponsible people occured, taking advantage of political uncertainty during that time. Such massive illegal logging in state forest areas had left little number of forest timber trees. At that time, the state forest areas in Kulon Progo could not show their characteristics as forest areas, due to the barren lands in most parts of the forest areas, with only some small coverage of timber trees, as well as tubers and other shrubs. 

The unfavorable condition had triggered anxiety of some local community surrounding the forest areas who pays great attention to the stance of their forest. Their anxiety then had raised the attention of one NGO namely the Damar Foundation (Yayasan Damar, or YD), to begin encourage the local community to actively protect and rehabilitate their forest condition. At the end of 1999, by approaching the community caring for the forest, YD started identifying the roots of causes that have resulted in the illegal logging. The presence of YD initially was perceived with suspicion by local community. Eventually, after there was adequate understandingt of the Goals and Objectives of the YD, the local community then gradually welcomed the existence of YD. During midst of 2000, intensive facilitation was conducted by YD for seven (7) forest farmers groups with members coming from three (3) different Villages and two (2) Sub Districts. 

Having gone through considerably intensive facilitation processes by participating in local community meetings, trainings, discussions, exchange studies, as well as other participatory activities, the local community had made quite significant accomplishments, among others:

  • Regain of local community collective awareness towards the sustainability of the forests;
  • Raise of local community awareness upon their rights and responsibilities as a citizen towards the management of state forest;
  • Preserved norms and local wisdom of community surrounding forests.

In parallel with the developments, with facilitation by YD, the local community began to exert their rehabilitation efforts through activities planning with the objectives of revitalizing the favorable condition of the forest. The activities planning were focusing on three (3) aspects, namely the institutionalization of forest farmers groups, the revitalization of forest conditions, and the development of forest products enterprise opportunities for forest farmers groups.

In developing forest products enterprise opportunities for the forest farmers groups, some of the activities implemented have been:

  1. Establishing forest farmers Cooperatives Enterprise Agency;
  2. Planting of productive plants (inter-cropping and medicinal plants);
  3. Planting of green livestock fodders (HMT) at the terrace areas of the forests;
  4. Reactivating livestock enterprise and home-industry activities.

In line with the government policy on providing access to forest farmers groups towards forest areas through Community Forest scheme (HKm) in year 2000, seven (7) forest farmers groups officially submitted their request for Community Forest utilization permit, to the government. After going through quite long process, finally on the 15th of February 2003, the Government of Kulon Progo District issued Decree on the provision of temporary permit for Community Forest utilization, for the the seven (7) forest farmers groups, which was valid for five (5) years.

Within this period of temporary permit provided, the seven (7) forest farmers groups with facilitation of the YD had proven their serious commitment in protecting and rehabilitating forest condition. During this period there have been a great deal of positive results, namely:

  • Establishment of Cooperatives Legal Agency in each forest farmers group (2006);
  • Good conduct of forest rehabilitation, based on tree planting pattern planned by each forest farmers group with facilitation of the Watershed Management Agency of “Serayu Opak Progo” and the Agencies in-charge of forestry at the District and Provincial levels;
  • Marking with numbers on trees existing in the forests as part of control tools;
  • Reduction of illegal logging in the forests, moreover it could be stated at that time that the occurence of illegal poaching was almost none;
  • Good conduct of forest farmers groups institutionalization, demonstrated among others routine group members meetings (once in a month).
Office of one of Community Forest farmer groups (KT-HKm) in Kulon Progo

In year 2007, the issuance of Minister of Forestry Regulation P. 37/Menhut-II/2007 dated 7 September 2007 on Community Forest was followed with the issuance of Keputusan Minister of Forestry No. SK.437/Menhut-II/2007 dated 11 Desember 2007 on Working Area designation for Community Forest Kulon Progo.  As result from evaluation process on accomplishments made during the provision of temporary permit (valid for 5 years), finally in 2008 the Regent of Kulon Progo District issued the Community Forest Management Utilization Permit (IUP-HKm) for the seven (7) forest farmers groups that is valid for period of 35 years. The said permit provided covers the areas of production forest and protected forest of 167.20 Ha in total.

Brighter Hope with Community Forest Management Utilization Permit (IUPHKm)

After the issuance of Community Forest Management Utilization Permit (IUP-HKm), various endeavors in rehabilitating forest condition, strengthening forest farmers groups, as well as business enterprise developments had continued with facilitation of the facilitators who were formerly with the YD and later on were dettached from the YD but remain highly committed to continue facilitating the Community Forest farmers groups. Besides that, the support from Communication and Consultation Forum for Community Forest that was already established by the Government of Kulon Progo District since the period of temporary permit provision (FKK-HKm) had also contributed effectively in further encouraging the developments of Community Forest farmers groups (KT-HKm).

The Government Agencies of the District and Provincial levels, as well as the Watershed Management Agency “Serayu Opak Progo” had also continued rendering various forms of support, namely among others:

  1. Provision of inter-cropping plant seedlings, such as fruit crops and other estate crops 
  2. Provision of under-storey plant seedlings, such as variety of medicinal plants
  3. Provision of capital support Enterprise Cooperatives 
  4. Social support, such as provision of cattle breeders.

It was with high commitment and guidance from facilitators and local government that the forest condition had gradually improved. Several new springs emerged, with water resources of these were then channeled to the houses of surrounding areas by using PVC pipes, although such distribution has yet to be regulated by Community Forest farmers groups. In developing community economy, members of the Community Forest farmers groups had carried-out some enterprise developments, among others:

  • Cultivation of red ants (harvested the eggs for pet bird fodder);
  • Palm Sugar cultivation & Palm Sugar production;
  • Tubers processing;
  • Livestock Enterprise development;
  • Taro plants development;
  • Medicinal plants development.
Walk Path & Lodging facilities of Ecotourism area in Kulon Progo Community Forest (HKm)

Specifically for the Community Forest working area located in the protected forest, the Community Forest farmers groups gathered in “Komunitas Lingkar” with the support of various parties have developed environmental services utilization in the form of Ecotourism in Desa“Kalibiru” in the Kokap Sub District, Kulon Progo District.  In developing supporting facilities for this Ecotourism, the Government of Kulon Progo District in year 2009 had provided funding support of IDR 445 million that was directly received and managed by the Community Forest farmers groups (KT-HKm). In year 2012, as response to the proposal submitted by the facilitators, the Tourism National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM Pariwisata) of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy provided funding support of IDR 70 million to develop the Ecotourism facilities. This Kulon Progo Community Forest Ecotourism in Kalibiru had since developed into alternative tourists site for University students and community living in the surroundings of  Yogyakarta Special Province, and even for tourists coming from outside of the Province. In this location, some modest facilities have been made available, such as simple lodging/accommodation, gazebo for enjoying the beautiful scenery from the top of the hills, simple culinary spots, as well as flying fox and meeting places.

Writer of this Article with Facilitator of Kulon Progo Community Forest farmers groups, at the front of Meeting facility in the Ecotourism area of HKm Kulon Progo

Since end of year 2012,  unfortunately some conflict had inevitably emerged amongst the members of the Community Forest farmers groups, disputing on the management of this Ecotourism, partly because one of the Chieves of the farmers groups had dominated the management of the Ecotourism with minimum participatory process, or with lack of participation of other farmers groups members, in contrary with what had been agreed in the beginning. This condition had hampered communication amongst members of the Community Forest farmers groups (KT-HKm) hindering the coordination in managing the Ecotourism from running smoothly.  The Focused Group Discussion on 25 September 2013 was carried-out for breaking the ice in the communication amongst members of KT-HKm in relation with the management of the Ecotourism.

Facilities of Ecotourism in Community Forest (HKm) Kulon Progo

Besides the said objective, the Discussion also covered the points regarding the next steps in order to improve the management mechanism of the Ecotourism. Members of the Community Forest farmers groups (KT-HKm) participating in the Discussion facilitated by Dr. Herry Santoso of JAVLEC, had agreed to develop the rules of procedures for management mechanism of the Ecotourism in order to preserve and develop further their Ecotourism asset.

Palm Sugar products of KUB Tiwi Manunggal

In developing community economy through cultivation of ginger, with the signing of Partnership Agreement between the Representatives of the seven (7) Community Forest farmers groups of Kulon Progo, and the Joint Enterprise Group (KUB) Tiwi Manunggal as highlighted at the beginning of this article, it is hoped that the livelihoods and community economy of Community Forest farmers groups (KT-HKm) of Kulon Progo can be improved.  There is opportunity for the KT-HKm Kulon Progo to also produce palm sugar for export market. In the meantime, the production of palm sugar from the KT-HKm Kulon Progo is still at the stage of providing raw materials for the KUB Tiwi Manunggal, and more efforts are still needed to produce palm sugar at the quality required for export market, such as the cleanness and water content level.

The Vision of Forestry Development of Indonesia: “Sustainable Forest for the Welfare of the Just Society” needs to continue be materialized in the ground through various programmes and activities that will generate direct economic benefits for the local community, particularly the local community living within and surrounding the forests, whose livelihoods greatly depend on the forests. What had been achieved and exerted in Kulon Progo as shared above, could be part of concrete actions for generating real impact on the ground, towards “Sustainable Forest, and Properous, Just Society”.  


We plant trees, we help GOD to help human's life on supplying oxygen

  • Published in Indonesia
  • Friday, 26 April 2013 07:01

“If we re-planting trees in the forest, it means we help our Earth in supplying oxygen for human’s life. Then it mean we help GOD.”

The statement above was said by Herman Hading from Watudiran Village, one of participants in Training on Institutional Strengthened for Farmer Groups of Community Forest in Sikka District. He responded to the explanation on Carbon. It was in the closing session of the Training, when Mrs. Yunida Polo, Head of  Local Government Forestry Unit (LGFU) of Sikka District, explained that after the Training on Institutional Strengthened for Farmer Groups of Community Forest in Sikka District, there will be Training on Carbon Measurement and Calculation. All participants were confused. It could be seen from their faces, they wrinkled their forehead and their eyes questioning. Until two questions came up, what is carbon? Why do farmers need to calculate carbon on their Community Forest area? Patti from ASFN Secretariat, explained that Carbon is a gas which human exhale and the gas is poison therefore our body exhale it. Human inhales oxygen. Oxygen is benefit gas for human and all living creatures on Earth. Carbon is absorbed by plantation such as tree. Tree processes Carbon into fruit and oxygen. Tree releases Oxygen. Oxygen needed by human and all living creatures. Therefore recently the carbon supply in the air is abundant due to reduction of trees. Then Herman Harding commented that “If we re-planting the tree in the forest, it means we help our Earth in supplying oxygen. Then we help GOD.” 

Sikka District has been known as one of Districts which has high poverty rate. Regarding to Badan Pusat Statistik/ Statistic Center Agency in March 2012, number of poor people in Sikka District is 73.342 householders (Kepala Keluarga)*. Poverty often followed by low education. Therefore it needs a very simple explanation to response the question from Sikka people. However they respect forest as it is already in their custom from the ancestors. But due to their needs, they cut trees for housing or open the land for farming. However in the process the community wants to manage forest land to meet their needs.

Figure 2. Sikka Map shows the conservation area (purple), Protected Forest Area (green), production forest (yellow), and other functions area (white). Distribution on HKm Area is in Protected Forest.

The fact of population increasing and the limited of arable land have alarmed the people in and surround the forest. While the potential for expansion of arable land is possible only in the area of their family heritage territory. The reality is most of the area which managed by the people has been designated as forest area since 1984. These conditions lead to limited access to the expansion of managing the area by the people / farmers in and around forest areas.

In response to those conditions, the resistance continues to be the agenda of people who want access to and control over forest areas. However, the Government of Indonesia has to accommodate people's expectations who wish to manage their land in forest areas through Community Forestry / Hutan Kemasyarakatan (HKm) Program. The program was launched by the Ministry of Forestry from 2001 through Decree of the Minister and Regulation of Minister on the implementation of Community Forest in 2007.

In Sikka District there are about 34 villages defined to manage forest in HKm Program since 2010. The area to be managed by 34 villages covers about 38.442,43 hectares. BPDAS Benain Noelmina, Kupang (Watershed Management Office of Benain Noelmina, Kupang) has been facilitated 3 villages to get Community Forest License which have been issued by the Regent in May 2012. While ASFN together with Ministry of Forestry of Republic of Indonesia (MOFRI) has been facilitated 7 villages to get Community Forest License which have been issued by the Regent in October 2012 and for next facilitation will be for other 10 villages which expected to get the Community Forest License in in February 2013. The other 10 villages are planned to be supported by ASFN in 2013 and expected to get the License at least in May 2013 **.

The HKm Program gives people rights to manage the forest for 35 years. The rights are to utilize the working area (cultivation of medicinal plants, cultivation of ornamental plants, mushroom cultivation, bee, versatile tree cultivation, swiftlet farming, wildlife breeding, rehabilitation forage fodder); to utilize of environmental services (water flow service utilization, nature tourism, biodiversity protection, rescue and environmental protection, absorption and / or carbon storage); and harvesting of non-timber forest products (rattan, bamboo, honey, sap, fruit, mushrooms)***.

In HKm Program, people who have been joined in farmer groups have obligations. People should perform boundary work area; develop 35 years work plan of HKm management in the establishment of working area; conduct plantation, maintain and secure the protected forest properly and sustainably; pay provisions on forest resources in accordance with the regulation and make the reports on the utilization and management of HKm to Local Government cq to Ministry of Forestry annually***. 

Farmer Groups from Sikka were excitedly be part of the training. Eventhough the training was not easy to follow, but the learning process went dynamic with discussion during the training and the break. The HKm rule and procedures in national level are also not easy to be understood by farmers, therefore it needs to be translated into a training for farmers. The translation from regulation into understandable procedures for farmers should be done by facilitators from local government and local NGO. Therefore MOFRI and Local Government Forestry Unit /LGFU need assistance from NGO such as Indigenous People’s Alliance of Indonesia ‘s Archipelago (AMAN) and Sandi Florata in Sikka District. The LGFU together with AMAN and Sandi Florata conduct socialization on HKm Program since 2009. 

Figure 3. Farmer Group Meetings in Wolomotong, Hikong, and Lewomada Villages (from right to left) to conduct zoning area, baseline data and Work Plan Development of HKm facilitated by Partnership through NGO AMAN and Sandi Florata.

ASFN with its purpose in supporting Government of Indonesia in HKm related to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, has supported MOFRI in HKm Program through internship, gathering data base and developing work plan and trainings. The internship organized for three Farmer Groups who already got the Permit and Staffs of LGFU Sikka District. The Internship aims to enhance the capacity of Farmer Groups on conducting HKm Program and the relation to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. The Internship was held in Aik Berik HKm in Lombok Tengah. Aik Berik HKm got their Permit since 2009. The development of Aik Berik HKm is shown from their annual reports and also from the people condition.  The farmer groups administrators are also active and creative in improving their capacity and condition. Recently the administrators collaborate with LGFU of Lombok Tengah in developing Local Regulation for NTFP. Purpose of the regulation is to order the needy species to plant based on the community needs and potentials enterprises, way of harvesting forest product and provision payment to government. The farmer groups in Aik Berik have their representative in Social Forestry Forum/ Forum Perhutanan Sosial in Lombok. After the Internship, the Farmer Groups conducted blocking or zoning area to be managed by their members and also gather baseline data for work plan development.

The follow up activities on supporting Sikka HKm were two trainings conducted by LGFU supported by ASFN. The first training was Institutional Strengthened which has 4 subjects to be trained to Farmer Groups. The subjects are HKm Policy, Institutional Management, Cooperation and  People Nursery. The second training was Carbon Measuring and Calculation. In this training, Farmer Groups and staffs of LGFU Sikka District  trained to measure and calculate carbon content in tree and in soil. From these trainings it’s expected that participants can be trainer for their colleagues in their home village.

Figure 4. Multi stakeholder meeting. Opened by Mr. Drs. Sosimus Mitang, Sikka Regent. Left Picture: Mrs. Niniek Irawati, Head Sub Directorate HKm, MOFRI gave Remarks. Center Picture: Source Persons on the Meeting. Right Picture: Local Government People Empowerment Unit of Sikka District will conduct socialization on Agro-Business Development.

MOFRI conducted Multistakeholder meeting for Farmer Groups and Local Government Units in Sikka District. This meeting was purposed to accommodate the Work Plans of Farmer Groups in conducting HKm Program with the work agenda of Local Government Units in 2013. So there will be a synergies between Farmer Groups Work Plans and LGU’s Work Agendas to strengthen the development of HKm in Sikka District.

Up to now there already 10 villages in Sikka District which defined to conduct HKm Program through trainings and socialization. Even though only 1/3 area covered from the target area, there is an optimist in HKm Program implementation and development in Sikka District to improve environment and people condition. Finally the carbon stock in trees and soils of forest area in Sikka District can contribute to the GOI promise to reduce carbon emission into 26% with international assistance.


  ============================= End =============================================

*= reference from Kupang Metro, 29 Maret 2012, “ Warga Miskin NTT Bisa Bertambah, Jika BBM Jadi dinaikkan”


***= reference from Peraturan Menteri Kehutanan No.37, Tahun 2007







Internship of Sikka Community Forest (HKm) in Lombok Tengah, Indonesia

  • Published in Indonesia
  • Friday, 11 January 2013 12:06

ASFN Secretariat together with Directorate of Social Forestry Development Ministry of Forestry Republic Indonesia and Watershed Management Agency of Dodokan Moyosari Lombok have organized Internship of Sikka Community Forest (Hutan Kemasyarakatan / HKm) in Batukliang, Lombok Tengah, Indonesia. The Internship was held on 26 September – 2 October 2012. The Internship aimed to enhance the capacity of knowledge and skill of Sikka HKm Farmer Groups, Local Government Officers and NGO activists on managing forest through HKm Program.

HKm Program has been launched by Ministry of Forestry Republic Indonesia/MOFRI since 2007 by the Ministry Regulation N0.37 / 2007 on Hutan Kemasyarakatan. It is expected that the people live surround the forest improve their life through managing the forest and keep the forest sustainable. Sustainable forest for prosperous community. 

This Internship has been acknowledged by the people in Lombok through Lombok Post daily newspaper, which has published the news on Sikka HKm Internship in Batukliang, Lombok Tengah. It was published on 15 October 2012.


Formulate the idea of ​​sustainable rattan certification in Kutai Barat

  • Published in Indonesia
  • Friday, 11 January 2013 11:21

Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) Indonesia Programme collaborated with Local Government Forestry Unit/LGFU of Kutai Barat (Kubar) District, Local Government Industry, Trade and Cooperation Unit / LGITC and WWF Indonesia have conducted a Workshop of Scheme and System of Rattan Sustainable Certification on 10 January 2013. The aim of this workshop was to formulate the idea of rattan sustainable certification in Kubar. The Workshop has produced common understanding on the importance of guarantee/certification of sustainable rattan in Kubar, agreed to establish Unit of Rattan Sustainable Certification in Kubar and develop a short term plan for Rattan Sustainable Certification in Kubar.

This workshop has been appreciated by the presence of Head of Trading of LG ITC Unit, J T Lavau; Representative of Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) Indonesia Programme, Panthom Sidi Priyandoko; Representative of LGFU Kubar, R&D Forestry Ministry of Forestry Republic Indonesia/MOFRI, Jasni; Representatives of Academy and Universities (UNMUL, CSF UNMUL and UNSEN), farmers and rattan craftsmen and NTFP Forum. 

The complete news can be seen on: http://www.kaltimpost.co.id/berita/detail/8560/sertifikasi-rotan-lestari-mulai-dirumuskan.html  

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