In the Media
RI: Court decision may grant local authorities more power over forests
June 14, 2012
A ruling by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court could shift some forest management authority from the country’s powerful Ministry of Forestry to local governments, say forestry experts.
The “MK45″ case centered around the central government’s control over Indonesia’s Forest Zone (Kawasan Hutan), a classification that applies to more than two-thirds Indonesia’s landmass or roughly 130.7 million hectares. Five district heads in Central Kalimantan challenged the designation of their administrative districts as Kawasan Hutan, which required their constituents — hundreds of thousands of people who live in the designated Kawasan Hutan areas — to seek permission from Ministry of Forestry whenever they wanted to make land use decisions. The Constitutional Court ruled that some of language underpinning Ministry of Forestry’s control over Kawasan Hutan is “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable”.
The decision, reached last month, throws into question the fate of some 116.2 million hectares of Kawasan Hutan that has yet to be formally gazetted.
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Keywords: Asia, Forest, Indonesia, Kawasan Hutan, MK45, rights, tenure