Forests, People, Rights and Resources in Baliem Valley

公開日: 2015/12/19 Baliem Buah Merah 500VE Forest Indonesia Land ownership Papua

This story was developed when we submitted the full reports to IUCN for the 1st Phase Pro Poor REDD project on 2013. Samdhana was the project Implementer in Indonesia. I found it's important to be published in order to share a knowledge and information widely about the valley we been working since 15 years ago.


Land Rights and Resources

Baliem was ‘discovered’ by the outside world in 1938 when the densely populated valley was seen from an overflying plane, but it was not until 1945 that the first outsiders, missionaries, arrived on foot in the valley. At that time there were reported to be 95,000 people in the valley, predominantly of Dani and Lani ethnic groups, who speak different dialects of the same language. Traditionally, all land is the property of a clan and its sub-divisions. In the past the boundaries between clans were dynamic, depending on the relative strength and numbers of different clans, and the outcome of warfare and alliances. Since the 1960s these local wars have been suppressed by the government, although some disagreements over the location of boundaries remain.

Within each of the main ethnic-language groups, population and territory is divided into customary territories which are ‘owned’ by a ‘clan’ (suku besar), which is further sub-divided into sub-clans (suku) and thence into extended family units (marga), which are the principal unit of land and forest resource  ownership. Whilst a marga has strong rights over its own land and resources, higher levels of leadership – a war chief, an economy chief, and a farming and fertility chief  – exist and have to give permission for some activities. Zones are recognized within the landscape, each characterized by typical plants, and allocated for a specific range of uses – farming, hunting, gathering etc.

The link between forest and traditional livelihoods is strong.  The traditional house, the honai, made out of forest products, has great symbolic, ritual and practical significance for local people. The men’s’ honai consists of a round, domed house where men sleep and store items of ritual importance. The rectangular women’s’ honai is divided into areas for women and children to sleep, a kitchen, and a pig keeping area. Each family may have their own honai, but each suku also has a honai specially for storing objects that belong to people who have died.


Land use and Forests Management

Overlain on the ‘customary’ map of the landscape is the official land use map, which does not yet recognize customary rights in any way. The fundamental official division of land use is between forest reserve and non-forest reserve, which is available to the district for development, agriculture and urban growth. Jayawijaya District is 44 % (104,677 Ha) non-forest reserve, and 55% (129,233 Ha) forest reserve.

Within the forest reserve, as in all forest reserves in Indonesia, the land is categorized by management objective as conservation, protection or production forest. The total forest reserve area of Jayawijaya (129,233 Ha) is 60% national park (76,895 Ha), 27% conversion forest (35,438 Ha) and 13% watershed protection forest (16,900 Ha). The allocation of forest land use is determined by the central Forestry Department using a technical formula based on slope, soils and other factors, but without any consideration of social factors. As a result, settlements and farms are often included within forest reserves. There are at least 40 settlements within forest reserves in Jayawijaya.

The people of the region practice rotational agriculture of root crops, mainly taro and sweet potatoes. Pigs play an important role in rituals. A wide range of forest products are collected for subsistence and cash needs. Irrigated rice and permanent vegetable gardens have been developed in the bottom of the valley close to the town of Wamena, in response to opportunities for marketing. Coffee was introduced by Government and private enterprise and has been adopted by some farmers.


Policy and Regulation

The Special Autonomy Regulation (Perdasus) 21 of 2008 About Recognition of Customary Rights, and Perdasus 23 of 2008 about Sustainable Forest management in Papua legally have provide a big legal space for customary community in Papua to taking part in forest and land use management on their own customary territories. The regulation recognizes the communal rights of indigenous communities and  their right to manage the forest resources found on their land, and to be involved in decisions and to be compensated when the forests are used by others. However it also notes that forest must be managed 'according to its designated function', which implies restrictions in accordance with the standard forest categories noted above. The regulation provides for the mapping and recognition of clam territories and forest areas. 

At landscape level there are no local regulations or policies which regulate recognition and protection of customary land rights. The national forestry law (law 41/1999) defines all forest land as state forest unless there are legitimate prior rights over it – and communal and informal rights are not recognized as such. Recent amendments to the law (e.g. Government regulation 6/2007) have created new categories of license for community and village groups, but the requirements remain complex, and no assistance is available to support communities in implementing management. This law has influence the implementation of Perdasus 21 – in which the community in Papua should follow the legal steps required to get a forestry management license, and in general the law still emphasize that the state is the forest owner.


Carbon and REDD

In comparison to the low land of Papua, Baliem’s forests are lower and less dense, being dominated by mountain forests with small trees. However the degradation rate in Baliem valley is higher than some part in low land because timber is the main source of cash for the community and of building material for the rapidly expanding town of Wamena. Wood is used not only for energy – fuel wood – but also for housing, garden fences and bridges. An multi-disciplinary Landscape assessment conducted by Samdhana’s partners in the valley under an earlier project found that timber was the main contributor to monthly household income, with 25 – 60 % of cash income of men and women in villages near Wamena derived from selling forest timber products. As a result, Baliem is also important for the maintenance of carbon stocks. Approaches to mitigation through improved forest and land use management in the valley need to take account of this local use, and ensure that community livelihoods are strengthened at the same time as reducing the pressure on forests.

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