An Analysis of Long-Term Forest Management Plans of Forest Management Units in Sumatra, Indonesia

  •  Masahiko Ota    


Indonesia has been developing Forest Management Units (FMUs) as on-site forest managers that undertake actual forest management activities at the field level. Previous studies have identified a critical lack of various resources, particularly human and financial, in FMU development, and yet the types of forest management activities and official planning procedures are less frequently reported. The present study examines forestry planning aspects of the FMU policy and forest management activities planned by FMUs to fill this information gap. The author analyzed relevant laws and regulations and the long-term forest management plans of 22 FMUs in Sumatra. For the latter, the author explored basic characteristics of FMUs, quantitatively summarized planned activities focusing on four aspects of forest management (i.e., utilization, conservation, empowerment of local people, and supervision of concession holders), and qualitatively assessed the levels of concreteness of plan descriptions related to the above-mentioned four aspects. The FMUs listed various kinds of activities in their long-term plans, particularly those related to utilization and conservation. However, a large number of the sample FMUs simply listed or described what they would like to do, or what FMUs are supposed to do, with little concrete detail or deliberation of feasibility. The results of the study can be attributable to a lack of focus on policy formulation, as well as the vulnerability and unpredictability of FMUs themselves. Qualitative enhancement and quantitative increase of human resources and policy options to reduce unpredictability and uncertainty in financial and institutional dimensions are desirable to promote substantive planning for FMUs.

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