Update from the field: Indonesia September 2022

By Linda Yuliani and Moira Moeliono

Throughout the first three-quarters of 2022, the COLANDS Indonesia country team facilitated numerous, existing multistakeholder platforms/processes (MSPs) in Kapuas Hulu. These MSPs are used as both facilitation and intervention tools, as well as research methods that work reciprocally, feeding into each other (see Figure 1).

As facilitation/intervention tools, the team uses MSPs to strengthen elements including adaptive capacity and resilience, learning, good governance, mutual understanding to work towards joint solutions, and collective action.

Figure 1: MSP to facilitate
(*intersects with principles of landscape approaches (LA), **processes to achieve COLANDS targeted outputs/outcomes)

Furthermore, we use MSPs as research methods for collecting data and cross-checking (also known as triangulation) information, such as:

  • how governance principles (transparency, accountability, participation, etc.) are operating
    • what types of participation actually occur during events labelled as ‘participatory’, ‘collaborative’ or ‘multistakeholder’
  • what are the actual goals/objectives of each participant, what is the motivation behind those goals, what capacity does each participant have to achieve those goals
    • this information will also be useful for capacity building needs assessment
  • what are the perceptions and knowledge of each participant
  • has the participant’s behaviour been consistent with stated motivations?
    • if not, why?
  • what norms and rules are present? Are they still being practiced?
    • this information can inform the capacity of local/traditional/informal institutions
  • what are the dynamics, who holds power and makes decisions?
  • identification of gaps across levels, policies, programs (See Figure 2).

Figure 2: MSPs for research

The team has focused not only on our main landscapes (Labian-Leboyan and Seriang watersheds) but also on MSPs that cover larger areas and address multiple issues that require multi-stakeholder collaboration across levels: from village to district to national. One MSP involves the collaborative development of the management plan of Danau Sentarum Catchment Area (Daerah Tangkapan Air Danau Sentarum/DTA-DS), coordinated by Indra Kumara, Secretary of the Kapuas Hulu Environmental Service.

Collaborative Management of Danau Sentarum Catchment Areas (DTA-DS MSP)

Between October 2021 and July 2022, the COLANDS team in Indonesia facilitated three DTA-DS workshops to synchronize the management plan with the Presidential Regulation no. 60/2021 on restoration of national priority lakes, Kapuas Hulu Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMD), and Area and Spatial Planning (RTRW). The first workshop in October 2021 focused on developing a common vision; the second workshop in December 2021 aimed to develop a Theory of Change and the third workshop conducted in July 2022, to jointly develop principles, criteria and indicators (PCI) for collaborative monitoring of the DTA-DS. During this latest workshop, participants were asked to develop indicators that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) and designed to maintain the sustainability of the DTA-DS as a biosphere reserve. By linking the PCI with biosphere reserve issues, we aimed to facilitate synergies among issues and MSPs including Deutche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (GIZ-SASCI) that support Betung Kerihun – Danau Sentarum Biosphere Reserve. The DTA-DS MSP is an example of multiple scales, multiple levels, and multiple sectors active in a landscape. The first management plan was drafted in 2018 by actors at district level and was signed into a district decree.  In 2021, a presidential decree assigned priority status to the lake, requiring adjustments to the plan.  At the same time, both the provincial level actors, in particular the forest agency as well as local level actors needed to be involved and informed.

Facilitating the DTA-DS MSP has provided very good opportunities to work across these levels and to gain the right momentum to bring a science-based policy influence, such as developing detailed spatial planning for the DTA-DS that indicates what programs/activities are being planned. Using an existing CIFOR vegetation cover map was suggested as a possible starting point, which is now under consideration. Although this offers a good opportunity to influence planning and policies, the process may be highly challenging – especially at the stage of consolidating multiple interests from different sectors.

Challenges can also arise in coordinating among various institutions that are working in the area, such as the Ministry of Spatial Planning and National Land Agency, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Kapuas Watershed Forum and Biosphere Reserve Multistakeholder Forum. Still, there are also good efforts being made at coordination among agencies: the National Watershed Forum is a government-sponsored, multi-level forum aiming to manage watersheds sustainably. Having energetic and enthusiastic individuals in the project location – such as Indra Kumara of the Kapuas Hulu Environmental Service and Valentinus Heri of Riak Bumi Foundation – are very important and have played major roles in bridging and connecting communications among those various initiatives. However, one challenge is the fact there are not enough such individuals, and they cannot be present in all locations.

In this regard, it has been acknowledged that broad coordination is still a distant goal. Indra Kumara of the Kapuas Hulu Environmental Service, and the COLANDS team are working together to act as a type of bridge across various levels to facilitate communications, but the task is challenging and time consuming.

Thematic MSPs:

  • Labian-Leboyan Watershed Community Forum: this forum is a local initiative and COLANDS has taken the role of strengthening the institution to include local leadership, fund-raising by the Forum and linking with other activities/initiatives, such as the catchment MSP and the Kalimantan tengkawang (illipe nut) network.
  • Illipe nut value-chain MSP (developing a sustainable supply of forest goods): capacity building to improve techniques (planting, harvest, storage, products, packaging, marketing).
  • Waste management MSP: identified needs, developed joint plan, and at present, is searching for locations for temporary and permanent landfills.
  • Traditional forest food: biannual festival, campaign; includes the traditional forest food festival held 19-23 August 2022 in Kedungkang and Lanjak.
  • Social Forestry (SF) initiatives. Four villages have requested support in preparing proposals for social forestry.  COLANDS supports through organizing MSPs involving stakeholders including customary and village administrative leaders, environmental service, NGOs, MoEF.
  • Customary Forest (Hutan Adat, HA): This is a particular scheme within the Social Forestry Program but differs from others in that it provides property rights. Several villages in Seriang and Labian-Leboyan watersheds have expressed interest in legalizing HA. This is a complicated process as it also involves persuading the district government to recognize the legality of the customary communities. The COLANDS Indonesia team is supporting the people of Janting (Seriang), Labian, Ukit-ukit and Tumbali (Labian-Leboyan) as they develop their customary forests. As a start, COLANDS will help organize workshops on free, prior, informed consent (FPIC) in the villages to familiarize people with various SF scenarios, discuss pros and cons of each with locals, who will decide which approach fits best within their context. Such a decision should be based on sufficient local knowledge and understanding of the proposed approaches, its implications, associated risks and More importantly, the decision must be based on relevance within their local culture, traditions and relational values with the forests.

Important lessons were drawn from case studies, such as several in Sulawesi, demonstrating the need for participatory approaches and that external SF models were not compatible with the people’s relational values, causing value-conflicts and resistance towards the programs and associated institutions. Ultimately, the people must make their own decisions, and COLANDS supports them in preparing requirements for the Customary Forests (Hutan Adat/HA) GIZ-SASCI proposal, including participatory mapping of their customary territories.


Research and Capacity Building

 Local classifications of biodiversity and ecosystems

COLANDS Indonesia collected data on local classifications of biodiversity and ecosystems in the two watersheds and three villages. One output of this will be training materials for teachers/students with training planned for January 2023.

Using multistakeholder platforms/processes

As explained earlier, COLANDS intervention in MSP is both to facilitate the processes and to carry out research on the processes and on the role MSPs can play in landscape governance.

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