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Forestry and local communities of Java in times of and turmoil, 1942-2000

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On the island of Java the total area classified as forestland is estimated at three million hectares (Perum Perhutani 2001:10). This constitutes 23.7% of the total land area of the island. It is striking that current data seem to show that the area classified as forestland has remained relatively stable since the early 1940s. However the term forestland is not only used to designate land that is covered with forest. Forestland refers to state land that is designated by law as forest area and it may or may not be forested (see Colfer and Resosudarmo 2002:2-3). Taking this knowledge into account it is not surpris- ing that the forested area has in fact changed dramatically dropping from an estimated 5.07 million hectares in 1950 (Hannibal 1950 as cited in FWI/GFW 2002:8) to an estimated 1.3 million hectares in 1985 (spatial analysis based on digital spatial data of World Conservation Monitoring Centre/UNEP-WCMC 1996). In fact there is a huge difference between what is classified as state forestland (administered by Perum Perhutani (State Forest Company) and the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation) and actual forest cover (data derived from UNEP-WCMC).

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