Category: Environment

The government has ambitious plans to hand over 12.7 million hectares of forest to community management by 2019. Dr Abidah Setyowati writes that while the social forestry initiative could increase communities’ access to, and ability to obtain benefits from, forest resources, several major challenges remain.

Why has wildlife trafficking reached such enormous proportions in Indonesia? Who and what are the main drivers of the trade? And what initiatives exist to combat wildlife trafficking and enhance conservation efforts? In Talking Indonesia, Dr Dirk Tomsa discusses these issues with Eleanor Paish, a zoologist and filmmaker from the University of West England, and Adam Miller, executive director and founder of Planet Indonesia.

When he assumed the presidency, Joko Widodo made a commitment to strengthen the rights of local communities over land and forests. Dr Rachael Diprose writes that despite recent advancements in the legal and institutional recognition of land rights, many challenges remain.

For 10 years, hot mud has been erupting from the ground in Sidoarjo, East Java. It has submerged villages and displaced about 39,700 people, and disaster management costs have exceeded $2.7 billion. Earthquake expert Associate Professor Mark Quigley examines the origins of the mud volcano, which remain controversial after a decade.

In February, President Joko Widodo passed a regulation aimed at accelerating the implementation of the One Map policy, which is designed to harmonise all sectoral maps from government agencies into a single map to prevent overlapping claims to land. But as Nanang Indra Kurniawan writes, unless customary claims to land are included, the process is bound to fail.

The thick haze choking much of Sumatra and Kalimantan and the recent murder of environmental activist Salim Kancil have come to define the environmental record of President Joko Widodo’s administration. Josi Khatarina looks back at a year of disappointing progress.

Much of Kalimantan and Sumatra remains blanketed in a thick haze from agricultural fires, leading to respiratory illnesses and infuriating Indonesia’s Southeast Asian neighbours. Tessa Toumbourou writes that strengthening land governance is vital to avoiding future burning seasons.