Indonesia’s Deforestation: Forest Management “Alarm” Become Silenced.

Jakarta, September 30th 2019. Deforestation is no longer a taboo word in Indonesia’s forest management. It often silted and covered under the banner of “development” interest. The continued loosing of forest in some area has been proved to have major impact on local community life sustainability, especially those who live in or around the forest. However, the State often neglects and covers up the current bad forest governance, such as are forest and land fires cases by scapegoating weather conditions and its own communities. On the other hand, the government also aggressively campaigning for and promoting palm oil products, most of which are directly resulted by setting up fire on land clearing process. Two contradictory jobs by the State.


Natural forests in Indonesia continued to decrease every year. During 2013 to 2017, natural forests in Indonesia had decreased by 5.7 million hectares, from the previous area of 88.5 million hectares (in 2013 forests) to 82.8 million hectares (in 2017). On average, Indonesia loses 1.4 million hectares of natural forest every year, or equivalent the size of about 5 football field every minute.


Among all natural forest area lost to deforestation between 2013 and 2017 in Indonesia, Kalimantan became the severest region with a value of more than 2 million hectares. “With highest rate of deforestation, Kalimantan region was no longer called the lungs of the world”. Firmly Mufti Barri, Campaign and Advocacy Manager of FWI.

“The injustice behind deforestation was increasingly apparent. Instead a source of life forests merely seen as a source of economy. This paradigm has been developed since the colonial era. Emerging excuses under the banner of development always prevail over all basic nature of forest function itself. The impacts, ranging from civil conflicts, natural disasters, until environmental quality deterioration, worsened by eroding natural forests”. Mufti Barri added, in his press release.

Deforestation does not stop in the middle of closed information on forest resource management issue. The lack of transparency in land and forest management was still an unresolved problem. A sample case is information dispute between civil society and the ATR / BPN ministry regarding HGU documents. As of 2019, FWI recorded 11 dispute cases involving the ATR / BPN Ministry, both at national and regional levels. Although the Supreme Court has decided that the HGU is open information, the Ministry of ATR / BPN still has not disclosed the information to the public yet.

FWI campaigner, Agung Ady added, “The government and its various agencies have issued statements that HGU is an exempt / closed document. The claim to be a rule of law has been tarnished by the Government itself. The people are ordered to abide the law, but learning from this HGU information dispute case, despite all legal processes have been passed through even to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court’s decision was still ignored. Instead, they made a statement that the HGU was an exempt information, even though the results of the consequence test conducted by the Ministry of ATR / BPN had been canceled by KIP in court.


We also reported the Ministry of ATR / BPN to the Indonesian Ombudsman for the non-compliance of the Ministry of ATR / BPN in the implementation of public information services since August 22, 2018. “The findings of the Indonesian Ombudsman reveal that there is indeed maladministration committed by the ATR / BPN Ministry and request that the Minister of ATR / BPN Immediately carry out corrective actions in the form of drafting a mechanism for providing HGU information to FWI and to the public at large, however until today this recommendation still has not been implemented by Minister Sofyan Djlalil”, concluded Agung.


Editor’s Note:

1. FWI is an independent forest monitoring network consisted of individuals who are committed to create an open forestry data and information management process in Indonesia so as to ensure fair and sustainable forest resource management.

2. Natural Forest Areas in 2017 based on Region: 1) Papua 33.1 million hectares (81% of land area); 2) Kalimantan 24.8 million hectares (47% of land area); 3) Sumatra 10.4 million hectares (22% of land area); 4) Sulawesi 8.1 million hectares (44% of land area); 5) Maluku 4.5 million hectares (57% of land area); 6) Java 905 thousand hectares (6% of land area); 7) Bali Nusa 877 thousand hectares (12% of land area).

3. The following is the area of deforestation in 2013-2017 in order per Region: 1) Kalimantan 2.05 million hectares; 2) Sumatra 972 thousand hectares; 3) Sulawesi 949 thousand hectares; 4) Papua 692 thousand hectares; 5) Maluku 543 thousand hectares; 6) Bali Nusa 384 thousand hectares; 7) Java 130 thousand hectares.

4. The Central Information Commission (KIP) issued a decision number: 057 / XII / KIP-PS / 201 dated July 22, 2106 which decided that the HGU document is public information that falls into the category of information available at any time; and states that the detailed information in the HGU document, in the form of: 1) Name of HGU holder, 2) Place / location, 3) Area of HGU area given, 4) Type of commodity, and 5) Map of HGU area equipped with coordinate points, is open information for the public. []

5. The State Administrative Court has issued Decision Number 2 / G / KI / 2016 / PTUNJKT, dated December 14, 2016 with a decision to strengthen the decision of the Central Information Commission (KIP) which declared the HGU document for Palm oil Plantation as open information. []

6. Decision of the SUPREME COURT Number 121 K / TUN / 2017 of 2017

THE MINISTRY OF AGRARIA AND SPATIAL PLANNING / NATIONAL LAND AGENCY VS FOREST WATCH INDONESIA (FWI) with a decision to reject the cassation filed by the Ministry of ATR / BPN This decision further strengthens the fact that the Palm oil Plantation HGU document is a public document that can be accessed by the public! []


Contact Persons:

1. Soelthon G Nanggara: Executive Director of FWI, 085649638037,

2. Mufti Barri: Campaign Manager and Policy Advocacy FWI, 082110677935,


3. Agung Ady Setiyawan: FWI Campaigner, 0857 8351 7913,

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