IUCN REDD+ Project in Indonesia Supports Customary Land Mapping
17 July 2013 | Article
With support from IUCN’s “Toward Pro-Poor REDD+” project, two provinces in Indonesia have produced customary land rights maps that are helping to facilitate REDD+ and broader community-based forest management efforts in the region.
In order to benefit from REDD+, Papua and West Papua Provinces in Indonesia have identified land rights and active participation of the community as key issues that need to be clarified and facilitated. Given this, IUCN’s “Toward Pro-Poor REDD+” project, with funding from Denmark’s Development Cooperation (Danida), has been working closely with the Samdhana Institute, the governments of Papua and West Papua Province, civil society and other NGOs to develop customary land rights maps.
Approximately 21 customary areas have been mapped at the local level to identify who owns the land and rights on the land. In addition to supporting REDD+ efforts, these maps have proven to be useful tools for broader land and resources planning, dispute resolution, as well as explaining community rights to the younger generation. Capacity building, facilitated by the development of guidebooks and training workshops, has been an essential part of this mapping work.
The maps were developed at the local level through a participatory process that engaged a wide range of stakeholders. Nineteen customary boundary maps have been produced in Baliem Valley in the highland area, and two for the Kaimana District, located in the lowlands.
To ensure the maps are not used to encourage investment from big plantations or forest industry activities that might seek to further deplete or degrade the forests, the Samdhana Institute and local government have identified the need to support broader, local-level economic development. To this end, they have piloted a community-based forest management scheme in one village in Kaimana District, West Papua Province. Using the map of their customary territory as a basis, the community has engaged in monitoring and managing their forest and land resources, and they are now seeking legal recognition of their area from the national government.
Building on the momentum and results of the “Toward Pro-poor REDD+” project, IUCN, the Samdhana Institute and other partners in Papua and West Papua Provinces will continue to develop maps for new customary areas to secure intergenerational tenure rights. The two provinces will also work to get land-use maps formally recognized and used by national and sub-national governments as central tools in REDD+ implementation. In the Baliem Valley, Papua Province, the maps will be legalized and used to develop customary boundary management plans based on cultural zones, as well as in the design of agro-forestry and reforestation activities in degraded areas.
In Kaimana, West Papua Province, the maps have been used to propose village forest licenses, which will allow community groups to continue to legally and sustainably manage their own forests. The districts and partners will develop forest measurement databases which will support the development of detailed forest management business plans and small-scale forest products trading. The province will also continue to invest in training more facilitators needed to ensure the maps can be effectively leveraged by as many stakeholder groups and communities as possible.