Identifying International Forest-Related Issues in Indonesia Based on Actors’ Statements in Public and Expert Deliberations

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Agung Wibowo
Lukas Giessen


Over the last 20 years a considerable number of international forest-related policies has evolved, collectively referred to as the international forest regime complex. The objectives of this study are to identify the most relevant international forest-related issues discussed in Indonesia as well as the most active actors and their positions on these issues. The empirical methods used include content analysis of Indonesian newspapers, national expert journals, expert mailing lists, and international organizations’ position papers. In addition, experts were interviewed to verify and complement the data. As a result, seven forest-related international issues in Indonesia are identified, namely: timber legality; harmonisation of wood and forest certification schemes; oil palm plantation and its environmental aspects; land use change; climate change including REDD initiative; forest and species conservation; and deforestation and decentralised forest governance. Public and expert deliberations are found to differ regarding the depth of information as well as their immediate importance for the people and their long-term objectives. The Ministry of Forestry and, surprisingly, the Ministry of Trade are the most active actors in these issues. The main lines of conflict lie between forest utilisation interests which are supported by the Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Trade, oil palm and wood industry associations vis a vis forest conservation interests powered by WWF and Greenpeace.

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