Webinar Series “Managing the Remaining Forests” Series #14 UUCK and Our Forestry

Webinar Series “Managing the Remaining Forests” Series #14 UUCK and Our Forestry

Indonesia - 10 March, 2021

Tropenbos Indonesia held the 14th event of webinar series "Managing the Remaining Forests" entitled "UUCK and Our Forestry" on Saturday, March 6, 2021. The speakers in this webinar were the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Bambang Hendroyono, who in this webinar gave a presentation entitled "Landscape-Based Forestry Development", the Director of FORICA and Deputy Director of the Center for Science of Oil Palm Instiper Yogyakarta, Agus Setyarso, who gave a presentation entitled "KPH Towards the Implementation of UUCK ”, and the Head of the Environment and Forestry Agency of West Nusa Tenggara Province (NTB), Madani Mukarom, who gave a presentation entitled“ Strengthening KPH in NTB ”. More than 300 participants took part in this webinar either via zoom or youtube.

In the beginning of the event, the Director of Tropenbos Indonesia, Edi Purwanto, said, since the Job Creation Act (UUCK) No. 11 of 2020 was issued, to date at least 49 Government Regulations (PP) have been launched as its derivatives, of which five of them are related to Forestry, including PP No.23/2021 concerning Forestry Management. To follow up on this UUCK, according to him, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) has a strategic interest because amidst the government's efforts to accelerate investment, provision of land, and so on, the forestry and environmental sectors are increasingly needed to protect the remaining forests. "Some of the PPs that have been issued include resolving various unfavorable initiatives such as the existence of oil palm plantations in forest areas," said Edi.

According to Bambang Hendroyono, Law No.41 of 1999 recognizes that there are forest utilization business permits which have two important aspects, i.e., forest preservation and business assurance. Thus, when the government grants a business license, these two aspects must be guaranteed. "These two aspects lead to a relationship between the permit issuer and the permit recipient," he said. The licensor must guarantee business certainty, area certainty, business time certainty, legal guarantee certainty, and those are some points when UUCK was delivered, so that it also ensures production sustainability, environmental sustainability, and cultural preservation. At the site level, according to him, this is the duty of the FMU to supervise so that business license holders comply with the implementation of these aspects.

As the smallest unit in forest management, everything that happens in forest areas is expected not to be spared from KPH/FMU monitoring. Although so far the focus has been mostly on forest utilization such as timber forest products, non-timber forest products, environmental services, etc., forest management for FMUs is also inseparable from rehabilitation and reclamation activities. The FMU will know the spatial position of these activities. However, currently the FMU is still facing various obstacles, such as the absence of harmonization of the FMU's Long-Term Forest Management Plan (RPHJP) with the National Forestry Plan (RKTN) and the integration of regional planning document (Regional Mid-Term Development Plan/RPJMD) with national planning document (National Mid-Term Development Plan/RPJMN).

Furthermore, the Director General of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) explained more issues such as regarding the KLHK landscape approach where there was integration between environmental instruments and forestry instruments, and the position of FMUs in the implementation of regional autonomy according to Law No. 23/2014, PP No.18 / 2016, and Permendagri (Regulation of the Minister of Home Affairs) No.12/2017, in which the FMU has a strategic role in forest governance and institutionalization.

Meanwhile, Madani Mukarom explained on forest and socio-economic conditions around the forests in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) where the forest area of more than 1 million ha mostly consists of Protection Forest (41.9%) and Production Forest (41.8%), and the rest is conservation area (16.3%). "The strategic issues in NTB related to forests are forest and land degradation, weak enforcement of environmental and forestry laws, not optimal operation of forest management institutions including FMUs, limited utilization of forest resource potential, and low added value of forestry products," explained Madani.

The development of KPHs in NTB started from 4 KPHs in 2015 to 16 KPHs in 2019. The operation of resorts as an organization under KPHs has become a force in forest governance at the site level to strengthen KPHs. Human resources of FMU itself consist of civil servants and contract workers, with an operating budget that continues to increase year by year and in 2020 reached IDR 36.2 billion. "However, in 2021 it has dropped sharply to below IDR 20 billion due to the current situation," said Madani. One of the impacts of strengthening FMUs in NTB is the growth of industrialized NTB products such as hazelnut oil, eucalyptus oil, porang, honey, beeswax, and cinnamon powder.

However, according to Madani, the issuance of UUCK and PP 23/2021 has resulted in the loss of the authority of FMUs and regions to facilitate forestry partnerships and cooperation, which previously served as a driving force for provincial government support, as well as decreased support from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for FMU operational facilities and infrastructure. As a suggestion and follow-up, according to Madani, in the post-PP 23/2021 LHK regulation, it is hoped that there will be a delegation of authority back to the FMU or the governor to facilitate partnership or business permit for forest utilization in certain areas with a limited area, and increase the facilitation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in supporting operational infrastructure of FMUs.

Meanwhile, Agus Setyarso, delivered a presentation regarding the current baseline of KPH, KPH in the constellation of UUCK implementation, and how KPH prepares itself after the issuance of UUCK 2020. “The issues are more on KPHP (Production Forest Management Units) and KPHL (Protection Forest Management Units), while KPHK (Conservation Forest Management Units) are often treated as insignificant," he said. According to his record, until 2019 there were around 560 KPHP and KPHL units with a coverage area of more than 80 million ha. "Both KPHP and KPHL are currently at a growth rate of performance maturity that may only be around 10% -20% than expected," he said. Of the workforce requirement for FMUs, which in the 2015 RPJMN numbered to 18,000 people, the status in 2019 was only 1,415 people. "It means that currently there are less than 10% of the professional staff in the FMUs," he said.

As the host at the site level, according to PP 23/2021, it is stated that the Head of the FMU is the leader who holds the authority and is in charge of forest management in the area he manages. "It means that the Head of KPH is a kind of CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of each KPH," said Agus. FMUs have management responsibilities covering management planning, organizing, implementing management, as well as controlling and supervising.

In developing business plans, business license holders who have forest utilization permits need to collaborate with FMUs as forest managers. "FMUs need to direct forest utilization to each permit holder, especially in preparing business work plan documents," said Agus. This cooperation is needed so that synergy at the landscape level can work. To be able to do this, FMUs need strong institutional instruments from the provincial level to resorts, human resources instruments, technology, funding, as well as coalitions and networks, and in the future with a strong database to build artificial intelligent so that problems that arise in the field can be known in real time and simulations can be carried out immediately to solve them.

After the webinar, a participant concluded that the three speakers represented three perspectives on FMUs, i.e., the perspective of government politics which is governing according to the authority they hold, the perspective of problem based governance at the site level, and the perspective of an academic approach to strengthening FMUs.

The presentations available for download HERE

Check out more in-depth presentations and discussions in the webinar via the following link: