The following is a shortened summary in English of the original text in Bahasa Indonesia. (Items in brackets are comments made by DtE.)

This Act replaces the 1967 Basic Forestry Act on which all subsequent forestry and environmental laws and regulations depend. It takes into account recent legislation on Local Autonomy (1998) and Planning (1992). The Basic Land/Agrarian Law remains unchanged.


Section 1/Clause 1 covers the definitions used in the Act. It includes

Section 2 Principles and Aims

Clause 2: “Forestry is to be based on use and conservation, democracy, justice, co-operation, openness and integration.

Clause 3: “The purpose of forestry is for the maximum benefit of the people (in ways which are) equitable and sustainable. This is to be done by …’optimising’ the balance between the forest’s conservation, protection and production roles in order to sustain its environmental, cultural and economic uses……..”increasing the ability to develop communities’ capacity and resourcefulness in order to create social and economic security……”guaranteeing the equitable and sustainable distribution of benefits.

Section 3: Control of Forests

Clause 4: “All forests in the Indonesian Republic and the resources in them are controlled by the state for the maximum benefit of the people “ (as in the 1945 Constitution). The state has the power to control all aspects of anything to do with forests; to define the limits of the forest; and to regulate people’s interactions with forests. “The state’s control over forests respects indigenous people’s customary rights in so far as these* still exist, are recognised and do not conflict with national interests. (*BI original not completely clear whether customary laws or indigenous communities referred to here.)


Clause 5: Forest is either a) ‘state forest’ or b)‘private forest’ (hutan hak = literally forest covered by rights). State forest may include customary (adat) forest. The state determines the status of the forest. Customary forest is defined by the presence of the ‘relevant indigenous community’ and the recognition of their presence. Forest management rights return to the state if the ‘relevant indigenous community’ is no longer there.

Clause 8: The government can confer special status on certain areas of forest. ‘Special Purposes’ include research and development; education and training; and religion and culture, but the special status system still operates within the Production, Protection, Conservation Forest categories.

Clause 9: Every town must have an area of ‘urban forest’ to moderate the microclimate, absorb water and for aesthetic reasons.


Clause 10: This is covers planning; management; R &D; education and training; and supervision and is intended to promote the maximum benefit from multiple forest uses for the ultimate well-being of Indonesia’s people.


Section 1/Clauses 11 & 12: the purpose of forest planning is achieve the intended overall aims for Indonesian forestry. It includes forest inventories, delineation, spatial planning, zoning and drawing up plans. This must be done in a way which is transparent, accountable, participative, integrated and takes into account local priorities.

Section 2 Forest inventorisation

Clause 13: A survey of all forest resources, including flora, fauna and communities living in and around forests, should be carried out at national and local levels plus for watersheds and ‘forest administrative units’. This inventory is intended to provide the information base for forestry planning.

Section 3 Delineation of forests

Clause 14 & 15: This will be based on the forest inventorisation and is intended to define legally the extent of forest lands. It includes determining, demarcating and mapping land designated as ‘forest’ and will take into account local spatial planning frameworks.

Section 4 Land use planning

Clause 16: The government will determine the function and use of forest lands on the basis of the delineation work outlined above.

Section 5 Establishing forest management domains

Clause 17: Forest management units will be set up at provincial, district/municipality and local levels. These will take into account ecological, social, economic and “community organisation aspects including indigenous peoples and government administrative boundaries. The Minister may allow some units to exceed administrative boundaries because of the nature of the forest”.

Clause 18: At least 30% of all watershed areas must be maintained as forest cover to provide environmental services “and economic benefits for the local community”.

Clause 19: The government can change the status or function of forest land on the basis of “integrated research”. In the case of large, strategically important tracts of forest, such changes must be agreed by parliament.


Section 1/Clause 21 (see also Clause 10) This covers forest zoning and planning; forest utilisation; “forest reclamation and rehabilitation” and forest protection and conservation.

Section 2/Clause 22 Forest zonation and planning “Forest zonation will be carried out as part of the intensification of forest management, intended to provide greater, more sustainable benefits”. It entails dividing up the forest into blocks according to its ecology, type, function and intended utilisation and then drawing up management plans for a given period.

Section 3 Forest Exploitation (lit: use for advantage) and Utilisation

Clause 23: “The purpose of forest exploitation is to derive the optimum benefit to ensure the well-being of the people in an equitable way while maintaining sustainability”.

Clause 24: “All forest lands may be exploited except nature reserves and the ‘core’ and ‘wilderness’ zones of National Parks”.

Clause 25: Other Protected Forest Areas can be used in accordance with existing regulations.

Clause 26: Exploitation of Protection Forest may take the form of using the area, its environmental services* and collection of non-timber forest products. Forest use licences are required for each type of exploitation. (*Not defined in the Act)

Clause 27: Forest use licences to use the land or gather non-tropical forest products within areas of Protection Forest will only be issued to individuals and co-operatives. Licences to use the environmental services will be issued to individuals, co-operatives, Indonesian private companies and state-owned or local government-owned companies.

Clause 28 & 29: “Exploitation of Production Forests may take the form of using the land, environmental services, timber and non-timber products and usufruct”….Licences will be issued for each form of exploitation. Individuals and co-operatives will be allowed to use the land. Licences to use the environmental services, timber and non-timber products of Production Forests can be issued to individuals, co-operatives, Indonesian private companies and state-owned or local government owned companies.

Clause 30: All private and state-or local government-owned companies must work with local community co-operatives in forest exploitation of all kinds.

Clause 31: Forest exploitation will be limited to protect the forests and sustainable production.

Clause 32: “All Licence Holders in the above categories are responsible for guarding, protecting and conserving the forests they are making use of”.

Clause 33: “Forest exploitation includes planting, cultivating, harvesting, processing and marketing forest products”. Harvesting and processing must not exceed sustainable yields; these will be defined by the Minister.

Clause 34: “Forests can be managed for ‘Special Purposes’ (see Clause 8) by

  1. indigenous peoples
  2. research institutions
  3. social and religious institutions.
  4. educational institutions
Clause 35: All licensed Forest Users under Clauses 27 & 29 will have to pay various fees, including operating fees and Reforestation Funds levies plus an investment fund for forest conservation (performance bond). Usufruct licence holders will only have to pay ‘provisi*’ (*Not clarified in the Act).

Clause 36: Private landowners can use their forest in accordance with its functional category. “Customary forest which comes under the functional category of Protection or Conservation Forest can be used as long at this does not disrupt its assigned function.”

Clause 38: “Forest lands can only be used for development needs other than forestry in Protection and Production Forest areas. This can be done without changing the status of the forest. Forest lands can be used for mining through a leasing arrangement issued through the Minister, subject to restrictions on the area, timescale and environmental damage. No open cast mining is permissible within Protection Forest areas. Permission for extensive mines with significant impacts which are deemed strategically important can be granted by the Minister subject to approval by parliament.”


Clause 40: “The rehabilitation of forests and land means to restore, maintain and improve their functions to sustain their carrying capacity, productivity and other life-support roles.”

Clause 41 & 42: This includes afforestation; planting shrubs and other plants; species enrichment and various biological and engineering techniques of soil conservation and may be carried out in any type of forest except natural reserves and the core zone of National Parks. Rehabilitation work must be done in an appropriate way and use participative methods in order to “enrich the community and develop their potential”.

Clause 43: “Everyone who owns, manages or exploits forest deemed ‘critical or unproductive’ is responsible for rehabilitating it.” All parties may apply for assistance to Government, non-government and other organisations to do this work.

Clause 44: Forest reclamation involves efforts to improve or restore damaged land or forest vegetation so that it fulfils its designated function.

Clause 45: Where forest lands have been damaged by exploitation, they must be rehabilitated or reclaimed as directed by the government (It is not clear who by). Mining licensees are responsible for reclaiming forests within their concession area. “Parties which use forest lands for non-forestry purposes which change the soil surface and ground cover must pay a reclamation and rehabilitation bond.


Clause 47: “Forest protection includes preventing forest damage by human activities, livestock, natural forces and pests and diseases. Plus maintaining and protecting the rights of the state, community and individuals over the forest, forest lands and forest products as well as investments and equipment used for forest management.”

Clause 48: Protection of state forests will be carried out by the government. All licensed forest users and ‘special users’ (see clause 34) are responsible for protecting the forests where they work. Landowners are responsible for protecting their own forest. “The community should be involved in forest protection measures to ensure that forests are properly protected.”

Clause 49: Forest licensees or owners are responsible for any forest fires on their land.

Clause 50: It is forbidden to destroy forests or anything intended to protect the forest. It is also forbidden to work in, use or occupy any forest land illegally; to clear forests or to cut down trees less than 500 metres from a lakeside or reservoir, 200m from a water source or river in a swampy area, 100m either side of a river bank, close to gorges or 130 times the difference between the highest and lowest tides on a beach; to burn forests; to fell trees or harvest forest products without authorisation; receive, buy, sell, exchange, store or own any forest products known to have been obtained illegally; to carry out any research or mining exploration/exploitation without the Minister’s permission; graze livestock in forests except where authorised; to bring into forests equipment which could be used to fell trees or remove forest products without authorisation; to discard objects which could cause forest fires; to remove any wild plants or animals from the forests without authorisation.

Clause 51: Some forestry officials will be given special police powers to enable them to protect the forests. These will allow them to patrol forests, examine documents, investigate crimes and bring cases involving forests and forest products.


Section 1/Clause 52 “The quality of human resources must be improved in order to manage forests sustainably. For this, an understanding of science and technology and faith in God must be developed through R & D, education and training and public information about sustainability and forestry.” (The next sub-clause contradicts this emphasis on mainstream knowledge and beliefs)….”it is essential to pay attention to science and technology, traditional knowledge and socio-cultural conditions in the community”. In all these activities the government must protect Indonesia’s biodiversity from ‘biopiracy’.

Section 2/clause 53: The purpose of forestry R&D is to “develop national potential” and the knowledge to manage Indonesia’s forests sustainably and more profitably. “Forestry R & D work will be done by government (bodies) which may work with higher education institutions, the private sector and the community.”

Clause 54: The government will publish results of research and information in conjunction with the private sector and the community. The government must protect research findings but may authorise foreign researchers in line with current regulations.

Clause 55: “The purpose of education and training is to improve the quality of human resources so forestry staff are skilled, professional, dedicated, honest, safe and moral”….”so they can use and develop science and technology in forest management which is equitable, sustainable and based on respect for The Almighty.” The government will create the conditions wherein it, the private sector and community can meet education and training needs.

Part 4/clause 56: “The purpose of public information activities in forestry is to improve the knowledge and skills of the community and change their attitudes and behaviour so that that want and are able to support forest development…Public information work about forestry will be carried out by the government, private sector and the community.”

Part 5/clause 57: “The private sector must invest funds in forestry R & D, education and training and public information. The government will provide forest land for R & D" etc….


Clauses 59-63: This is includes monitoring, investigating and evaluating forest management so that the intended aims are achieved and improvements can be made. It is the responsibility of central and local government, but “the community and/or individuals have a part to play..” Central government has overall responsibility. Local and central government have the authority to carry out investigations into the activities of forest enterprises.

Clause 64: “The government and the community will supervise forest management activities which have national and international impacts (A veiled reference to illegal logging and forest fires?)”


Clause 66: “The central government devolves some of its responsibilities to local government...in order to improve the effectiveness of forest management in accordance with the development of local autonomy”.


(Numbering system wrong in the original?)

Clause 67: “As long as indigenous peoples still live in an area and their presence is recognised, they have the rights to:

  1. collect forest products (usufruct) to meet that community’s everyday needs;
  2. carry out forest management practices according to customary laws which do not conflict with official legislation;
  3. receive reimbursement to improve their well-being” (lit.)
Regulations will be issued about determining the presence or absence of indigenous communities.


Clause 68: “The community has the right to enjoy a (good) quality forest environment. It may also:
  1. derive benefits from the forest and forest products in accordance with existing legislation;
  2. get information about plans for forest use and exploitation;
  3. provide information, suggestions and opinions on forestry development;
  4. supervise the implementation of forestry developments directly and indirectly.
Communities living in and around forests have the right to receive compensation for the lack of access to forests caused by the demarcation of forest lands” so that they can find alternative livelihoods.” Landowners also have the right to compensation for loss of their forest lands.

Clause 69: “The community must take co-operate in protecting and guarding the forests from destruction. It can request help and support for forest rehabilitation from NGOs, the government or other parties.”

Clause 70: The community has a part to play in forest development. It is the government’s responsibility to promote this…”Local and central government may be assisted in this by a forum of parties interested in forest issues”.


(Court action by proxy?)

Clause 71: “The community has the right be to take court action through legal representation or report to the legal authorities any forest destruction which adversely affects their lives.….only if these forest management practices contravene existing legislation and regulations.”

Clause 72: “If it is found that the community is suffering from (smoke) pollution or forest destruction to the extent that it affects their lives, the relevant local or central government forestry authorities may take action on their behalf”.

Clause 73: Certain forestry organisations can also take legal action to protect Indonesia’s forests. These “must be legally recognised, have clearly stated in their statutes that they are forest conservation organisations and have carried out such activities”.


Clause 74: “Cases may be settled through the courts or out of court depending on the wishes of the parties involved. If an out of court settlement cannot be reached, the parties have the right to take legal action.”

Clause 75: The settlement of disputes out of court only applies to restoring rights, compensation claims or methods of forest rehabilitation. NGOs can act as a third party.

Clause 76: “The purpose of legal action in forestry disputes is to reach a decision on the restoration of rights, amounts of compensation or other measures to be fulfilled by the party which loses the case. In addition, the court may impose a fine for every day that these actions are not complied with.”


Clause 77: Certain forestry officials will have the right to carry out official investigations in addition to the Indonesian police. These civilian officials will be authorised to investigate reports or stop investigations on possible illegal activities relating to forests, forest land and forest products; investigate suspects; check the identity cards of anyone in the forest; confiscate any timber, forest products or equipment that they suspect is being used illegally or could be used in evidence; arrest and hold suspects in conjunction with the police. These forestry officials will hand over the results of their investigation to the local prosecutor, in accordance with the Criminal Justice Laws.


Clause 78: The penalties for illegally felling trees, clearing forest or occupying forest land (see Clause 50) are maximum sentence of 10 years in prison or a maximum fine of Rp5 billion (currently only US$600,000-700,000). Other penalties are: Clause 79: The state will auction all goods obtained illegally from forests.


Clause 80: “In addition to the above legal penalties, anyone who violates this law must pay compensation to the state commensurate with the damage caused to pay for forest rehabilitation or other measures. Licences who violate the terms of their licences are liable to administrative sanctions to be determined by subsequent regulations.”


Clauses 81-84: All existing legislation and regulations which do not conflict with this law are still legally binding. Some pre-WWII Dutch legislation is hereby revoked as well as the 1967 Basic Forestry Law. This Act is valid from the date of signing.

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