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Indonesian President Hands Over Management of Forests to Indigenous People

February 21, 2017 |

Andi Buyung Saputra, Kajang leader, left, with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, right. Photo credit: ICRAF

This article was originally published on Center for International Forestry Research.

Indonesia – Indonesia has had a long history of conflict over control of its massive areas of tropical forests that are spread across the many thousands of islands that make up the archipelagic nation. Declaration under former Dutch colonial rule of state ownership of all forests was rarely accepted by the millions of people who lived in them and who had managed them sustainably for centuries.

Widodo’s recent formal handover of titles is a highly symbolic step in the long fight for recognition by indigenous communities, whose customary rights remained contested by the new nationalist government after independence in 1945 despite being enshrined in the founding constitution. The islands now known as Indonesia have long been home to thousands of distinct ethnic groups with their own languages, customs and identity…”

Read on at: Center for International Forestry Research.

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