IMFN Welcomes Indonesia s Newest Partner

Following two years of exploring the Model Forest concept that took representatives to Mexico and Japan, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and Estate Crops (MofFEC) formally approached the IMFNS this past summer. Ministry officials proposed that they work with the IMFNS to bring about Indonesia's full participation in the Network and to develop its MofFEC- European Union (EU)-supported Berau Forest Management Project further as a Model Forest. The proposal was enthusiastically received by IMFNS Executive Director, Fred Johnson, who responded to MofFEC Director General of Planning,  Mr. Moch Toha, that the addition of Indonesia to the Network is "significant and no doubt will provide leadership in the Asian region in efforts to achieve sustainable management of forests." Mr. Toha also confirmed that Mr. Silver Hutabarat would represent Indonesia on the IMFN Task Force.


This exchange followed the successful outcome of a May 31 meeting in Jakarta between MofFEC, Berau project stakeholders, EU project staff, and the IMFNS. The one-day workshop also included the participation of the FAO Chief Technical Officer for the Regional Model Forest Project, 
Mr. Tang Hon Tat.

The choice of Berau (located in East Kalimantan) as the Indonesia Model Forest is inspired by reasons common to many other Model Forests.  Resources are at risk because of population growth; conflicting visions of how the landbase should be used (plantations, mining, agriculture, etc.);  and conflicting and/or disconnected resource planning and management processes. Moreover, Indonesia is currently in the midst of a substantial decentralization process that will give local governments responsibility for resource planning and management. It is acknowledged that the capacity is not fully in place to accommodate all of these changes; however, the Model Forest approach is seen as offering a credible framework through which local stakeholders can begin to tackle these challenges. 

The Berau Model Forest will have a strong start thanks to the nearly six years of fieldwork already completed by P.I. Inhutani 1 and EU project staff. Staff have already established the outline for an ambitious effort to begin operating the Model Forest, starting with identifying and bringing together a local stakeholder group. This will be followed by a period of intensive work to develop a long-term strategic plan, and "operationalize" it through an action plan. The IMFNS will be working with Berau project leaders to identify the skills and resources from the Network that can help Berau ensure a good beginning as a model forest. Welcome Indonesia!