Lucca Tacconi, Rafael J. Rodrigues, Ahmad Maryudi. 2019. Law enforcement and deforestation: Lessons for Indonesia from Brazil. Forest Policy and Economics (in press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2019.05.029 .


The Government of Indonesia has committed to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. However, the country suffers from one of the most significant illegal logging and illegal land clearing conditions in the world. Brazil was in a similar condition to Indonesia when it implemented an aggressive and strategic forest law enforcement policy which enable it to significantly reduce deforestation. Indonesia does not have such a strategic approach to forest law enforcement. It should consider the features of Brazil’s strategy in order to improve its forest law enforcement activities in order to be able to deliver on the reduction of forest emissions that it has pledged in Nationally Determined Contributions statement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Indonesia’s efforts, and those of other countries, would be enhanced by research on the reasons at the root of the unsuccessful forest law enforcement policies and activities over the two decades since the spotlight was put on illegal logging at the first Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade conference held in Bali in 2001.Sari Rahayu, Dwi

Laraswati, Andita A. Pratama, Dwiko B. Permadi, Muhammad A.K. Sahide, Ahmad Maryudi. 2019. Research trend: Hidden diamonds- The values and risks of online repository documents for forest policy and governance analysis. Forest Policy and Economics 100: 254-257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2019.01.009 .


Sound forest policy and governance analysis requires rich empirical evidence, collected through the use of a (possibly) combination of various scientific methods. Scientific communities are currently offered with abundance of digital data, information and scientific materials, made fully or partially available through the explosive development of various types of online repositories. Nonetheless, the rich treasures are not optimally used in forest policy and governance analysis yet. We analysed how researchers can make use of online repositories, analysing their values and risks. Using the case of community forestry policy and elaborating the Indonesian contexts, we have observed several types of online institutional and non-profit repositories, archiving valuable documents/ materials for qualitative inquiries. Valuable materials found from the observed online repositories include policy documents (laws, regulations, decrees), local journal articles, biophysical and socio-demographic data, groups’ constitutions, community forestry rights and agreements, local maps, as well as graphics and photos. We understand the concerns about the scientific quality of the repository materials. Before utilising them, researchers are encouraged to have clear visions and objectives on the types of materials relevant to their studies.

MM Meilani, R Thwaites, D Race, W Andayani, LRW Faida, A Maryudi. 2019. Finding alternatives of livelihood sources for forest dependent communities in protected areas: a case study of Sebangau National Park, Central Kalimantan Provinces, Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 285(1) 012005. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/285/1/012005.


This study evaluates the impacts of the establishment of Sebangau National Park (SNP) in Indonesia, on local people’s livelihoods. SNP was established in 2004 and covers more than 560 thousand hectares of peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan Province. SNP was a production forest for more than 20 years and almost half of the area has been degraded. SNP is surrounded by almost 50 thousand people whose livelihoods depend on SNP’s resources before, during, and after the changing status of the area from production to conservation forest. Nowadays, about 6-7% of local community are categorised as poor people and surviving from their subsistence livelihoods. This study shows that the establishment of the park changes the livelihood strategies of local communities. People shifted their livelihood sources from forest resource extractions, particularly logging, to agriculture (farming and fishing). Some strategies to maintain and improve the livelihoods of local communities within the restrictive regulations of SNP management include: (1) regulating the collection of non-timber forest products so that it would not threaten the ecological balance of the forests; (2) developing agroforestry system; (3) involving local communities in the rehabilitation programs within rehabilitation zone; (4) developing ecotourism; and (5) involving in communities in the REDD+ program prepared by SNP.

Suprapto Suprapto, Ahmad Maryudi, Wahyu Wardhana. 2019. Implikasi perizinan sector berbasis lahan terhadap kondisi Kawasan hutan di Provinsi Riau. Enviroscienteae 15(1); 95-106.


Forest resources can be utilized through various activities in the land-based sector, including forestry, plantations, and mining. The implications of the issuance of various permits are indicated to cause changes in the area of forest and land cover. This paper aims to analyze and explain the implications of the various land-based sector licenses that have been issued by the local government and the central government on the condition of forest areas in Riau Province. The research method was carried out with qualitative descriptive analysis, through interviews, spatial analysis, and review and tracking documents. The results of the study showed that during the period 1986-2017 there had been a change in the area of forest area and land cover. The biggest changes in forest areas occur due to the conversion of forest areas into plantations, while the largest land cover changes in successive classes are land cover for plantations (Pk), forest plantations (Ht) and mining (Pn). Some of the recommendations that we propose are the temporary dismissal of licenses in the Riau forest area, the rearrangement of all licenses related to forest areas, increasing integrity and willingness of all parties in Riau and the central government in sustainable forest management.

Suprapto Suprapto, Ahmad Maryudi, Wahyu Wardhana. 2019. Mempertentangkan atau Mempersatukan? Pembelajaran dari terbitnya kebijakan pinjam pakai Kawasan hutan di Indonesia. Jurnal Ecogreen 5(1): 1-11.



Sepus M Fatem, San A Awang, Satyawan Pudyatmoko, Muhammad AK Sahide, Andita A Pratama, Ahmad Maryudi. 2018. Camouflaging economic development agendas with forest conservation narratives: A strategy of lower governments for gaining authority in the re-centralising Indonesia. Land use policy 78: 699-710. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.07.018 .


The government of Indonesia has recently recentralised the authority over forest resources. This paper analyses the bureaucratic politics and power struggles between central and local governments concerning the re-centralisation policy. This paper analyses the local initiative by Tambrauw District of West Papua in integrating management of conservation areas into district governance through so-called “conservation district” policy. We asked what are the specific real interests of the local government in implementing the environmentally-minded policy? How does the accumulation of power by the local government help it pursue its interests? We found that by using the environmentally-minded policy narrative, the district masks its true interests of economic gains from the forests. We further identified the power sources and strategies employed by the district government of Tambrauw in achieving its interests. The district successfully used the issue of local wisdom, customary rights and communities. Nuancing the narrative importance of specific socio-cultural realities, customary rights, and tenurial systems of indigenous people has paid off; the district successfully built coalitions with an array of actors, i.e. NGOs, higher bureaucracies, and indigenous groups. The coalitions provide opportunities for actors to realise their goals.

Ahmad Maryudi, Dodik R Nurrochmat, Lukas Giessen. 2018. Research trend: Forest policy and governance-Future analyses in multiple social science discipline. Forest Policy and Economics 91: 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2018.02.007 .


Around the globe, forests are utilized, managed and conserved in multiple ways. Decisions about forest policies and management are determined by individual and societal groups’ interests and values, and have economic, social, and political dimensions. Over the past few decades, a fast growing and diversifying research programme on forest governance, harnessing a number of social science disciplines, has endeavoured to understand these dimensions. In this light, the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) Division 9 Unit 09.05 (Forest Policy and Governance) organised an international scientific conference on “Forest-related policy and governance: Analyses in the environmental social sciences” in late 2016. This conference aimed to be the global scientific hub for forest-related social sciences research, including studies on forest-related empirical fields, both rural and urban. It took stock of the latest scientific advancements in the fields of forest-related policy analyses, as well as wider forest governance studies from various social scientific disciplines. Based on this stock-taking exercise across a number of forest-focused social science disciplines, this paper reviews selected contributions to this conference, which were compiled into this special issue, and identifies research trends and potential fields for future research in the forest-related social sciences.

Muhammad Alif K Sahide, Micah R Fisher, Ahmad Maryudi, Ahmad Dhiaulhaq, Christine Wulandari, Yeon-Su Kim, Lukas Giessen. 2018. Deadlock opportunism in contesting conservation areas in Indonesia. Land use policy 77: 412-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.05.020 .


Conservation areas are designated to protect biodiversity and resources by limiting anthropogenic stressors. In Indonesia, conservation areas account for almost 23 percent of the state forest with extremely limited allowable uses. Previous policy interventions to support community and traditional uses have never been very successful due to the deep roots of bureaucratic politics originally defined to safeguard biodiversity. This deadlock created by the two major laws governing forestry and conservation areas has been broken with recent permits for geothermal projects in conservation areas. The rationale is to provide an environmental service (renewable energy) and to address global concerns for climate mitigation. This paper examines how the deadlock is broken at least temporarily for geothermal development and maintained for social forestry. Arguments and findings presented in this paper are drawn from content analysis, interviews, and long-term engagement among the authors observing operationalization of conservation policies in Indonesia, both in Java and outer islands. We propose the operational framework of deadlock opportunism as a way to highlight the processes of breaking a deadlock by legitimizing particular interests (geothermal development) through green and populist narratives, while hollowing out claims of other interests (social forestry). Although anticipation of breaking the deadlock through geothermal development has encouraged numerous policies and programs developed for social forestry, we argue these developments actually camouflage the underlying legitimacy of communities and keep them from accessing lands within conservation areas. We believe the concept of deadlock opportunism and the operational framework can provide new insights for understanding progress (or lack thereof) of certain policies in their lifecycles in other parts of the world.

Ahmad Maryudi, Rodd Myers. 2018. Renting legality: How FLEGT is reinforcing power relations in Indonesia furniture production networks. Geoforum 97: 46-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.10.008 .


Over the past few decades, transnational and supranational market-based forest governance systems have been developed to address the complex problems associated with deforestation, by improving the legality and sustainability of timber traded in global markets. This is catalysed by the increasing global production and consumption of timber products and increasing sensitivity of interest groups to how timber products are produced. A broad range of actors is involved in global production networks. This paper discusses how hierarchies and networks of power across the timber production network are encountered and negotiated. More specifically, it investigates the power constellations of wood furniture actors in Indonesia, nested within global production networks: who holds the power, how power is gained and maintained, and who wins and loses over time. Using the case of the timber legality assurance system in the context of the European Union Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative, we demonstrate that legality verification in Indonesia is both entrenching pre-existing inequitable power relations while producing new modes of elite capture. Legality verification requires new knowledge and additional costs that are sometimes beyond the capacity of certain (particularly smaller) furniture manufacturers operators. This has driven a new practice of renting out FLEGT licenses by larger producers/manufacturers to smaller ones in the country. Although the practice implies potential risks (e.g. fines), large companies in Indonesia manage risk by drawing from pre-existing patronage relations. They also appear to find the risk worthwhile, as it produces financial gain but moreover, a new form of control over the market. Meanwhile, small operators and artisanal producers that still aspire to global markets face disproportionate challenges to engage in legality and are becoming more vulnerable as a result of new legality measures.

A Maryudi, H Kurniawan, B.D Siswoko, W Andayani, B Murdawa. 2018. What for forest audits say? The Indonesia mandatory forest certification. International Forestry Review 19(2): 170-179. https://doi.org/10.1505/146554817821255150 .


Since its emergence largely as a nonstate, market-driven governance system, certification has grown into a complex field in which states also use it as a regulatory instrument. Our research aimed to analyse the impacts of certification initiatives implemented under government control as a mandatory requirement, which remains understudied to date. The Indonesian mandatory forest certification, Pengelolaan Hutan Produksi Lestari (PHPL), was used as a case study. We employed an adapted corrective action requests (CAR) approach based on audit reports. Seventyeight concessions were audited until December 2015; most of them were eventually granted a PHPL certificate. They scored better on the production aspects than on the main preconditions, social and ecological aspects. Further analysis of the changes in the grades over time showed that the grades across indicators varied, either improving or worsening. Social and ecology-related forest practices appear to be the most challenging aspects in Indonesia, as we found that the grades declined over time despite the fact that the concessions were able to maintain their certification.

Ahmad Maryudi. 2018. Creating new forest governance structure for the 12.7 million-promise. Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan 11(1): 1-3.

A Widicahyono, SA Awang, A Maryudi, MA Setiawan, AU Rusdimi, D Handoko, RA Muhammad. 2018. Achieving sustainable ese of environment: a framework for payment for protected forest ecosystem service. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environment Science 148(1) 012019. doi :10.1088/1755-1315/148/1/012019 .


6 million hectares. There is conflict that the protected forest ecosystem service is still often perceived as public goods. Many of them went unrecognized in planning process and continue to be undervalued. The challenge lies in maintaining socioeconomic development and ecosystem services sustainability without overlooking the people’s opportunities and improving their livelihoods over the long term. An integrated approach is required to understand the comprehensive concept of protected forest ecosystem service. This research aims to formulate a scheme of payment for ecosystem service (PES) in a protected forest. It is a first step towards the attempt for the value of ecosystem services to be reflected in decisionmaking. Literatures, previous researches and secondary data are reviewed thoroughly to analyze the interrelated components by looking at the environment as a whole and recognize their linkages that have consequences to one another both positive and negative. The framework of implementation of PES schemes outlines the complexity of human-environment interconnecting relationships. It evaluates the contributing actors of different interest i.e. long term use and short term use. The concept of PES accommodates the fulfillment of both conservation and exploitation with an incentive scheme to the contributing parties who are willing to implement conservation and issuance of compensation expense for any exploitation means. The most crucial part in this concept is to have a good and effective communication between every policy makers concerning the forest ecosystem and local communities.



Doni Prabowo, Ahmad Maryudi, Senawi, Muhammad A. Imron. 2017. Conversion of forests into oil palm plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia: Insight from actors’ and its dynamics. Forest Policy and Economics 78: 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2017.01.004 .


Oil palm plantations have been touted as one of the main drivers of deforestation in Indonesia. This paper aims to explain how oil palm companies accumulate power that enables them to control forestland and convert it into oil palm. Specifically, this paper identifies empirical evidence pointing to why oil palm companies emerge as powerful actors in land use conflicts. This paper uses the case of forest lands claimed by different actors – i.e. a timber plantation company, an oil palm company, and local communities – in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Before the decentralisation policy, the interests of timber plantations were principally safeguarded by coercion from the forest ministry. The timber company was also supported by local communities by promising financial incentives to them. Following the decentralisation policy, additional actors get involved in the land use conflicts leading to more complex power interplays. In fact, some forestlands licensed for timber plantations are used by the oil palm company. Oil palm interests resonate with the economic interests of local governments, who use their legal mandates on land use allocation to facilitate the establishment of oil palm. The power of the oil palm company is also enhanced by the support from local communities, to which it handed more financial incentives than those of the timber plantation. It also used dominant information of customary claims and land appropriation by the ministry of forestry, with which it persuades local communities to pressurize government institutions to support oil palm operations.

Ahmad Maryudi, Muhammad A.K. Sahide. 2017. Research trend: Power analyses in polycentric and multi-level forest governance. Forest Policy and Economics 81 (C): 65-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2017.05.003 .


Forest policy analyses have increasingly employed political, sociological and jurisprudence theories to explain the fundamental social and political outcomes of particular forest policies and programs. A new strand of forest policy analysis even contributes to the creation of new theories and frameworks. One of the novel advances of this discipline is the theoretical framework of Actor-Centred Power (ACP) that is dedicated for power analyses. We comment on the recent scholarship employing the framework and propose future research directions. We identify potential gaps for the use of the theoretical framework for analysing power relationships in polycentric and multi-level forest governance. They include key questions for the theory, methods, and empirical research that warrant for close observation in the future.

Dodik Ridho Nurrochmat, Ignatius Adi Nugroho, Hardjanto, Agus Purwadianto, Ahmad Maryudi, James Thomas Erbaugh. 2017. Shifting contestation into cooperation: Strategy to incorporate different interest of actors in medicinal plants in Meru Betiri National Park, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics 83: 162-168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2017.08.005 .


Meru Betiri National Park (MBNP) is home to a variety of medicinal plantsthat local communities collect for individual use and sale. In MBNP, a variety of actors are interested in medicinal plants for different reasons. This paper analyzes the interest and influence of ten important actors related to medicinal plant collection and use in MBNP: national park management, the Plantation and Forestry Office of Jember District, farmer groups (jaket resi), medicinal plant collectors (pendarung), medicinal plants purchasers (pengepul), small-scale medicinal plant industries of the Toga Sumber WarasBandealitplantation company, a conservation NGO (LSM KAIL), loggers (blandong), and log buyers (borek kayu). To examine and map the position of different interests and influences of actors involved in medicinal plant usage, this paper uses a power grid matrix. The analysis confirms that five of the ten aforementioned actors play a direct role in the medicinal plant policy process, while five actors do not and can be categorized as context setters, subjects, or crowd. This paper ends by recommending a strategy for considering policy options that promote shared interests and minimize anticipated objection from actors concerning the harvest of medicinal plants in MBNP. It concludes that the utilization of medicinal plants in MBNP, together with protection of natural resources, should become an integral part of the park’s conservation strategy.

Rodd Myers, Dian Intarini, Martua Thomas Sirait, Ahmad Maryudi. 2017. Claiming the forest: Inclusions and exclusions under Indonesia’s new’ forest policies on customary forests. Land Use Policy 66: 2015-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.04.039 .


The hopes of customary communities in Indonesia have recently been bolstered by Constitutional Court assurances that they have the right to control customary forest. There are, however, several obstacles to making successful claims, and there are also many situations in which forest users and customary land claimants do not stand to benefit from the recent rulings. This policy review analyses the court decisions, politics around their implementation, and considerations of types of land claimants who are excluded from the current process. We highlight groups of forest and ex forestland users that are excluded from benefiting from the Constitutional Court decisions and are adversely affected by land use change and re-designation of land. These groups include those with claims over land in conservation areas, allocated to concessionaires for resource extraction, on land already issued to them through forest management rights, and those whose land has already been removed from the State forest land.

Micah Fisher, Ahmad Maryudi, Muhammad Alif K Sahide. 2017. Forest and society: initiating a southeast asia journal for theoretical, empirical, and regional scholarship. Forest and Society 1(1): 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.24259/fs.v1i1.1369 .


Welcome to our first edition. We are excited to provide a new, and what we believe, timely avenue for presenting research findings and publications in Southeast Asia, for scholars interested in Southeast Asia. Although Southeast Asia as a region of study has provided tremendous contributions to theory and practice regarding forests and society across the social and natural sciences, avenues for cultivating a scholarship of the region remain limited. We seek to engage on a broad set of themes through the application of targeted research related to timely issues affecting the human-environment interface in a diverse region that we have much to learn from. We take a broad understanding of the forest – as a politico-administrative unit, a geographic area, and as an ecological unit. We do not limit the forest to its boundaries but rather seek to engage on the dynamics of change in social and ecological processes. Under such an umbrella, new approaches and methods become possible. ‘Forest’ can be analyzed as land use, ecological process, divided across watersheds, as landscapes, mountains, and more. The lens of ‘society’ allows for opportunities to understand change, whether it is the interaction between a resource to be preserved, exploited, forgotten, or erased. Forests, therefore, operate as the clues of what once was, has become, and what can be. Particularly in the age of climate change, riddled by increasingly complex challenges, a new dimension also emerges for the forest. Different perspectives at different scales – from the local to the global – provide equally important dimensions, and are those which we seek to provide avenues to learn from, and communicate through this journal. As the reader will find in this inaugural issue, we have compiled an initial set of studies across multiple methods and geographies that help to set the terms of future editions. We examine: historical political ecologies of land use around opium cultivation in the uplands of Thailand; emerging governance regimes of corporate social responsibility in Myanmar; the capacity of new state institutions to manage land conflict in forest estate lands in Indonesia; a close analysis of forest harvesting and management in a mangrove forest in Malaysia; and, an economic valuation of non-timber forest products in a national park in Indonesia. There is much to choose from and much more to delve into. We hope that this issue serves as an impetus to engage on these timely themes and further encourages new ideas for submissions.

Ahmad Maryudi, Ani A Nawir, Dewi A Sekartaji, Purnomo Sumardamto, Ris H Purwanto, Ronggo Sadono, Priyono Suryanto, Emma Soraya, Djoko Soeprijadi, Agus Affianto, Rohman Rohman, Slamet Riyanto. 2017. Smallholder farmers’ knowledge of regulations governing the sale of timber and supply chains in Gunungkidul District, Indonesia. Small-scale forestry 16(1): 119-131. DOI 10.1007/s11842-016-9346-x .


Smallholder timber plantations may offer opportunities for farmers to increase their income. Nonetheless, such opportunities are often lost largely due to unfavorable regulations imposed on harvesting and marketing of timber. Adverse impacts are worsened because the regulations are not effectively communicated to smallholder farmers. We assessed the level of smallholder knowledge of existing regulations and found it very low. In part, this correlated to their socio-demographic characteristics. Poor literacy skills and a low level of education make it difficult for older farmers’ to increase their knowledge. This is compounded by the limited information channels that can reach the farmers. Improving smallholders’ knowledge by providing information concerning markets and regulations in a timely and clear manner could help smallholders exercise coping strategies and priorities when selling their timber that would in turn reduce the negative impacts of regulations. The roles of village authorities could be crucial. They are close to the smallholders and could channel the information. The government could provide training and incentives for them to be more active in communicating the regulations to the smallholders.

Eko N Setiawan, Ahmad Maryudi, Ris H Purwanto, Gabriel Lele. 2017. Konflik tata ruang kehutanan dengan tata ruang wilayah (studi kasus penggunaan Kawasan hutan tidak prosedural untuk perkebunan sawit Provinsi Kalimantan Tengah). BHUMI: Jurnal Agraria dan Pertanahan 3(1): 51-56.


No. 26 Year 2007 on Spatial Planning (UUPR) mandated that all levels of government administration, ranging from the national, provincial, district/ city are obligated to prepare Spatial Plan (RTR). Until 2012, Central Kalimantan is one of the provinces which have not completed its spatial plan; one of the reasons was the lack of spatial integration of Forestry Spatial Planning and Provincial Spatial Planning of Central Kalimantan. The absence of spatial integration of forestry and provincial spatial planning of Central Kalimantan has the implication in triggering conflicts of land use. Forest areas were converted into oil palm plantations without any official procedures. There are 282 units of oil palm companies, occupying 3.9 millions hectares of forest area, with non-procedural procedures to convert forest area into oil palm plantation. To resolve this problem, the Government has revised the regulation of forest conversion by issuing PP No. 60/2012, provides opportunities for oil palm plantations, which under the Law of Forestry located in forest area but based on RTRWP of Central Kalimantan lies on APL or cultivation area, given the opportunity to re-apply the permit/license.


MAK Sahide, S Supratman, A Maryudi, Y-S Kim, L Giessen. 2016. Decentralisation Policy as Recentralisation Strategy: Forest Management Units and Community Forestry in Indonesia. International Forestry Review 18 (1): 78-95. https://doi.org/10.1505/146554816818206168


Critical political analyses on decentralisation policies have revealed that such approaches may not achieve their formal goal, and might even support centralisation efforts. A number of previous studies on decentralisation separated the analyses of administrative process from the analyses of political power of administrative actors across levels of government. Using bureaucratic politics theory, this article presents close examinations of both process and power relations reconfigured by decentralising and recentralising forces across governmental levels. This study illustrates how the Indonesian central government is on its way to reclaiming its authority for forest administration and management through so-called Forest Management Units (FMU) and closely related community forestry programmes. This study reveals that the sources of real contention in KPH and community forestry policies are the power struggles between national, provincial and district bureaucracies. The conceptual model and the results of this study contribute to the understanding of underlying dynamics of bureaucratic politics in the process of political power reconfigurations.

Carsten Schusser, Max Krott, Mbolo C Yufanyi Movuh, Jacqueline Logmani, Rosan R Devkota, Ahmad Maryudi, Manjola Salla. 2016. Caomparing community forestry actors in Cameroon, Indonesia, Namibia, Nepal, and Germany. Forest Policy and Economics 68: 81-87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2016.03.001 .


Current research on community forestry worldwide is starting to question whether community forestry programmes can fulfil their goals towards the empowerment of the local forest user. Apparently, the driving forces behind the programmes are actors who are very powerful within the hierarchies, and devolution of power to the local level is not taking place. Several research efforts have investigated the issue and have identified different internal and external actors as important players.

However, said research seldom analyses actor involvement directly, and in addition leaves open the theoretical definition of the term “actor”. The lack of this definition makes impossible the comparison of different findings. If further research intends to compare community forestry worldwide, there is a need for a theory-based actor model.

In order to contribute to the general discourse on community forestry, this study has defined the term “actor”, and also introduces an actor classification model that is theory-based. The model, together with an actor identification method, was applied to selected community forestry case studies in five different countries around the world (Indonesia, Germany, Cameroon, Namibia and Nepal). The results provide an answer on the question: who are the main actors involved with community forestry? At the same time, the empirical findings also demonstrate that the model is applicable in practice.

Eko N Setiawan, Ahmad Maryudi, Ris H Purwanto, Gabriel Lele. 2016. Opposing interests in the legalization of non-procedural forest conversion to oil palm in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Land use policy 58: 472-481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2016.08.003 .


Demand for forestland for non-forest uses, mostly oil palm, has increased dramatically in the past few years and has become a chief driver of deforestation in Central Kalimantan. In this paper, we aim to shed light on how multiple levels of government create a facilitating environment for oil palm expansion. In our research, we employed three different methods: content analysis of key policy documents, participant observations, and expert interviews. We found that the technical complexities of formal procedures for the conversion of forest to oil palm are relatively easy to bypass. Contradicting laws and regulations have created a situation where the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) and local governments have relatively equal legal mandates and authority over land-use and allocation. This is further complicated by the ambiguity of the decentralization policy. Enabled by the spatial planning law and the decentralization laws, local governments have aggressively issued plantation licenses for forest areas without the formal release of the forest from the Ministry of Forestry. The issuance of plantation permits has also been legitimized by other policies within central government, which have made oil palm a national priority.

Ari Susanti, Ahmad Maryudi. 2016. Development narratives, notions of forest crisis, and boom of oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Forest policy and economics 73: 130-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2016.09.009 .


Indonesia experienced massive deforestation in the last decades where rapid oil palm expansion has been considered as one of the main drivers. This article shows that the process of deforestation and the rapid oil palm expansion cannot be viewed in isolation from broader development contexts. Various actors at local, national, and global levels have used development narratives and poverty alleviation through various policies and institutional setting to create spaces and opportunities for oil palm development. These actors also deliberately created the notion of forest crisis by omitting the values of forest environmental services to justify forest conversion into oil palm plantations. These multiple factors shaped the speed and the direction of oil palm expansion in Indonesia. This rapid oil palm expansion in Indonesia has resulted in massive LUCC and serious environmental problems. Given these complexities, a single policy will not be sufficient when it comes to managing the consequences of rapid oil palm expansion in Indonesia.

Muhammad Alif K Sahide, Ahmad Maryudi, Supratman Supratman, Lukas Giessen. 2016. Is Indonesia utilising its international partners? The driving forces behind Forest Management Units. Forest Policy and Economics 69: 11-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2016.04.002 .


International forest regimes have been influencing the development of Indonesia’s forest policy, and have complemented its domestic policy initiatives. Indonesian political entities utilise the regimes to pursue bureaucratic benefits and national interests. Forest Management Units (FMUs) comprise our heuristic model. We identified international and domestic actors and institutions that underlie the concept of FMUs and how FMUs are implemented along with the actors’ interests. We built our framework and propositions based on bureaucratic politics theory and the theorem on pathways of influence. We used observations, content analysis, and expert interviews to distinguish among actors and institutions, as well as various actors’ interests in FMU development. We found that the German government, via the German company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), is the most powerful actor behind FMUs. International actors have dual motivations for supporting FMUs: (i) formally, they want to find the clearest, most efficient way to invest their international cooperation funds in tropical countries and to counter global deforestation; and (ii) informally, they want to counter the influence of Indonesian palm oil plantations. In addition, international interests could be contrary to domestic interests in terms of utilising FMUs. There is a strong, converging concern shared by international and domestic actors, whereby domestic actors use the formal goals of international regimes to pursue domestic interests. Domestic bureaucracies use FMU programmes to relocate power back to the central bureaucracies by preparing instruments that are formally in line with international regimes, but informal in that these instruments are dominated by domestic bureaucracies. For example, the instruments include reinforcing state forest areas, promoting forest benefits, centralising the budget, capacity building, and centralising information.

Ahmad Maryudi. 2016. Choosing timber legality verification as a policy instrument to combat illegal logging in Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics 68: 99-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2015.10.010 .


The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) of Indonesia has recently started to implement legality verification as a policy instrument to combat illegal logging. Using theories of policy instrument choice, this paper attempted to shed light on the conditions under which the instrument choice takes place. Over the past few years, there has been a significant change in political perception on illegal logging. In fact, the problem has been brought forward as one of the most chronic forest problems in the country. At the same time, there has been growing dissatisfaction on the previous range of instruments and measures. In addition, MoEF decision to use legality verification heavily interacts with the trend on import legislations in a number of countries. In fact, the trend is still “more friendly” for Indonesian timber products than boycotts. Legality verification was also preferred due to its streamlined requirements, compared to the more comprehensive standards of sustainability certification.

Ahmad Maryudi, Erlita R Citraningtyas, Ris H Purwanto, Ronggo Sadono, Priyono Suryanto, Slamet Riyanto, Bowo D Siswoko. 2016. The emerging power of peasant farmers in the tenurial conflicts over the uses of state forestland in Central Java, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics 67: 70-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2015.09.005 .


There has been an increasing occurrence of spontaneous and organized movements and struggles demanding access to state forestland in Indonesia over the past few years. A sizeable body of literature has explained the driving factors of the land movement but most of them focus on processes at the national level, principally on the changing socio-political landscapes, and the overlapping land use policy and regulations. In contrast, this paper attempts to find explanation of the dynamics of the land movement, and tries to explain the emerging power of peasant farmers at the field. The research was conducted in the forest of the state company of Perhutani Sub-Forest District (BKPH) Kalibodri, Forest District (KPH) Kendal, Central Java, where nearly two-fifths of the forestland is illegally occupied by peasant farmers for agricultural cropping. This paper borrows actor-centred power (ACP) of Krott et al. (2014), which offers an analytical approach to understand the empirical power resources of actors in social-political relationships. It finds the prolonged occupation of the state forestland is due to the combination of the weakened power of the state apparatus and the more consolidated power of peasant farmers. The state apparatus is weakened by its diminishing coercive power. It is also unable to provide concrete incentives that would otherwise alter the behavior of the peasant farmers. At the same time, the peasant farmers accumulate support from a wider society, from local to national level. Even international actors also play a part so that significantly affect how the state company deals with the peasant farmers.

Doni Prabowo, Ahmad Maryudi, Senawi, Muhammad A Imron. 2016. Enchancing the application of Krott et al.’s (2014) Actor-Centered Power (ACP): The importance of understanding the effect of changes in polity for the measurement of power dynamics over time. Forest Policy and Economics 62: 184-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2015.10.006 .


Krott and colleagues have recently developed a theoretical framework of Actor-Centred Power (ACP) that offers an analytical tool to empirically reveal the elements of power used to achieve their political interests in a particular forestry issue (Krott et al., 2014). ACP has been intensively tested in a number of issues regarding forest land use and management, community forestry and rural policy in different countries. In addition, the theoretical framework is increasingly cited in scientific works and is used as the core framework in a number of studies worldwide. This shows a solid evidence of the increased significance of the theoretical approach. We nonetheless observe a room for enhancing the use and application of their theoretical framework to better understand power dynamics in forest-related issues.

Indah Waty Bong, Mary Elizabeth Felker, Ahmad Maryudi. 2016. How are local people driving and affected by forest cover change? Opportunities for local participation in REDD+ measurement, reporting and verification. Plos One 11(11): 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0145330 .


Deforestation and forest degradation are complex and dynamic processes that vary from place to place. They are driven by multiple causes. Local communities are, to some extent, driving and also affected by some of these processes. Can their knowledge aid and add to place-specific assessment and monitoring of Deforestation and forest Degradation (DD) drivers? Our research was conducted in seven villages across three provinces of Indonesia (Papua, West Kalimantan and Central Java). Household surveys and focus group discussions were used to investigate how local community knowledge of DD drivers contributes to place-specific assessment and monitoring of DD drivers. We analyzed the link between drivers and local livelihoods to see how attempts to address deforestation and forest degradation might affect local communities and how this link might influence their participation in climate change mitigation measures such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and Measuring, Reporting and Verifying (MRV) activities. We found that local knowledge is fundamental to capturing the variety of drivers particularly in countries like Indonesia where forest and socio-economic conditions are diverse. Better understanding of drivers and their importance for local livelihoods will not only contribute to a more locally appropriate design of REDD+ and monitoring systems but will also foster local participation.

Maryudi, A. 2016. Arahan Tata Hubungan Kelembagaan Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan (KPH) di Indonesia. Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan 10(1): 57-64.


The establishment of Forest Management Units (FMUs) has been made as one of the top policy priorities by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The policy is expected to become a solution for problems regarding to the management of forests in Indonesia, e.g. poor forest governance, tenurial problems, limited capacity in the management of forests. FMU is conceptualized as a forest management agent/ institution at the field. The policy of establishing FMUs is often viewed to add complexities of the current forest administration and management structures. This paper discusses concepts of institutions and bureaucracies of the FMU policy.


Carsten Schusser, Max Krott, Mbolo C Yufanyi Movuh, Jacqueline Logmani, Rosan R Devkota, Ahmad Maryudi, Manjola Salla, Ngo Duy Bach. 2015. Powerful stakeholders as drivers of community forestry—Results of an international study. Forest Policy and Economics 58: 92-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2015.05.011


Community forestry is a complex collective action by forest users that takes place within a broader network of multiple actors at local, national and international levels. This paper looks at all relevant actors and tests the hypothesis of whether they have a significant influence on the outcomes of community forestry. The empirical basis comprises 57 cases of community forestry in four developing and one developed country. The cases were selected to represent a variety of political conditions and best practices, defined as success in the achievement of high outcomes. The actors were theoretically defined, and we identified political, economic and societal actors. Additionally, their power and interests were theoretically defined and observed in the field studies. The group of powerful actors desires specific outcomes for the local users of the community forests. As far as the ecological outcomes, some 40% of the powerful actors prefer sustained forest stands, and 20% also find biodiversity to be important. With regard to the economic contribution to the local users, 25% of powerful actors support only a subsistence level for the local users, and 25% prefer higher economic contributions. Within the social outcomes, 40% of powerful actors accept devolution of some information and decision rights to the local users, but only 2% would grant them full empowerment. The interests of the powerful actors were compared with the outcomes achieved in practice. A comparison shows that within each outcome there is a congruence of 82–90% between the interests of powerful actors and the outcomes for local users. We interpret these findings as empirical evidence that powerful actors have a significant influence on the outcomes of community forestry for the local users.

Ahmad Maryudi, Ani A Nawir, Dwiko B Permadi, Ris H Purwanto, Dian Pratiwi, Ahmad Syofi’i, Purnomo Sumardamto. 2015. 2015. Complex regulatory frameworks governing private smallholder tree plantations in Gunungkidul District, Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics 59: 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2015.05.010 .


Smallholder tree plantation, now on the increase in Indonesia, has long been practiced by rural farmers as a strategy to optimize the expected utility of land, labor and other constraints. Increasing demand for timber has driven a shift toward commercialization of smallholder forestry. However, smallholders face huge challenges when they seek for commercial markets in the form of complex regulatory frameworks applied to smallholder plantations. This paper discusses the case of smallholder plantations in Gunungkidul District (Indonesia), considered one of the most commercialized timber marketing hubs for local, national and international markets. It analyzes how opportunities and challenges, resulted from different regulatory frameworks, affect the competitiveness of smallholder forestry practices. In this paper, regulatory frameworks are defined as not only regulations issued by public administrators at the domestic (local and national) level, but also cover the emerging market-based regulatory frameworks, i.e. voluntary certification of sustainable forestry and mandatory timber legality verification.

Maryudi. 2015. The political economy of forest land-use, the timber sector, and forest certification. The Context of Natural Forest Management and FSC Certification in Indonesia: 9-34.


Max Krott, Axel Bader, Carsten Schusser, Rosan Devkota, Ahmad Maryudi, Lukas Giessen, Helene Aurenhammer. 2014. Actor-centred power: The driving force in decentralised community based forest governance. Forest Policy and Economics 49: 34-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2013.04.012


Community forestry has been described as a decentralised mode of forest governance that only partly lives up to its expectations. The power of important actors to misuse the community forestry approach for their self-interests has been reported as a major obstacle to comprehensive success. Hence, this article aims at developing an analytical, theory-based and empirically applicable framework for assessing an actor’s power using community forestry as an illustrative case. The actor-centred power approach (ACP) analysis aims to provide a scientific answer to the question of who are the politically most powerful actors in community forestry practices. In making use of suitable components of power theories it builds strongly upon the social relations of actors, organisational aspects and power sources, as described by Weber, Dahl, Etzioni and their adherents. Actor-centred power approach (ACP) is defined as a social relationship in which actor A alters the behaviour of actor B without recognising B’s will. In our framework we distinguish between three core elements: coercion, (dis-)incentives and dominant information. These make up the basis for observable facts that involve not only physical actions but also threats by power elements and the very sources of said power elements. Theoretical considerations show that, despite the focus being on actors, by looking to their power sources a considerable part of structural power can be more tangible at least in part, like rules, discourse or ideologies. Furthermore, the paper shows how the actor-centred power approach distinguishes power from other influences on forest management and contributes to the identification of the group of powerful actors on an empirical basis. Due to the focus on actors and well-defined and observable elements of power, the actor-centred power approach (ACP) could serve not only as a basis for research but also as a tool for quick assessment of power networks, delivering valuable preliminary information for designing forest policy in practice.

Ahmad Maryudi. 2014. An innovative policy for rural development? Rethinking barriers to rural communities earning their living from forests in Indonesia. Jurnal Ilmu Kehutanan 8(1): 50-64.


The government of Indonesia (GoI) has trialed a number of community forestry schemes, ranging from collaborative management to long-term forest management rights handed to local communities, and implements them in state forestland. This policy shift toward community forestry in Indonesia shows an emerging signal on acknowledgement on the ability of local forest users to manage forest resources sustainably, and gives the people opportunities to benefit from the resources and eventually improve their daily life. With so much of promises community forestry brings, this paper primarily asks why the program is yet to meet the high expectation of rural development, tackling the pervasive rural poverty. It aims to identify, analyze and address key constraints of rural communities in exercising their rights which are considered as key factors to improve their livelihood and alleviate rural poverty. That the government-initiated community forestry schemes fall short of the initial targets in terms of the extent of state forestland areas managed by to forest communities to a large extent is explained by the regulatory barriers of tenurial uncertainties and the complex licensing procedures. Those coupled by the limited capacity as technical assistance rarely provided by government institutions appear to impede local people to secure better livelihood.