POLICY AND LEGISLATION IN COMMUNITY FORESTRY:
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS WITHIN COMMUNITY FORESTRY DEVELOPMENT
IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
I Nyoman Nurjaya *)
Paper presented at the 4th Asian Public Intellectuals (API) International Workshop conducted on November 29th to December 4th, 2005 at Shangril-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. This paper is originally based on an normative study of law concerning Indigenous People Rights and Community Forestry Development in Southeast Asia which was carried out in the three Southeast Asia countries namely Thailand, Malaysia, and The Philippines in the period of July – October, 2004 fully financial supported by The Nippon Foundation through The Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowships Program 2004 – 2005.
Since the colonial period, Southeast Asian countries have increasingly invested control and manage forest resources within centralized-resource management regime. Consequently, in terms of laws and regulations dealing with forest resource management, it is a legal fact that forestry policy and legislation that have been shaped and enforced by the governments tend to ignored or little recognized the customary rights of indigenous people and forest-dependent communities living within the forests for generations. Besides, forestry management in the region for a long period of time are predominantly subject to the influence of political, military, and commercial interests of the states. As a result, tensions and conflicts simultaneously emerged between governments and the local people namely indigenous people and forest-dependent communities in contesting forest lands use and access to forest resources in the region.
Since the last over two decades, the governments in Southeast Asia region have begun to explore ways to extend greater recognition the rights of indigenous communities and forest-dwellers, and have tried to formulate those rights of forest-dependent people into state-forestry policies and regulations. It is an interesting legal phenomenon to be studied from legal anthropology point of view with the purpose of observing as well as understanding the indigenous people-oriented laws and regulations which formulated in the development of community forestry in Southeast Asia. The paper attempts to examine on how the governments of the selected Southeast Asian countries namely Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines formulated and regulated the indigenous people rights within community forestry policies and regulations, as well as state institutions that established to support community forestry development in the region.
*) Teaching staff at Faculty of Law and Head Postgraduate School of Law Brawijaya University, Indonesia (firstname.lastname@example.org)