Regional Autonomy and Its Capacity in Decentralized Natural Resources Management: A Critical Policy and Legal Analysis1
I Nyoman Nurjaya
1 This article is based on Fieldwork Report regarding Study on Capacity Building for Decentralized Natural Resources Management which was carried out in October, 2003 to January, 2004 financial supported by ADB TA 3523-INO. Position held by the Author in this study is Local Laws and Regulation Specialist.
Indonesia has been well known as a rich country in term of natural resources and biological diversity in all over the world. In the last more than three decades it could be witnessed that both natural resources stock and commodity have decreased and degraded in term of quality and quantity in accordance with rapid execution of economic development in the country. As such, natural resources mainly forest, gas and oil, mining, and fishery have widely been exploited in order to enhance State revenue. Consequently, national development which mainly directed and targeted to keep increasingly economic growth and State revenue in particular must be costly paid by a serious economical and ecological degradation, as well as social and cultural loss in the life of indigenous/adat communities in most regions of Indonesia (Nurjaya, 2002).
The implications of those ecological loss, economical loss, social and cultural loss mentioned above are primary caused by the differentiation both interest of natural resources tenure and management between Central Government and the local people. In the eyes of academic lawyer, the implications of which are particularly caused by the differential perception to deal with natural resources laws and regulations between Central Government and the adat communities in the regions. In this respect, the Government tends to enforce State laws namely laws and regulations to order and control resources in the name of development, and on the other side the local people employ their adat/customary laws to control and manage natural resources in the territories they depend on. Hence, conflicts over natural resources laws and management between Government and the local people then could not be deflected in most regions of Indonesia.
It is then a legal fact that since 1999 conflicts over natural resources management in the country become more increasing soon after decentralization and regional autonomy policies put into effect based on Act No. 22/1999 concerning Regional Governance and Act No. 25/1999 concerning Fiscal Balance between Central and Regional Government, and particularly the improvement of conflicts over natural resources management between Central and Regional Governments in one side, and between the Regency and Provincial Governments on the other side (Aden, 2001).
This article attempts to describe and analyze regional government and its capacity within decentralized natural resources management in the regional autonomy era, the existing national laws and regulations that influencing decentralized natural resources management, their characteristic and implications to natural resources management, legal and regulatory framework in the level of province and kabupaten. This also analyze problems of decentralization law No. 22/1999 in the level of concept and norms, and obstacles faced and its application in the regions. At the end, conclusions and recommendations proposed in order to build and strengthen capacity of regional government within environmental and natural resources management in the decentralization era.