Environmental Management

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 80–92 | Cite as

Diffusion of Policy Discourse into Rural Spheres Through Co-Management of State Forestlands: Two Cases from West Java, Indonesia

  • Hideyuki KuboEmail author


In the context of state forestland management in tropical regions, the implementation of a co-management approach has been widely advocated in order to include the voices of local people and accommodate their interests in management decision-making. Most co-management literatures, however, underestimate the significance of statutory authority held by state to control forestlands and resources. By clarifying the implications of state ownership of forestland, this article aims to critically examine co-management processes with reference to Foucault’s notion of power and subject. Case studies were conducted at two co-management pilot sites in Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park, West Java, Indonesia. Findings demonstrate that co-management processes actually materialize shared decision-making arrangements between state forest bureaucracy and rural people through the application of equity approaches, such as deliberation, negotiation, and experimentation. At the same time, these processes can also function to diffuse state policy discourse in rural spheres, which makes rural subjects who accept and practice the policy discourse. The research also reveals that the diffusion process is complex and does not necessarily make a durable subject unless they are pertinently organized. The results of this research indicate that co-management of state forestlands is a double-edged process for local people who risk becoming a proxy of state bureaucracy in the implementation of state policy. Proponents of co-management should, therefore, critically examine whether new institutional arrangements, which are developed through co-management, truly reflect values and needs of local people and assist them to develop a pertinent subject to deal with it.


Co-Management State forest bureaucracy Rural people Power relation Policy discourse Subject 



The author acknowledges and appreciates the technical assistance from Mr. Adul Kusmono and in-kind support from Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park Management Project during the field work. In addition, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) provided me with intellectual, as well as logistical, support throughout the research. The author also thanks three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the original manuscript.


  1. Agrawal A, Gibson CC (1999) Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation. World Development 27(4):629–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anau N, Iwan R, van Heist M, Limberg G, Sudana M, Wollenberg E (2005) Negotiating More Than Boundaries in Indonesia. In: Colfer CJP (ed) The Equitable Forest: Diversity, Community, & Resource Management. Resource for the Future, Washington, DC, pp 19–41Google Scholar
  3. Bevir M (1999) Foucault, Power, and Institutions. Political Studies 47:345–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blaikie P (2006) Is Small Really Beautiful? Community-based Natural Resource Management in Malawi and Botswana. World Development 34(11):1942–1957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borrini-Feyerabend G, Pimbert M, Farvar MT, Kothari A, Renard Y (2004) Sharing Power: Learning by doing in co-management of natural resources throughout the world. IIED and IUCN/CEEP/CMWG, TehranGoogle Scholar
  6. BTNGH. (2004) Keputusan Kepala Balai Taman Nasional Gunung Halimun: Nomor SK 2219/VI/T.13/2004. Balai Taman Nasional Gunung Halimun, KabandunganGoogle Scholar
  7. Buck LE, Wollenberg E, Edmunds D (2001) Social learning in the collaborative management of community forests: Lessons from the field. In: Wollenberg E, Edmunds D, Fox J, Brodt S (eds), Social Learning in Community Forests. Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor. pp 1–20Google Scholar
  8. Carlsson L, Berkes F (2005) Co-management: concepts and methodological implications. Journal of Environmental Management 75:65–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carter J, Gronow J (2005) Recent Experience in Collaborative Forest Management: A Review Paper. CIFOR Occasional Paper No.43, Center for International Forestry Research, JakartaGoogle Scholar
  10. Cernea MM, Schmidt-Soltau K (2006) Poverty Risks and National Parks: Policy Issues in Conservation and Resettlement. World Development 34(10):1808–1830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chapagain DP, Kanel KR, Regmi DC (1999) Current Policy and Legal Context of the Forestry Sector with Reference to the Community Forestry Programme in Nepal: A Working Overview. SEEPORT and PRO PUBLIC, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  12. Colchester M, Apte T, Laforge M, Mandondo A, Pathak N (2003) Bridging the Gap: Communities, Forests and international Networks. CIFOR Occasional Paper No.41, Center for International Forestry Research, JakartaGoogle Scholar
  13. Colfer CJP (2005) The Complex Forest: Communities, Uncertainty, & Adaptive Collaborative Management. Resource for the Future, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  14. Colfer CJP, Capistrano D (eds) (2005) The Politics of Decentralization—Forests, Power and People. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Contreras-Hermosilla A, Fay C (2005) Strengthening Forest Management in Indonesia through Land Tenure Reform: Issues and Framework Actions. Forest Trends, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. Dana ST, Fairfax SK (1980) Forest range and policy: Its development in the United States. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Daniels SE, Walker GB (1999) Rethinking Public Participation in Natural Resource Management: Concepts from Pluralism and Five Emerging Approaches. in Pluralism and Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development. Proceedings of an International Workshop (Rome 9–12 December 1997). FAO, Rome. pp 29–48Google Scholar
  18. Dean M (1999) Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. Sage Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Down to Earth (2001) Moronene people forced out of national park. Down to Earth No.48, February 2001,
  20. Edmunds D, Wollenberg E (eds) (2003) Local Forest Management: The Impacts of Devolution Policies. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Edmunds D, Wollenberg E (2001) A Strategic Approach to Multistakeholder Negotiations. Development and Change 32:231–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Engel A, Korf B (2005) Negotiation and mediation techniques for natural resource management. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  23. Evans T, Harris J (2004) Street-Level Bureaucracy, Social work and the (Exaggerated) Death of Discretion. British Journal of Social Work 34(6):871–895CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. FAO. (2005) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005. FAO Forestry Paper 147, FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  25. Fisher RJ, Maginnis S, Jackson WJ, Barrow E, Jeanrenaud S (2005) Poverty and Conservation—Landscapes, People and Power. Landscapes and Livelihoods Series No.2, IUCN, ZurichGoogle Scholar
  26. Foucault M (1979) Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison. Vintage, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Foucault M (1980) The History of Sexuality, Vol.1. Vintage, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Foucault M (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977. Pantheon Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Foucault M (1982) The Subject and Power. In: Dreyfus H, Rabinow P (eds) Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. pp 208–226Google Scholar
  30. Foucault M (1988) Technologies of the Self. In: Martin L, Gutman H, Hutton P (eds) Technologies of the Self. The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst. pp 16–49Google Scholar
  31. Foucault M (1988) The ethic of care for the self as a practice of freedom. In: Bernauer J, Rasmussen D (eds) The Final Foucault. MIT Press, Cambridge. pp 1–20Google Scholar
  32. GHSNPMP (2006) Studi Ekologi Koridor Halimun-Salak Taman Nasional Gunung Halimun Salak. Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park Management Project, BogorGoogle Scholar
  33. Grindle MS, Thomas JW (1991) Public Choices and Policy Change: The Political Economy of Reform in Developing Countires. The Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  34. Habermas J (1995) Reconciliation through the Public Use of Reason: Remarks on John Rawls’s Political Liberalism. The Journal of Philosophy 92(3):109–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hannah MG (1997) Space and the Structuring of Disciplinary Power: An Interpretive Review. Geografiska Annaler. Series B. Human Geograph 79(3):171–180Google Scholar
  36. Hemmati M (2002) Multi-stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability: Beyond Deadlock and Conflict. Earthscan Publications Ltd, LondonGoogle Scholar
  37. Hickey S, Mohan G (2005) Relocating Participation within a Radical politics of Development. Development and Change 36(2):237–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hobley M (2006) Where in the world is there pro-poor forest policy and tenure reform? The Rights and Resources Initiative, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  39. Keen M, Mahanty S (2006) Learning in Sustainable Natural Resource Management: Challenges and Opportunities in the Pacific. Society and Natural Resources 19:497–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. King CA (2000) Systemic Processes for Facilitating Social learning: Challenging the Legacy. Doctoral thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, UppsalaGoogle Scholar
  41. Kusumanto T, Yuliani EL, Macoun P, Indriatmoko Y, Adnan H (2005) Learning to Adapt: Managing Forests Together in Indonesia. Center for International Forestry Research, JakartaGoogle Scholar
  42. Lee KN (1993) Compass and gyroscope. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  43. Li TM (2002) Engaging Simplifications: Community-Based Resource Management, Market Processes and State Agendas in Upland Southeast Asia. World Development 30(2):265–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lynch OJ, Talbott K (1995) Balancing acts: Community-based forest management and national law in Asia and the Pacific. World Resources Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  45. Maarleveld M, Dangbegnon C (2002) Social learning: major concepts and issues—Lessons from natural resource management in ‘terroirs’ and ‘landelijke gebieden’. In: Leeuwis C, Pyburn R (eds) Wheelbarros full of frons. Koninklijke van Gorcum, Assen, Netherlands. pp 67–84Google Scholar
  46. Malla Y (1999) Stakeholders Responses to Changes in Forest Policies. In: Pluralism and Sustainable Forestry and Rural Development. Proceedings of an International Workshop (Rome 9–12 December 1997). FAO, Rome. pp 253–73Google Scholar
  47. Mayers J, Bass S (1999) Policy that works for forests and people. Policy that works for forests and people series no:7, International Institute for Environment and Development, LondonGoogle Scholar
  48. McLean J, Straede S (2003) Conservation, Relocation and the Paradigms of Park and People Management: A case study of Padampur Villages and the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Society and Natural Resources 16:509–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Miura K (2006) Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park Management Project: A challenge for collaborative park management in Indonesia. Paper presented at the Borneo Biodiversity & Ecosystems Conservation Program 4th International Conference, Kota KinabaruGoogle Scholar
  50. MoF (2005) Pengelolaan Kolaboratif: Peraturan Menteri Kehutanan No.P19/Menhut-II/2004 (Collaborative Management: Ministerial Decree No.19/2004). Ministry of Forestry, Government of IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
  51. MoF, JICA (2004) Project Document: Project on the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park Management Project in the Republic of Indonesia. Ministry of Forestry, The Republic of Indonesia and Japan International Cooperation AgencyGoogle Scholar
  52. Norgrove L, Hulme D (2006) Confronting Conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda. Development and Change 37(5):1093–1116Google Scholar
  53. Olsson P, Folke C, Berkes F (2004) Adaptive Comanagement for Building Resilience in Social–Ecological Systems. Environmental Management 34(1):75–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Peluso NL (1992) Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  55. Poffenberger M (ed) (2000) Communities and Forest Management in Southeast Asia. IUCN, GlandGoogle Scholar
  56. Ribot J, Agrawal A, Larson A (2006) Recentralizing While Decentralizing: How national Governments Reappropriate Forest Resources. World Development 34(11):1864–1886CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Roling N, Maarleveld M (1999) Facing strategic narratives: An argument for interactive effectiveness. Agriculture and Human Values 16:295–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Shackleton S, Campbell B, Wollenberg E, Edmunds D (2002) Devolution and community based management: creating space for local people to participate and benefit? Natural resources perspectives 76. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  59. Shrestha NK (2000) Turning back the clock: where is community forestry heading in Nepal? Asia-Pacific Community Forestry Newsletter 13(2):53–55Google Scholar
  60. Singleton S (2000) Cooperation or Capture? The Paradox of Co-management and Community Participation in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Policy-Making. Environmental Politics 9(2):1–21Google Scholar
  61. Stacey RD (2007) Strategic Management and Organizational Dynamics: The Challenge of Complexity. Fifth Edition, Pearson Education Limited, Essex, UKGoogle Scholar
  62. White A, Martin A (2002) Who owns the world’s forests?. Forest Trends, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  63. Wollenberg E, Anderson J, Lopez C (2005) Though all things differ: Pluralism as a basis for cooperation in forests. Center for International Forestry Research, BogorGoogle Scholar
  64. Wollenberg E, Anderson J, Edmunds D (2001) Pluralism and the less powerful: accommodating multiple interests in local forest management. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology 1(3/4):199–222Google Scholar
  65. Wondolleck J, Yaffee SL (2000) Making collaboration work: Lessons from innovation in natural resource management. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bagong Pagasa Foundation, 445 Bulusan LaneParanyaquePhilippines

Personalised recommendations