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Political Transformation and Watershed Governance in Java: Actors and Interests

Part of the Studies in Ecological Economics book series (SEEC,volume 4)

Abstract

Current modes of and challenges in watershed and forest governance in Java should be understood as result of long-standing struggles over the access to and control of natural resources. These struggles are closely intertwined with sociopolitical discourses, international development and environmental management paradigms and the broader revolutionary political transformations in Indonesia. The latter have tremendously exacerbated environmental degradation by transforming many state forests and plantation lands into political battlefields. At the same time, they have opened windows of opportunity for transitions towards new, possibly more sustainable modes of watershed and forest governance. These transitions are characterised by an increasing fragmentation of the previous centralistic, top-down oriented state apparatus into a more fluid network of nodes of power and influence. While some fragments of the previous hierarchically integrated structure continue to persist as powerful albeit less visible nodes of influence and repression, others slowly emerge as promoters of sociopolitical change. New actors and networks expand into the new spaces of an increasingly open political arena. They question established discourses and patterns of resource access and control and develop new, more participatory, more locally based management approaches. Ongoing struggles between ‘old’ and ‘new’ political forces are imprinted in today’s landscape. Current patterns of forest and watershed degradation are a visible sign of the struggles for and conflicts over new modes of governance, which are hopefully socially and ecologically more sustainable.

Keywords

  • State Forest
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Sustainable Mode
  • Political Transformation
  • Actor Coalition

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This chapter builds on empirical work that was carried out by the author between 2008 and 2011 when he was affiliated with the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology Bremen (ZMT). The research was part of the bilateral Indonesian-German research programme SPICE II (Science for the Protection of Indonesian Coastal Marine Ecosystems), sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (DKP) and the Ministry for Research and Technology (RISTEK). The author was also supported by the Bremen International Graduate School for Marine Sciences (GLOMAR), which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the frame of the Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments to promote science and research at German universities. The author is grateful to Suci Ramdania, Hesti Maharini, Syarifah Aini Dalimunthe, Choiriatun Nur Annisa and Rendy Enggar Suwandi for their field research assistance and to Michael Flitner, Jonas Hein and Heiko Garrelts for their review of the paper and their suggestions.

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Correspondence to Martin Christian Lukas .

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Lukas, M.C. (2013). Political Transformation and Watershed Governance in Java: Actors and Interests. In: Muradian, R., Rival, L. (eds) Governing the Provision of Ecosystem Services. Studies in Ecological Economics, vol 4. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5176-7_6

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