The term Social Forestry is an application of the concept of “forest for people” which was first proposed at the VIII World Forestry Congress in Jakarta in 1978.
The concept says that communities are given access to be directly involved in the management of forest resources. Then this thinking developed, in which in the 2000s a program called “Community-Based Forest Management (PHBM) emerged” and was implemented by the Government or the State-Owned Usama Agency (BUMN). Then in 2014, the Ministry of Forestry Regulation 88 of 2014 was issued on Community Forestry (HKm) and refined to become the 2016 LHK 83 of Social Forestry. The scheme facilitates the process of proposing Village Forests, Community Forests, Community Plantation Forests, Customary Forests and Forestry Partnerships by the community.
In 2011 TFCA-Sumatra began pushing the PHBM scheme through its partner KKI-WARSI with the Nagari / Village Forest scheme in Jambi and West Sumatra. In 2012 the partner of Root Network encouraged 2 Indigenous Forests to be included in the Social Forestry scheme. In 2013 supported the North Korean Community Forest (HKm) program. 2014 encouraged the Caritas Foundation HKm program. 2015 encouraged HKm PETRA and PETAI.
Until 2019, TFCA-Sumatra has pushed for social forestry permits covering 66,884 ha from the contribution of 6 partners throughout Sumatra. If converted into national achievements, TFCA-Sumatra and its partners contribute 2.5% (Statistics of Social Forestry, August 2019).
The Social Forestry that has been promoted by TFCA-Sumatra consists of 46 types of Persos which includes 9 Village Forest Management Rights (HPHD) / Nagari Forests covering 19,907 ha, 35 IUPHKm permits covering 46,249 ha, and 2 Customary Forest permits covering 728 ha. The process of encouraging 46 Persos permits has involved 73 types of policies ranging from the Decree of the Village Head to the Decree of the Minister of the Environment which are sought by the partners.
TFCA-Sumatra Social Forestry is spread into 4 provinces and 7 districts namely West Pakpak, North Tapanuli, Humbang Hasundutan – North Sumatra, Kerinci, Bungo – Jambi, Solok Selatan – West Sumatra, Tanggamus – Lampung; which is included in 4 Landscape (TN Batang Toru Batang Gadis, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, and West Tobat River Basin).
Communities affected either directly or indirectly are 28,508 Family Heads (KK) by forming or encouraging the formation of Farmers Group Association (Gapoktan) as many as 46 Gapoktan. As well as building 12 cooperatives. The majority of commodities developed by the community are coffee, nutmeg, clear, cinnamon, rubber, durian, petai, and rattan. Coffee became the belle of commodities for assisted communities such as Robusta Tanggamus coffee, Kerinci Arabica Coffee on Sungai Penuh, and Sopirok Coffee in North Tapanuli.
Through this social forestry scheme, the community has grown a micro economy. For example, at Tanggamus, the 2008 KORUT study showed that the lowest income of the people from NTFPs was Rp 1.1 million per year but after HKm, the lowest income was Rp 4.1 million per harvest season.
In addition, through these superior commodities, the community also received assistance of up to Rp5.55 billion, including through Bank BRI Indonesia with the Food and Energy Security Credit scheme (KKPE), Bank Indonesia, BLU Center for Forest Development Financing (P2H), Ministry Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Villages, and others. Loans are used as community capital to manage their land.
In addition to material impacts, there are also impacts related to conservation, for example the management of forests as water catchments and community electricity sources such as HKm Aek Rau Lestari in North Tapanuli. Water resources from the forest area are capable of moving 10,000 hydro watt turbines with up to 30,000 watts of power generated. The community made use of the water to turn the turbine wheel so that it could light up 44 houses in the area.
They can make use of electricity after decades of their village being dark without lighting. In addition to micro-hydro turbines belonging to the Aek Mateo community, the HKm is also a source of water and river crossings for Aek Into and Aek Huccim. The entire river flow will merge into one watershed namely Aek Raisan. The existence of the Aek Raisan river is very strategic because the river flow is a supply of water discharge for the Aek Raisan I Hydroelectric Power Plant by 20 MW, Aek Raisan II Hydroelectric Power Plant by 20 MW to contribute to the Sipan Sipahooras Hydroelectric Power Plant by 220 MW.