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01.07.2008 | Ausgabe 1/2008

Environmental Management 1/2008

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

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Management > Ausgabe 1/2008
Autor:
Hideyuki Kubo

Abstract

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.

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