Land rights

Land tenure is accepted to be a key component in the debate on sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor population in developing countries. Secure land tenure is a crucial premise for the success of smallholder reforestation. Customary land rights are not reflected in the official land registry and are not recognized by the government, which discourages smallholders from reforestation as it is perceived to be an an insecure long-term investment.

Under Indonesian law, different options are available in order to obtain legal recognition of community land rights, depending on the institution managing the lands and the aims of the community. In Central Kalimantan, the areas in question are part of the forest estate, that is they are state owned and managed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Kementrian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan). The most prominent legal frameworks are Hutan Desa (Community Forest) and Hutan Tanaman Rakyat (Community Forest Plantation).

Hutan Tanaman Rakyat is a form specifically designed for community forestry plantations. That also means, that only lands suitable and legal for tree planting can be included.

Hutan Desa, however, is a form covering different land uses, and also allows to use suitable lands for agriculture and to set aside areas as protected forest. In addition, communities that have finished a successful claim to Hutan Desa rights can request subsidies from the government to develop the land. Therefore, it is better suited for the situation in the 1m Trees project area.