Environmental activists in Tulungagung Regency, East Java, assess that the implementation of Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation Number 39 of 2017 concerning Social Forestry in the area is urgent, due to the low land cover conditions in the local forest area.
“There are several areas whose land (forest) conditions are bare, which urges the implementation of the concept of social forestry,” said Mangkubumi Environmental Education Center Director Muhammad Ichwan in Tulungagung, Monday.
There are at least three sub-districts whose forest areas are considered critical due to the lack of tree vegetation or even completely deforested, namely in the Districts of Campurdarat, Besuki, and Pucanglaban.
In the three southern areas of Tulungagung, most of which are forest areas and are under Perhutani management, said Ichwan, the forest destruction was very severe.
Reforestation efforts have been carried out many times since the “boom” of logging in the post-reform era, especially since 1999-2000 on wards, but until now the land cover has not occurred.
Forest area management using the PHBM (Pengelolaan Hutan Bersama Masyarakat) or (community forest management) is considered a failure in controlling the theft of forest timber in these areas.
“Social forestry policies can be an alternative to encourage communities to take part in managing forest areas to make them more productive, green and sustainable, but also have an economic impact on social terms,” said Ichwan.
For this reason, Ichwan encourages community groups such as village governments through BUMDes (Badan Usaha Milik Desa) or Village Owned Enterprises, LMDH (Lembaga Masyarakat Desa Hutan) or Forest Village Community Institution, or farmer groups around forests whose conditions are specific (damaged) or have not entered the PHBM scheme to apply for IPHS (social forest management permits) to the Ministry of LHK.
The condition, said Ichwan, is that this community group makes a kind of forest area management planning proposal in an integrated and constructive manner so that it has a positive impact on the spirit of conservation as well as an economic effect on the local community.
“The concept of social forestry is the percentage for the results of 70:30, which is 70 Islamic boarding schools for the community and 30 percent for Perhutani. This scheme is inversely proportional to the difference between PHBM,” he said.
Ichwan assured that the social forestry scheme by the community will not change the function of the forest.
Because according to him, later IPHS submissions will be directly verified by the KLHK team, followed by a periodic monitoring and evaluation process every year for each IPHS with a duration of 35 years, he said.