Forests in Indonesia are suffering from massive deforestation and degradation. The area of degraded forest is now even larger than that of productive forest concessions due to massive deforestation or conversion into plantations for oil palm, rubber and industrial timber. People living in and around the forest and those who directly depend on forest resources suffer as a result. The facts indicate that most of these people live below the poverty line. Forest destruction has clearly worsened their struggle to escape from poverty.
TBI has been operational in Indonesia since 1987. The objective of TBI Indonesia is to supply the Government of Indonesia with sound and adequate information for formulating and implementing appropriate knowledge-based policies and improving the management of protected areas for the benefit of people, conservation and sustainable development. Management will become sustainable and placed under decentralized governance. The programme is carried out in partnership and generates knowledge and information on integrated land use and collaborative management that respects traditional rights, promoting and financing conservation and developing alternative livelihoods.
TBI Indonesia focuses on protecting forest areas. TBI Indonesia concentrate on maintaining the role of these forests for conservation and providing livelihoods and environmental services in Indonesia, against the background of unresolved division of authority for managing protected areas between central and local government. These forests comprise both designated conservation areas under the jurisdiction of central government and designated protection forests under the jurisdiction of local government. Increasingly, the second category of forest areas is the last resort for the forests of Indonesia. The largest component of protected areas in Indonesia consists of protection forests (31.6 million ha) followed by National Parks (23.3 million ha) and others. While National Parks have received greater attention and management by central government, protection forests have become ‘nobody's land'. Theoretically managed by local government, in practice no effective management exists on the ground. Doing nothing is considered by local governments as the only option and the best approach to managing protection forests.
TBI Indonesia works to achieve positive livelihoods and conservation outcomes in protected areas (National Parks, Protection Forests and other protected areas) by influencing processes that shape spatial planning policies affecting protected areas, the financing of sustainable forest management and protected areas conservation, local forest governance and the development of sustainable forest-based livelihoods.
To achieve the overall TBI objective and specific objective of TBI Indonesia programme we work in partnership with the Ministry of Forestry's Research and Development Agency (FORDA), Dutch and Indonesian universities and other organizations in both countries.
Since its start, TBI Indonesia has been working mainly on the island of Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). In the new phase of the TBI Indonesia programme, we will expand coverage to other areas of the country on Kalimantan, Papua and Sulawesi.