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Map of Customary Law Community of Kasepuhan Karang Area Map of Customary Law Community of Kasepuhan Karang Area Lebak Regency Local Regulation 8 of 2015

Two Models of Legal Recognition of Community Conserved Areas in Indonesia

Space is an important natural resource for life. Space contains a preservation function of the environment which includes natural resources, built resources as well as historical and cultural value. Space is limited so it needs to be managed to ensure the well-being of life by maintaining and preventing damage to its function. Certain areas designated by law as protected areas as part of its management to provide direction to human activities in sustainable development. Protected areas should be managed to enhance their protection function of soil, water, climate, plants, and animals as well as the historical and cultural value, maintaining biodiversity and ecosystems, and the uniqueness of nature essential for life.

Due to its wide-ranging nature and involve the interests of human beings as a whole, the management of protected areas could not be only the sole responsibility and obligation of the government but also the society. Though some of the protected areas governed by indigenous peoples and local communities have been in existence for hundreds or even thousands of years, Dudley (2008) notes that their recognition by national governments and their inclusions within the national protected area systems deserves particular attention. He describes Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) which summarize as indigenous peoples' protected areas, indigenous peoples' conserved territories and community conserved areas have three essential characteristics. First, the relevant indigenous peoples or local communities or both are closely concerned about the relevant ecosystems which usually being related to them culturally, important for their livelihoods, and or the area is their territories under customary law traditionally. Second, indigenous peoples and or local communities are the major players (hold power) in decision making and implementation of decisions on the management of the ecosystem at stake, implying that they have an institution exercising authority and responsibility and capable of enforcing rules. Third, the management decisions and efforts of indigenous peoples and or local communities lead and contribute towards the conservation of habitats, species, ecological functions, and associated cultural values, although the original intention might have been related to a variety of objectives, not necessarily directly related to the protection of biodiversity.

Two models of legal recognition of community conserved areas is available according to the existing legal framework in Indonesia. First, recognition of customary forest. Second, recognition of customary community area as cultural heritage area.

Recognition of Customary Forest

Forest legal status consists of state forest (hutan negara), customary forest (hutan adat) and rights forest (hutan hak) which may have the function of conservation, protection, and or production. Protected forests are forest area that has the principal function as a protection of a life support system to regulate the water flow, preventing floods, controlling erosion, preventing seawater intrusion and maintaining soil fertility. While conservation forests are forest areas with certain characteristics, which has the principal function of preserving plant and animal and the ecosystem (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 2019).

Determination customary forest completed through an application to the Minister of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) by indigenous stakeholders. Customary law community (CLC) areas applied for must partially or entirely in the forest, legal recognition as customary law community in the form of local regulation for customary forest inside state forest or in the form of local regulation and regional head decree for customary forest outside state forest, maps of customary territories as the addition of local regulation or regional head decree in which map establishment can be consulted to the MoEF, a statement that affirms the proposed area is the applicant's customary area or customary forest, and the agreement is determined as a customary forest with the function of protection, conservation, or production (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 2019).

For example, the recognition, protection, and empowerment of the customary law community of Kasepuhan in Lebak Regency of Banten Province which being stipulated in the Local Regulation 2015. Kasepuhan CLC that meets certain criteria has a status as a legal subject whose implementation is carried out by a customary institution. These criteria consist of a community whose members feel as a group because of the common values they take care of, have customary institutions that grow traditionally, have assets and or customary objects, or have valid customary law norms, and have certain customary territories (Lebak Regency, 2015). Customary territories have specific territorial borders either natural and boundaries with other communities. The territories consist of old forest (leuweung kolot/tutupan/geledegan/paniisan), deposit forest (leuweung titipan/cawisan), and open forest (leuweung bukaan/sampalan/garapan). A total of 522 kasepuhan being established for the first time in the local regulation and more may be determined by the Regent (Lebak Regency, 2015). For example, a customary forest in Kasepuhan Karang, one of Kasepuhan areas stipulated in the local regulation designated as a customary forest covering ± 462 hectares by the MoEF in 2016 (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 2016).

Customary Community Areas as Cultural Heritage Area

The unit of geographic space as specified by the Culture Heritage Act 2010 can be defined as the Cultural Heritage Area (CHA) with the requirements that they have two or more adjacent heritage sites and or show a typical spatial characteristic such as their evidence of the formation of the cultural landscape. A CHA can only be owned and or controlled by the State, except those which have traditionally been owned by the customary law community. The space function of a CHA could not be altered without permission, either the whole or its parts. Management of CHA conducted by an institution established by the Government, Local Government, and or the customary law community.

One example of this model is the region of Kampung Cireundeu in Leuwigajah Village, Cimahi City which designated as CHA in the local spatial plan. Management of CHA is to maintain and keep the sustainability of the building and the CHA through the activities of preservation of the building and the environment and the development of supporting infrastructure around the building and the CHA (Cimahi Regency, 2013). Cireundeu customary community has the customary institution called bale and has three customary organs namely the head (sesepuh), usher (ais pangampih), and public relation (panitren). They divide the region space layout of forests (Leuweung) into Leuweung Larangan, Leuweung Tutupan, and Leuweung Baladahan. Leuweung Larangan is for the purpose of water conservation in which cutting the trees are not allowed. Leuweung Tutupan used for reforestation in which its trees could be used for livelihood but people must grow new trees. Leuweung Baladahan or agricultural forest can be used for agricultural purposes by the Cireundeu customary community (Halawa, Nurhayati, Rochana, 2019). The role of Cireundeu customary institutions in the protection of forest includes monitoring, preventive measure through customary norms, and increasing community awareness on the importance of forest preservation (Ramadan, 2018).

Legal recognition of customary forests and customary community-managed areas as a CHA are two models of recognition of customary community protected and conservation areas. Preservation of protected and conservation areas functions need to be well managed either by the government or community, including customary law community with their local wisdom fairly since the space is important to support the well-being of present and future life.

Read 1779 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 December 2019 02:05

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