After held a consolidation meeting on July, this month (August) ARuPA is collecting data on the field. The objective of this data collection activity is getting all the data about forestry conflict cases in Blora-Central Java and also the handlings of the cases which have ever been done so it could be arranged the map of the stakeholders condition of the forestry conflict in Blora. The specific objective is about the law handling of the forestry conflict case. (Read more: ARuPA Held a Consolidation Meeting For Advocacy Program).
The background of the data collection begins from forest as natural resource which is not only saving various biological wealth, but evidently there are also full of conflicts of interest inside concerning about control and utilization.
State forest in Blora is controlled and managed by Perum Perhutani with the legal bases of PP 72 in 2010. On fairly long period, evidently the control of Perhutani is full of forestry conflicts, especially between Perhutani and forest communities. The forestry conflicts is about the control and utilization conflicts of forest area.
Unfortunately, on the handling of those forestry conflicts, Perhutani often uses police approach to solve it. Numbers of violence against farmers by forest security forces in the case of forestry conflict is very high. Based on ARuPA’s record, Lidah Tani, and LBH Semarang, there are at least six people were injured and seven others are died in the period of 1998 until 2014.
Moreover, in other approach, Perhutani also did preventive action with prosperity approach through capacity building and sharing fund of forest products through Collaborative Forest Management Program (PHBM). However, it is not significantly reducing the number of forest conflicts as well as the number of violence.
Not only through police and welfare approach, Perhutani often takes legal approach. The handling of forestry conflict using legal approach is still unfair. The timber theft, land occupation, and also communities action on forest utilization handled by Perhutani and law enforcement forces through criminal law perspective.
From this phenomenon, ARuPA tries to look back how the actual construction of community action on forest utilization so it is seen as an action of breaking the law.
The data collection activity was carried out for five days, from Tuesday, 11 August 2015 until Saturday, 15 August 2015, ARuPA got several informations from stakeholders about the condition of forestry conflicts in Blora.
According to the duty implementer on Regional Secretary of Blora, Ir. H. Sutikno Slamet explained that at the present dry season, Blora will face water crisis both clean water and water for agricultural needs. It gives great impact for the economic income of the majority community in Blora as a farmer. Resources which exist around the house is forest which is usually being the main source of their income. Thus, it is predicted that the number of illegal logging in the forest will increase in the next few months.
Reflecting the welfare approach made by Perhutani through Collaborative Forest Management (PHBM), it could be concluded that the approach is still not effective on overcoming forest conflicts.
For the timber products received by Forest Village Community Institute (LMDH) as the representative of the community forest village, the utilization has not been optimized to increase the welfare of the community. The contribution to the development in the village also could not be seen yet. Unfortunately, the government could not interfere too far about the using of the sharing fund because the fund is not the state money, in other word it is not a state budget (APBN) or local government budget (APBD).
Regarding the legal proceedings against the farmers who were caught allegedly for stealing wood in the forest, the local government fully devolved to the law enforcement officials to process it.
However, the local government has different opinion with Perhutani about conflict of forest claim. According to Perhutani, the claim of the forest is the modus of the community to be able to control the forest.
Blora local governments assume that it is not a modus, but because the average farmers in Blora is landlessness and need land for agricultural production. Then about the timber theft, Perhutani does not want totally to be blamed on the number of timber theft. On the other hand, the district government of Blora hopes that Perhutani has to be more capable of dealing with the security of the forest.
The Chairman of District Legislative Assembly (DPRD) of Blora, Ir. H. Susilo Bambang also explained that the forest should be granted some to the local government for the farmer welfare in order will be made water storage reservoirs for farming needs.
It refers to the agricultural conditions in Blora district which is now facing a major problem that is drought in the dry season. In addition, roads which are in the forest areas should also be given to the local government so that the local government could build the roads so that the road quality to be better. Uptil now, the government could not build the road because its status is still timberland. On the other hand, that road is also not constructed properly by Perhutani.
For the unproductive forest land, in other word it could be said that the unproductive land which always fail on planting the forest plant, it should be given over to the community to be planted with sugar cane or agricultural crops. Then those crops are shared with Perhutani and the farmer, for example the community gets about 70% and Perhutani gets about 30% of sharing fund.
Concerning about law enforcement on timber theft case, Mr. Bambang Susilo further said that DPRD could not influence the legal process which has been carried out by the law enforcement officers. However, it must be ensured that the legal process is carried out properly and in compliance with the procedure. But personally, Mr Bambang as the representative of the people still gives sympathy to the family of the victim.
Forestry conflict issues are common problems which also must be solved together. The involvement of local government and regional parliaments must to be emphasized because of its function as the state representative about the conflicts between community and company (in this case is Perhutani).
Thus, the matter which need to be strengthened is the capacity of the forest village community in the terms of legal and skills knowledge. Furthermore, local governments and regional parliaments are expected to carry out their state functions which one of their duty is guaranting that poor citizen is not criminalized under the cloak of law enforcement and forest conservation.