Social Forestry Can Improve Community Welfare by Maintaining Natural Balance

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Webinar RUKO-AJI Bandarlampung
The webinar entitled "Forest Management Policy for Welfare", in Bandarlampung, Saturday (July, 25) was held by the House of Collaboration (RUKO) with the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) BandarLampung

The webinar entitled “Forest Management Policy for Welfare”, in Bandarlampung, Saturday (July, 25) was held by the House of Collaboration (RUKO) with the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) BandarLampung.

Social forestry as a system of sustainable forest management in state forest areas or customary forests is related to environmental balance and social cultural dynamics. This scheme can be an alternative to improve the welfare of the community, while still observing the sustainability of the forest and maintaining the balance of the natural surroundings.

The conclusion was raised in a webinar entitled “Forest Management Policies for Welfare”, in Bandarlampung, Saturday (July, 25).

The web seminar was held by the House of Collaboration (RUKO) with the Independent Journalists Alliance (AJI) BandarLampung.

The webinar, guided by Lampung Walhi Director Irfan Tri Musri, presented two speakers, namely the Chairman of the Commission II of Lampung Province DPRD Wahrul Fauzi Silalahi and Ahmad Erfan, farmers in West Lampung social forestry.

“The importance of this scheme is that we encourage the preservation of forests and also improve the economic welfare of the people. So, there is a balance between the two,” said Wahrul Fauzi Silalahi as well.

The former Director of LBH Bandarlampung said, the Government through the social forestry scheme opened access to the community to use the forest to improve welfare.

If in the past the community and the cat-and-mouse apparatus were about the use of forest land, through this scheme open access to the community to manage it.

There are five schemes in implementing social forestry. Fifth, namely community plantations (HTR), village forests (HD), community forests (HKM), customary forests (HA), and forestry partnerships (KK). The legislature (DPRD) has budgeted for the management of social forestry of around Rp13.7 billion.

“We have budgeted Rp13.7 billion for the management of social forestry. So, there is no reason for relevant parties not to implement the policy,” Wahrul said again.

According to Ahmad Erfan, so far the implementation of social forestry was considered quite good. Local farmers had applied agroforestry cultivation techniques in the management of social forestry.

“Because in this area (West Lampung) is the base of coffee, so it’s a fortune. Because, coffee can continue to grow well in the shade (agroforestry cultivation), as long as the management is carried out well,” said Erfan who farmed coffee with a scheme of implementing social forestry in West Lampung Regency as well.

The management referred to Erfan, namely through the selection of mixed plant combinations (diversification). Must not be mutually harmful, so they can grow side by side. In addition, the application of strata (levels) on planting is very influential in the development of these plants.

“Planting is carried out with the highest strata to the lower strata. So, it can prevent rain water from falling directly to the ground and also optimize the absorption of sunlight,” he said.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was targeting the implementation of social forestry by 12.7 hectares in 2015-2019. However, until now the application had only reached around 30 percent.

According to Erfan, the slow implementation of social forestry was due to the budget realization that was still minimal, so the implementation was slow.

He considered, the Rp13.7 billion budget submitted by Wahrul Fauzi Silalahi was still too small to carry out social forestry.

“If there are 30 percent of farmers in social forestry, then the budget must follow that, so that the implementation can be maximized,” he said again.

RUKO and AJI Bandarlampung held four series of webinars from July to August 2020. This webinar was the second. While the first took place on Saturday, July 11, 2020.

This webinar also has the support of the Rainforest Alliance (RA) and Kingdom of the Netherlands in relation to the Sustainable Coffee Action Program in The Landscape of Bukit Barisan Selatan (SCALA-BBS).

In carrying out the webinar, RUKO-AJI Bandarlampung also collaborated with the University of Lampung (Unila) University of Lampung (Unila) Student Activity Unit and the Voice of Student Creativity (Sukma) of the Lampung State Polytechnic (Polinela).

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