Just as improving incomes is a core aim of the Living Rubber project to ensure the forest’s longevity, so is promoting a harmonious community.
“The lack of long-term tenure and use rights to land and forest resources, as well as the ambiguity on customary land rights and titles, are among the root causes of conflict between communities and forest managers,” explains Mangarah Silalahi, CEO of Hutan Harapan Ecosystem Restoration Concession for PT REKI.
For a successful, sustainable forest, these sources of conflict need to be addressed. Once again, the Living Rubber project turned to the GPSNR and its Desired States programme.
On community rights, the GPSNR advocates:
• Long-term tenure and use rights to land and forest resources are clearly defined, documented and legally established as approved by the Indonesian government
• Customary land rights and titles are upheld; cultural values maintained
• No land-grabbing
• Free prior informed consent is upheld
• The rights of indigenous peoples and the local community are protected and their traditional knowledge used
• Fairness in treatment of women and men according to their respective needs
• Informed choices to produce rubber compared with other commodities
• The rights of farmers on small and medium-sized holdings are upheld.
These Desired States have been incorporated into the Living Rubber project with associated and relevant KPIs. For example, there are targets to see the strengthening of Forest Partnership Agreements under which those living in the forest agree to certain restrictions in return for more support, while a women’s empowerment programme sets targets for indigenous women to hold decision-making roles. The programme includes female literacy classes, access to healthcare education, as well as a forum for women to share leadership skills. Women are also encouraged to apply for formal identification documents such as birth and marriage certificates, as well as personal and family ID cards so they can access government programmes.