Land and Forest Governance


Indonesia’s Women Forest Defenders

May 2, 2023


A mountainous tropical forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on earth where the elephant, rhino, tiger, and orangutan still roam together in the wild. But the forest is under pressure from poachers, illegal loggers, and miners, who strip the land of resources, causing floods and destroying villages. Now,… Read more


Indonesia: Hearing Women’s Voices in Managing Natural Resources

December 5, 2018

Blog Post

The flash flood that hit her village in 2006 unexpectedly propelled Dewi Sartika, 38, from low income into abject poverty. The district government relocated some 170 affected households, including hers, to nearby land owned by the state plantation company, but granted them only four hectares each, roughly 400 square meters, from which to scratch ou… Read more


Civil Society Takes on the Haze Crisis in Indonesia

April 20, 2016

Blog Post

The Indonesian province of Riau declared a state of emergency last month as haze from agricultural fires across Sumatra continued to envelope the region. The fires are the result of an early dry period, which comes all too quickly after last year’s extended dry season that saw agricultural fires burn over two million hectares of peatland mostly in… Read more


Deforestation Now Urgent Concern in Post-War Sri Lanka

March 16, 2016

Blog Post

Following parliamentary elections in August 2015 and six years after the end of a bloody, decades-long civil war, Sri Lanka’s newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena, has made the important decision to keep the Ministry of Environment directly under his wing.


Indonesia: Achieving Gender Justice in Land and Forest Governance

May 20, 2015

Blog Post

Earlier In Asia articles have described how land-based and extractive industries – most significantly palm oil plantations, timber concessions, and mining operations – are quickly ravaging Indonesia’s remaining forests. Because these industries often affect women differently than they do men


Indonesia’s Forests Disappearing at Record Rates

February 25, 2015

Blog Post

In early November, less than one month after Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s inauguration, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, the newly installed Environment and Forestry minister, announced that the government would extend an existing moratorium on the issuance of new permits for logging in primary forests in an effort to halt deforestation. While environmentalists and concerned citizens alike certainly welcomed this news, the road ahead to improving forest and land governance in Indonesia is steep.


Indonesian Lawsuit Pushes Local Government to Regulate Massive Coal Mining Industry

October 15, 2014

Blog Post

In last week’s In Asia, I examined the growing environmental and social costs that the coal mining industry is having on Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province, home to 28 percent of Indonesia’s total coal reserves. Already, 6.6 million hectares have been allocated for mining across the province, and in the provincial capital…


Indonesia Now World’s Largest Exporter of Coal for Power Stations, But There Are Costs

October 8, 2014

Blog Post

Flying over Indonesia’s East Kalimantan, the closer we get to the provincial capital of Samarinda, the more bare patches emerge in the island’s lush forest cover. Exposed brown areas dotted with lurid green tailing ponds are telltale signs of the open pit coal mining voraciously consuming Kalimantan’s remaining forests.