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Briefing

Developing a jurisdictional monitoring system for sustainable development

West Papua, Indonesia

Key messages

  • Economic development is increasing in West Papua and safeguards need to be implemented to ensure that an economic transition is sustainable and equitable.
  • Improving land and resource governance is the clearest pathway for safeguarding the interests of the people and environment of West Papua.
  • Measures for improving land and resource governance include recognising customary land and resource rights, and providing up-to-date information on progress towards sustainable development.
  • A jurisdictional performance system will enable diverse stakeholders in West Papua to define goals for the province, to monitor progress towards achieving these goals and to ensure that sufficient progress is being made.
  • The project partners analysed the timber supply chain and livelihoods in West Papua and also held stakeholder consultations to develop indicators, targets and a monitoring framework for the jurisdictional performance system. 

Introduction

West Papua is one of two Indonesian provinces on the island of New Guinea, and is one of the country’s poorest and most highly forested provinces. Indigenous Papuans, many of whose rights to land and resources are not recognised formally in Indonesian law, comprise the majority of the poor. 

Can poverty be alleviated in a way that recognises the rights of indigenous Papuans while preserving the natural environment? Since 2013, the EU REDD Facility and Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU), a sister organisation of Earth Innovation Institute (EII), have been working together to find a solution to this challenge. 

We have sought to test an innovative approach for improving land and resource governance at the jurisdictional level. Through improving land and resource governance, we aim to ensure that commodities are produced sustainably, equitably, and in a way that recognises and respects the rights of indigenous Papuans. 

At the centre of this strategy is a jurisdictional performance system. In this brief, we discuss the rationale for the system and the collaborative process of developing the system’s performance goals and indicators. We then discuss the proposed design of the monitoring system and plans for pilot tests.

Papuan farmer

Papuan farmer

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Papuan farmer

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Improving land governance to ensure the sustainable rural development

The Indonesian province of West Papua was created in 2003 from the western part of Papua province, and it has special autonomy status [1]. The province is rich in biodiversity and encompasses diverse ecosystems such as the highland forests of the Arfak Mountains and the coral reefs of the Raja Ampat Islands. The province is also one of Indonesia’s poorest, with around 27 percent of the population classified as poor in 2012 according to Indonesian national statistics [2]In rural areas, the incidence of poverty is 36 per cent, and poverty affects indigenous Papuans far more than non-indigenous Papuans.

Indigenous farmers in West Papua complement swidden farming for subsistence with animal husbandry, hunting, fishing and collection of wild products (Boissière and Purwanto, 2007). In some areas, people also grow cash crops. Non-indigenous farmers are more likely to be engaged in cash crop cultivation and industrial plantation activities.

In recent decades, economic development in many parts of Indonesia has been driven by commercial land uses ranging from forestry and industrial plantations to mining operations. Although contributing to national and regional economic growth, commercial land uses in Indonesia have also led to social conflict, deforestation and environmental degradation, and in some areas have exacerbated poverty. 

West Papua has not yet undergone this kind of economic transformation, and no dominant crop or land use drives economic growth. Economic growth in the province currently comes from offshore liquefied natural gas (Resosudarmo et al., 2014). However, current trends in land and resource use indicate some of the challenges that West Papua is likely to face in the future. 

For example, forestry concessions, one of the prime drivers of deforestation and degradation in West Papua, rarely involve indigenous Papuans in their operations. Similarly, where industrial plantations, in particular oil palm, have been established, they have often been detrimental to indigenous Papuans while benefitting migrants from other parts of Indonesia. Conservation areas have also been demarcated without recognition of indigenous land and resource ownership. Furthermore, land and resource governance in West Papua has historically excluded indigenous Papuans and has often led to environmental degradation.

The national government of President Joko Widodo, elected in 2014, has made economic development in the two provinces of West Papua and Papua a national priority, focusing especially on infrastructure improvements [3]Without significant advances in land and resource governance, however, indigenous Papuans may continue to be excluded from economic development while the environment is further degraded. A system that safeguards the rights and welfare of indigenous people and their natural environment is therefore needed in West Papua.

The governor of West Papua, Abraham Ataruri, formally declared in 2015 that the province of West Papua would become the world’s first ‘conservation province’ to “help us maintain and manage our natural resources wisely and continuously so that [...] the future generation can enjoy them” [4]Ataruri signed the declaration in the presence of Indonesia’s Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo and regents from several districts in West Papua. 

To support this goal, West Papua’s provincial government asked the EU REDD Facility and its partners for help in developing a jurisdictional monitoring system. Although frameworks for monitoring economic development and infrastructure improvements exist, mechanisms for ensuring that economic development is equitable and sustainable are lacking and a jurisdictional performance system would fill this gap. 

Papuan farmer

Papuan farmer

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Papuan farmer

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

A jurisdictional performance system

A jurisdictional performance system aims to support a province-wide transition towards sustainable development, through ‘bottom-up’ multistakeholder processes involving government actors, businesses, smallholder farmers and indigenous people [5].

Under such a system, public policies and private sector initiatives can be harmonised to ensure that sustainable development outcomes are achieved. And, as the province progresses, the direct benefits of sustainable development are expected to be complemented by increased demand from investors and commodity consumers, underpinning continued progress. 

A jurisdictional performance system includes the following elements:

  • A broadly-shared definition of progress, together with agreed performance indicators and quantitative, time-bound targets and milestones covering issues such as slowing deforestation, improving livelihoods, increasing productivity and improving legal compliance
  • A multistakeholder governance structure for developing and implementing a jurisdiction-wide sustainable development plan
  • A system for reliably, transparently and inexpensively monitoring progress towards targets, e.g. through a web-based geographic information system (GIS) system
  • An integrated system of policy and financial incentives to drive land-use towards sustainable outcomes

The performance indicators should be easy to monitor and closely-related to the desired changes within the jurisdiction (see Box 1). For instance, a performance monitoring system in the state of Mato Grasso in Brazil included the following indicators (Nepstad et al., 2013):

  1. Deforestation
  2. Percentage of jurisdiction protected or indigenous lands
  3. Forced labour
  4. Production

Box 1. Characteristics of a jurisdictional performance system to measure progress towards low-emission rural development, linking sustainable supply chains, REDD+ and domestic policy approaches (Nepstad et al., 2013).

  • Simple, with initial focus on three or four key issues, but expanding over time
  • Easy and inexpensive to implement 
  • Built on existing monitoring systems
  • Focused on measurement of jurisdiction-wide performance, not the means for achieving performance
  • Aligned with, owned by and developed in collaboration with target sectors
  • Compatible with relevant international standards/commitments, e.g.: REDD+ safeguards, commodity roundtable commitments, forest management certification standards, private sector sustainability goals, etc.
  • Progressive, with clear incremental steps towards higher performance
  • Scalable from counties, to states, to nations

 

Airport development

Airport development

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Airport development

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Designing a jurisdictional performance system for West Papua

INOBU, supported by the EU REDD Facility, has helped stakeholders in West Papua to design a jurisdictional performance system in the province. To develop a set of proposed performance indicators, an analysis of province level performance targets and conservation commitments was conducted by INOBU. Between August and October 2015, public consultations were held to refine the proposed performance indicators based on the aspirations of different actors. 

The special autonomy status of West Papua provides important elements guiding design of the jurisdictional performance system. Under special autonomy laws, the provincial government of West Papua has the mandate and authority for:

  1. Economic development
  2. Environmental management
  3. Customary land rights
  4. Social protection
  5. Support for institutions, in particular the Papuan Indigenous People’s Council (Majelis Rakyat Papua)

These five areas not only influence the type of system and indicators needed to monitor sustainable development but also underpin realisation of West Papua’s special autonomy status.

The performance targets

During the public consultations and workshop in Manokwari, in October 2015, stakeholders identified the following province-wide performance targets.

1. Poverty alleviation targets

  • By 2020 the rate of poverty in West Papua will be reduced from 27% to 13%
  • By 2030 the rate of poverty will reach 2%

2. Registration target and recognition of customary areas target

  • Within five years, five customary areas based on ethnic groups are registered in each of the 12 districts and one municipality (65 customary areas in total)
  • Every district issues a local regulation (PERDA) for the recognition of customary areas and a minimum of one customary area based on ethnic group

3. Forest cover target

  • 70% of forest cover is protected in the year 2025. (This target takes into account the provincial government’s medium-term development plan. It also assumes that 2015 to 2020 is the period for implementing commitments agreed to through forestry programmes and climate change policies.)

4. Economic targets

  • Production of commodities that are priorities for the community increase by 50% within five years according to the context in each area. (This optimistic target can be achieved if the recognition of customary rights covers all types of resources, among others, forests, rivers, lakes, oceans, fish, timber, minerals and forest gardens.)
  • Companies or investors in West Papua implement operations that are environmentally and socially sustainable
Papuan farmer

Papuan farmer

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Papuan farmer

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Monitoring system design

Based on the consultations and workshop discussions, INOBU proposed a design for the West Papua jurisdictional performance monitoring system. The system will focus on the agreed performance indicators and the user interface will provide information numerically and graphically, including with maps, for assessing progress towards performance targets. 

Geographical data include:

  • Poverty indicators according to access to services
  • Poverty indicators according to household assets and welfare
  • Boundaries of customary lands
  • Indicative (not yet registered) customary land
  • Districts with/without regulations for recognition of customary lands
  • Forest cover
  • Protected areas according to different classifications
  • Priority commodities according to administrative areas, production volumes and annual changes
  • Boundaries of commercial land-use concessions with data related to operations and compliance with regulations

It will be possible to enhance the monitoring system to include other environmental and social data related to, for example, deforestation, forest fires and population.

The INOBU team during fieldwork

The INOBU team during fieldwork

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

The INOBU team during fieldwork

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Integrating performance monitoring into decision-making

The monitoring system needs to be embedded in the institutional architecture of West Papua so that policy, legislative and programmatic responses to the indicators can be formulated. Possible institutions include:

  1. A specifically designed multistakeholder platform
  2. An existing entity, such as the Indigenous People’s Council of West Papua
  3. The West Papuan Provincial Assembly

Linking to each of these institutions has advantages and disadvantages. Whereas linking to a multistakeholder platform would connect a wide range of actors, there would be no direct link to decision makers and mandated institutions. In contrast, the Indigenous People’s Council and Provincial Assembly have legislative authority and mandates but exclude the private sector and civil society.

As such, a hybrid institutional design may be best. In such a model, a provincial assembly or governor would issue a regulation establishing a multistakeholder platform involving representatives of the government, Indigenous People’s Council, the private sector and civil society. 

The platform would have a mandate and budget for reviewing and approving monitoring reports, and providing recommendations to the governor and provincial assembly. The platform would also nominate a government agency to host the monitoring system, and appoint members of a technical team to review, analyse and provide recommendations based on monitoring results. 

Conclusion

As the focus of Indonesia’s development plans shifts to West Papua, safeguards need to be established to ensure that economic development is sustainable and equitable. Improving land and resource governance is the clearest pathway for safeguarding the interests of the people and environment of West Papua. Developing a jurisdictional performance system is an opportunity for diverse actors in West Papua to define their aspirations and goals, and monitor progress towards those goals. 

The next phase of the work in West Papua will involve refining the indicators, developing measurement protocols and the information management/reporting interface, and piloting the system in two districts. This work will also involve integrating the system into decision-making processes in West Papua. The jurisdictional performance monitoring system will provide a means for improving land and resource governance that ensures that economic development in West Papua is sustainable and equitable.  

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

Pegunungan Arfak District, West Papua

Source: Bernardinus Steni

References

  • 1 Boissière, M. & Purwanto, Y. 2007. The agricultural systems of Papua, in: Marshall, A.J., Beehler, B.M. (Eds.), The Ecology of Papua. The Ecology of Indonesia Series. Vol. 6. Periplus Editions, Singapore.
  • 2 Nepstad, D. et al. 2013. More food, more forests, fewer emissions, better livelihoods: linking REDD+, sustainable supply chains and domestic policy in Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia. Carbon Management 4, 639–658. doi:10.4155/cmt.13.65
  • 3 Resosudarmo, B.P., et al. 2014. Development in Papua after special autonomy, in: Hill, H. (Ed.), Regional Dynamics in a Decentralized Indonesia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

Endnotes

About the authors

Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) 

Contact:  http://www.inobu.org/

EU REDD Facility 

Contact:  http://www.euredd.efi.int/