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No aggregate deforestation reductions from rollout of community land titles in Indonesia yet

Kraus, Sebastian; Liu, Jacqueline; Koch, Nicolas; Fuss, Sabine

In Indonesia, 60 million people live within 1 km of state forest. The government of Indonesia plans to grant community titles for 12.7 million hectares of land to communities living in and around forests. These titles allow for using nontimber forest products, practicing agroforestry, operating tourism businesses, and selective logging in designated production zones. Here, we estimate the early effects of the program’s rollout. We use data on the delineation and introduction date of community forest titles on 2.4 million hectares of land across the country. We find that, contrary to the objective of the program, community titles aimed at conservation did not decrease deforestation; if anything, they tended to increase forest loss. In contrast, community titles in zones aimed at timber production decreased deforestation, albeit from higher baseline forest loss rates.
Published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 10.1073/pnas.2100741118, National Acad. of Sciences