Alexander Loen, Jayapura, Jubi – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has designated 36,003 hectares of land in Papua as a Social Forest area on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
A total of 5,247 families in Papua received a Social Forest Decree or "Green Decree" from President Jokowi. In addition, Jokowi also gave a Decree on the Release of Forest Areas Through Changes or "Blue Decree" to 264 recipients in Papua. The forest areas to be released through changes are located in the regencies of Mimika, Nabire, Merauke, Biak Numfor, Keerom, and the city of Jayapura.
The handout of the Green Decree and Blue Decree for a number of residents in Papua were done online.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry's Director of Reinforcement and Administration of Forest Areas, Herban Heriyandana, said Social Forest was a government program meant to increase access for communities around forests to utilize natural resources in the forest.
"Besides the Social Forest, there are also other programs such as the Community Forest, Village Forest, Community Park Forest, and so on," Heriyandana said in Jayapura on Thursday.
He explained that the release of forest areas through changes was also initiated by the government to increase public access to utilize forest natural resources. According to him, the land released from the forest status is a forest area that has been existing under the control of a certain party, for example, in the form of settlements or crop fields that has existed for more than 20 years.
"These two decrees are different. The status of the forest to the Green Decree recipient remains as a forest area, but the community can and is permitted to work on it. The decree can also be extended for several decades. Meanwhile, the Blue Decree means the place is no longer a forest area, so the Land Affairs authority can issue a certificate on the land," he said.
Head of the Papua Forestry and Environment Agency Yan Yap Ormuseray hoped that the people who received the Green Decree and Blue Decree could manage forest areas well. "The land that has been given by the state must be used well. There will be assistance as this is a central government program," said Ormuseray.
He stated that the management of forest areas given to the community would remain under the government's supervision. "Hopefully this will be the start of the community to start a business because the people already have legal rights to their land, which are given directly by the President," he concluded.