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Indonesia to recognize rights of forest communities, indigenous peoples

July 15, 2011
"This is a watershed moment for the people and forests of Indonesia as well as the future health of our global climate,"
- Lafcadio Cortesi, forest campaigner at the Rainforest Action Network

Indonesia will 'recognize, respect and protect' the rights of traditional forest users, including indigenous people, as it works to slow deforestation, reports the Rights and Resources Initiative, a coalition of NGOs.

Speaking at a forestry conference in Lombok, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Indonesian President’s REDD+ Task Force, said the government would immediately work to implement a decade-old law that requires recognition of adat or customary rights. The effort will include developing a land tenure map so government agencies can better understand how communities are using land and delineating the legal status of the Indonesia's forest area. Only 12 percent of the Indonesia's forest area has been legally delineated, according to Kuntoro.

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