Dynamics of Illegal Logging Systems in Indonesia:
An Initial Investigation

Richard G. Dudley 


Many factors have accelerated deforestation in Indonesia.  During the Soeharto era large forest concessions were awarded to friends and family of the president who were able to dictate forest policy while the military and police protected their interests.  Soeharto's fall in 1998 and democratic elections in 1999 led to the hope that equitable and sustainable forest management would be instituted.  This has not yet happened.  A large government forestry bureaucracy remains, but its limited control of timber harvest declined further.  Weakening of central authority allowed local level, illegal, timber harvesting systems to flourish.  Central government commitments to reform, especially decentralization aimed at appeasing restive provinces, will likely accelerate illegal logging, especially with continuing economic uncertainty. 

Investigative field reports from Sumatra and Kalimantan, macro-level studies, plus conversations with stakeholders provided information for developing qualitative system dynamics models which help explain causes of, and possible solutions to, illegal logging.

Keywords: illegal logging, system dynamics, Indonesia, deforestation.

Taken From: 

Guidelines for Developing, Testing & Selecting Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management . 

Ravi Prabhu, Carol J. P. Colfer and Richard G. Dudley

1. Introduction

    1.1. The Purpose of this Manual

This manual provides methods to assist the development and evaluation of criteria and 
indicators (C&I) which can then be used to assess the sustainability of forest 
management. The methods presented herein are aimed at the development of sets of 
C&I at the forest management unit (FMU) level. 

C&I are tools which can be used to conceptualize, evaluate and implement 
sustainable forest management. C&I can be identified at various levels: global, 
regional (eco-regional), national, and sub-national, or, as in this case, at the FMU 
level. National level C&I have been developed essentially as reporting and monitoring 
instruments, not as standards with which to assess sustainability. On the other hand, 
development of C&I at the FMU level has been largely for the purpose of assessing 
sustainability and, to a lesser degree, as tools to facilitate the implementation of better 
management practices. It is unlikely that a single set of C&I will apply uniformly 
across the globe. Similarly, it is equally unlikely that a set of C&I developed at the 
national level will be meaningful at the forest level. Therefor these guidelines are 
provided to assist in the creation of sets of locally appropriate C&I. Such C&I can 
then be used to evaluate the FMUs in question. 

The methods presented in this manual were developed during the CIFOR project on 
‘Testing criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management’. The sites for this 
research were FMUs which focused on the production of timber. In subsequent 
versions of this manual we will incorporate our experiences of testing C&I in forests 
managed for other objectives as well. 

We hope this manual will be used by those interested in developing tools for on-site 
assessment of the quality and performance of forest management systems. Users 
might include: 

  • · certification bodies interested in the best ways to assess timber management for certification purposes,
  • · government officials trying to design more sustainable policies pertaining to forestry and other related sectors,
  • · funding agencies wanting to evaluate the sustainability of the activities undertaken by various natural resource management projects,
  • · forest managers wanting to improve the sustainability of their management at the forest management unit level,
  • · project managers trying to plan, implement and evaluate conservation and development projects, and
  • · scientists, interested in the causal links among ecological, forestry and human factors of sustainability. 
  • (go to CIFOR web page

    The Fishery of the Danau Sentarum Wildlife Reserve
    Richard G. Dudley
Fishing is the most important human activity within the Danau Sentarum Wildlife Reserve. Management of the Reserve for ecosystem and species conservation must therefor also consider fishing activity by several thousand villagers.  Fishery investigations helped determine how this might be accomplished. 

Fishing gear surveys revealed that villagers use 800 km of gill net, 20,000 traps and 500,000 hooks in 80,000 ha of lakes, rivers and flooded forest within the reserve.  Data from 4,000 catches were collected by local people during 1992 through 1995.  Fishing gear use surveys determined fishing intensity and season.  The annual catch of between 7,800 and 13,000 tons is caught by  cylindrical rattan traps 23%, gillnets 20%, cast nets 18%, other traps 15%, hooks 14%, and funnel nets 9%.  These data provide insight into what changes might make fishing activity more compatible with conservation. 

Some species appear to be over-fished, and villagers reported some to be less abundant and smaller than in previous years.  Needed protection cannot be given on a species basis, and direct government regulation is unlikely to succeed. 

A promising approach, emphasizes management by villagers. Regulations at the village level exist, as does understanding of the need for better management.   Developing this potential into an officially recognized fishery management system can also improve conservation of this important tropical wetland. 

Some starting points for such a system are suggested.   These include the concept of trading exclusive resource use rights within DSWR for compliance with a set of conservation regulations, and of establishing a residence permit system for the reserve.  Suggestions related to regulations for mesh size and other gear changes, to be used as starting points for discussions with villagers, are also presented.   get PDF file 

Third World Fisheries Resources: Who Cares?
How Can North American Fisheries Scientists Help Colleagues Around the World?
Richard G. Dudley

Fisheries scientists in the developing world are facing a crisis. They have few options for managing fisheries and few funds and support for implementing the options they have. University personnel operate with subsistence salaries, few books, no journals, and little research funding. At the same time fisheries resource issues are becoming more complex, and environmental problems more severe. Is it possible that North American Scientists, Agencies and the American Fisheries Society can do more to help the colleagues in need? What possibilities exist? Can they be improved and expanded? ( excerpt

Final Report - Team Leader:  Consultants’ Activities. 
Marine Science Education Project

The consultancy services portion of the Indonesia Marine Science Education Project commenced in November of 1990. During the five years of the consultancy services contract 84 individual consultants from 15 countries provided services covering approximately 33 different subject areas of marine science. Approximately 60 percent of the 618 months of consultancies were provided directly to the 6 participating universities and most of the remaining 40 percent was provided via consultants who traveled among the universities. Consultants' specialties covered core marine sciences such as oceanography and marine ecology, marine conservation, marine chemistry, remote sensing, mariculture, marine physiology, marine resources assessment, marine acoustics, curriculum development, training vessel design, training vessel operation, a number of areas of technical support related to equipment and laboratories, plus project benefits monitoring and evaluation. 

Consultants provided guidance, advice, and recommendation in the form of on-the-job training, formal seminars, classes, lab sessions and field trips, and via more than 300 written reports. Consultants also regularly worked with counterparts, and directly with students, via cooperative field and laboratory projects. In addition to academic advice, consultants also provided advice concerning civil works design, vessel design and construction, book and equipment purchases, laboratory management and various other technical subjects. 

Success of the consultancies was limited by lengthy delays in the delivery of books and equipment, by delays in the construction of training / research vessels, and by limited financial support for consultants' activities at the universities. The short tenure of many consultants, and the part time nature of most Indonesian faculty work schedules also limited consultants' effectiveness. 

Management of Indo-Pacific Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson) in Oman.  
Dudley, R. G., A. Prabhakar Aghanashinikar, and E. B. Brothers

Growth data for Scomberomorus commerson in Oman were coupled with other information about the fishery to provide preliminary management recommendations. Length data collected from the commercial catch were used in conjunction with counts of daily and annular growth marks on otoliths to determine growth rate. These data revealed that S. commerson grow very rapidly, reaching a size of about 80 cm in 1 year and between 100 and 110 cm in 2 years, after which growth slows considerably. A tabular yield model indicates that protecion of rapidly growing young S. commerson could have significant benefits for the fishery. This protection could be accomplished by instituting moderate mesh regulations.  

The Real World (exerpt from Third World Fisheries Resources: Who Cares? In the Field 

............ Assume you have just been assigned to this office as the regional management biologist, having just returned from three years of overseas training for your master's degree. 

Your office has 10 empty desks and five mostly empty book shelves. You brought some of your graduate school textbooks with you, but after having paid a 100% import duty for them, you decide to keep them at home where they will be safe. Anyway, they are in English, and only one of your staff has studied that language. 

Your office staff of eight is friendly and enthusiastic. They are so proud of you. Unfortunately, paper and pencils are in short supply, and this month's budget of $500 (including salaries) has not yet been received from the capitol. Your staff is not particularly surprised about this; they are already owed three months' salary. 

Last month's reports cannot be distributed because photocopying at a local store is much too expensive (though it seems very cheap compared to prices you paid while at graduate school). Your staff did type an "original" and a carbon copy, but you notice the original is a carbon copy, too, since there was no typewriter ribbon. You commend your staff for being creative! Thus, only two copies of the report are available, but you hope the provincial office will make some copies. You use your own money to mail it to the capitol. You remind yourself to be more careful; you don't have that lavish graduate student fellowship anymore! 

You think back to the new computers you saw in the central fisheries office in the capitol and of your job to collect and summarize catch statistics. The director general of fisheries had said that next year the new aid project might even be able to supply one computer to each provincial office. Since you are a newly returned graduate, your regional office might also be on the list! He wasn't sure about software, though -- that might have to wait. 

You realize that because your agency's funding is extremely low, so are salaries. Your $150 per month is more than double what your office staff earn. Consequently, many of your staff have other jobs that require their attention, and they may have to leave the office from time to time to attend to their other business. You would like to send them to the field so they can collect the travel allowance of $5 per day, but the budget is too small. Anyway, if you did that, they would have to give up their outside jobs. 

Your office's vehicle, though 8 years old, is a prized four-wheel-drive that can be used only with special permission. Usually it is in use by your boss for personal and official functions, and sometimes it is borrowed by other agencies for important visitors. It is in the provincial capitol now with your boss. The newer office motorbike is used for local transport and for taking children of employees to school or the hospital. Use of these two vehicles for field data collection is very rare, and they certainly cannot be relied upon for a regular sampling program. Maybe you can use the motor bike next Wednesday. 

A group of villagers from nearby arrives to greet you. You recognize some of them as classmates from elementary school, from before you went away to high school in the provincial capitol. They seem so old. You all go outside and sit under a big tree. You offer them all cigarettes. They want to know when the government is going to give them the new fishing gear promised by the governor last year. You look puzzled. You were under the impression the fishery was already overfished. They tell you about the governor's promise made during his speech at the dedication of the new ice machine. They also mention that the ice machine needs a spare part; would you know where to get one? After a lengthy discussion and much story telling, you thank them for coming, and promise to do your best to help them. They are very happy with your reply. They knew you would help them. They say you understand their problems because you are from their area. 

An hour later your uncle, a local official, stops in to visit and have a cup of tea. He congratulates you on your important new job. He hints that your cousin needs a job, too, and your office would be a good place for him since he took a typing course two years ago. You almost point out that your cousin has no fisheries training, but you suddenly realize -- neither does anyone else. You say that you'd love to hire your cousin, but that there are no open positions, and the budget is so small anyway. 

The phone rings, and after a frantic search for a key to your boss's office you manage to answer it. It is your boss calling from the capitol. He has great news: the salary money is on its way, and everyone will be paid on time with 50% of their back pay as well. You thank him, hang up, and try to call your spouse to relay the good news, but the telephone is locked for outgoing calls, and the boss has the key. It doesn't really matter though -- you are suddenly a hero. You just arrived and now every one is being paid. You are a big success. Everyone is running off to tell their families the good news: you have come back home!