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Enhancing community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia

Project Code: FST/2015/040
Program: Forestry
Research Program Manager: Dr. Nora Devoe
Project Leader: Digby Race - University of Sunshine Coast
APR 2016
DEC 2020
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Key partners
Australian Agroforestry Foundation
Forestry Research, Development and Innovation Agency
Gadjah Mada University
Trees 4 Trees
University of Mataram


This project is identifying how commercial forestry can increase the incomes of smallholders and scaling out the broader benefits of commercial forestry to local communities and industries. 

Millions of small-scale farmers in Indonesia cultivate trees. However, most smallholders fail to realise the full commercial potential of the forests they manage or the trees they plant – leading to supplies of poor-quality wood to the industry. 

The Indonesian Government encourages its forest industries to source supplies from sustainably managed plantations and community-based commercial forestry (CBCF), and is progressively introducing the Timber Legality Assurance System (SVLK). However, results have been mixed. This project, building on two previous ACIAR projects, aims to enhance the commercial benefits from​​ CBCF for smallholders by strengthening their business networks; increase the capacity and number of smallholders able to make informed decisions about their silvicultural approach and likely returns from CBCF; and analyse the policy context and support policy reform that enables it to become a profitable investment choice for smallholders.

Expected project outcomes

  • Greater capacity among smallholders to critically appraise the commercial opportunities in CBCF and form the business partnerships needed with the private sector.
  • Benefits for both the private sector and government agencies via improved understanding of how best to link with smallholders and identify options to enhance the enabling policy environment, respectively.
  • Improved forestry skills for 300 smallholders.
  • Improved business networks with the private sector for 2,000 smallholders (half of them female farmers).
  • Increased financial returns from CBCF in 10 village communities with a population of 20,000 people.
  • Enhanced policies helping government achieve targets for major programs supporting CBCF.