Deforestation is one of the greatest global environmental and development challenges. As forests are cut down, vital long-term ecological, cultural and economic services are affected, including biodiversity and the climate. For communities in forested areas, the promised benefits often fail to materialise and they are left with loss of access to traditional lands and degraded natural environments. Widespread corruption in the forest sector is often thought to have contributed not only to deforestation, but to the injustices experienced by communities. Based on data collected in Indonesia in 2010-2011, this paper investigates the mechanisms by which corruption impacts upon the use of forests. Understanding these mechanisms is an important step towards building policies and programs that can contribute to more sustainable forest management and more just outcomes for communities. The paper will provide a description of elements of the system of corruption in Indonesia’s forest sector. It will identify the links between corruption and the way decisions are made in the forest sector. The focus is on the system of collusion between government and companies and the mechanisms by which this collusion creates political dependency of decision makers on converting forests and supporting companies, at the expense of the interests of communities. Communities seeking environmental justice face considerable institutional barriers because of corruption. Understanding how corruption influences government decision-makers is important for efforts to promote more sustainable, just and representative decision making.
|Title of host publication
|Looking Within: Finding an Environmental Justice and Global Citizenship Lens
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2013