INOBU Launches Sustainable Indigenous Nutmeg Program in Fakfak, West Papua

March 22, 2017

Indonesia dominates world production and export of nutmeg. This week, Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)’s researchers and experts are on the ground in Fakfak district of West Papua to launch a mapping program that will systematically gather data on all growers of nutmeg in the forests of Fakfak District, to build a foundation for a jurisdiction-wide increase in the productivity of nutmeg agro-farmers in West Papua. INOBU also signed an MOU this week with AKAPe, a local NGO in West Papua. This partnership is designed to galvanize our work in West Papua, building on our research to begin developing policy innovations. We are building a sustainable indigenous commodity framework which has potential to later be replicated in other districts of West Papua, and extended to other key commodities, especially sago.

Customary Rights Context

INOBU has been working in West Papua since 2013, in partnership with our sister organization Earth Innovation Institute to find solutions to the poverty-environment nexus. In 2016 INOBU began work to trial an innovative new approach for sustainable indigenous commodities in West Papua focused on understanding how pressures on forests can be reduced through alternative, more sustainable livelihoods. Finding these alternatives became especially important after the Indonesian Constitutional Court Ruling 35/2012 that enabled customary owned lands to be relinquished from the national forest estate. In West Papua, finding sustainable alternative livelihoods is more pressing as customary groups have claims to all forests in the province.

INOBU researchers meet with local NGOs and local government representatives in Fakfak to launch the program for sustainable indigenous nutmeg


Sustainable Indigenous Commodities: The Nutmeg Potential

Fakfak district is famous for Papuan nutmeg (M. Argentina). For hundreds of years, nutmeg has been exported from the district to buyers and consumers around the world. Known as pala in Indonesia, nutmeg is one of two spices derived from several species of tree in the genus Myristica (the other spice is mace).Nutmeg forests can be found throughout most of Fakfak. Nutmeg is the primary commodity supporting the livelihoods of communities here. As a result, it is inextricably linked to customary rights. Leveraging our early years of research in West Papua, along with our experiences working in Central Kalimantan on jurisdictional sustainability (palm oil), in 2016 INOBU commenced foundational research work to better understand the forest aspects of nutmeg as well as the customary context. Working closely with the local government and customary leaders, INOBU is developing policy innovations that would recognize customary rights, increase productivity and improve the livelihoods of communities in the district.

The launch of the mapping program comes at the heels of a pilot study conducted by INOBU on the ecology and productivity of nutmeg in Fakfak, beginning by mapping of land rights based on ownership of nutmeg.  The project objectives were to: (1) map the nutmeg areas owned individually (hak dusun pala) and collect social economy and livelihood data; (2) compare and evaluate the mapping methodology and technology used; and (3) collect village baseline data to develop village profiles. Based on this research, INOBU is moving ahead with the development of policy interventions and innovation. The mapping process is expected to provide a robust framework for integrating growers of nutmeg in West Papua’s forests, ultimately supporting the recognition of customary rights and an increase in productivity.


INOBU (Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi) is an Indonesian research institute that works towards the vision of an Indonesia where land and seascapes are managed sustainably and benefit the communities that depend on them. Through innovative research, policy analysis, technology and alliance-building, INOBU seeks to improve public policies and strengthen civil society to sustainably manage Indonesia's natural resources and agricultural production systems, throughout the life-cycle of products. Our work in Fakfak is made possible by a sub-grant from the Forest Farms & Finance Institute (FFFI), the German International Climate Initiative (IKI) through Earth Innovation Institute.

Save the Date: Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force Annual Meeting


Catat tanggalnya: Pertemuan Tahunan Satuan Tugas Gubernur untuk Iklim dan Hutan


Membangun Ekonomi yang Hijau dan Inklusif

Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia

25-30 September 2017


Informasi lebih lanjut akan menyusul

Press Release: “Jurisdictional Sustainability: Primer for Practitioners”

10 February 2017

“It is one thing to announce a pledge to tackle deforestation and illegality. It is another to do this in practice on the ground.” Dr. Ruth Nussbaum, Director, ProForest

The loss of tropical forests is one of the greatest challenges faced by humanity today. How do we solve it in a way that will also increase food security and improve the livelihoods of rural communities? A new publication sheds light on this question.

Global awareness of the importance of tropical forests has grown in recent years and powerful new approaches for maintaining and restoring them have emerged. Tropical states and nations have put innovative new public policies and programs in place to slow tropical deforestation. The international community has designed a mechanism called “REDD+” for compensating the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that states and nations achieve. And more recently, dozens of companies have formally committed to do their part by eliminating tropical deforestation from their supply chains of soy, palm oil, beef and other commodities.

There is still a long way to go, however, as Juliana de Lavor Lopes, Sustainability and Communications Director of Grupo Amaggi states:

Being assertive when it comes to deforestation is complicated. The elimination of deforestation in a region or country will only be achieved when productive sectors from various chains, all governmental spheres, and civil society organizations work together for the same purpose. For a company, it is important to work both directly in its supply chain and with various stakeholders in a region, because its activities are in some way all interconnected. Working with stakeholders is critical to achieving a global impact, and jurisdictional sustainability is the best approach to meeting this challenge”.

Part of the problem is that, so far, these three approaches are usually being pursued independently of one another. “Jurisdictional sustainability” has emerged as a strategy for weaving them together synergistically. As RSPO’s Director General Darrel Weber explains it:

“The jurisdictional approach brings regional governments, farmers and supply chains to the table as partners in addressing systemic issues and therefore hastening the journey towards sustainable development”

With the goal of building a common understanding of jurisdictional sustainability—how to define it, why it is important, and how to put it into practice at scale—a group of practitioners came together in January of 2015 and June of 2016 to share perspectives and experiences.  On Tuesday, February 14th at 11:00am Central European Time, a publication summarizing the main results of these meetings will be released. It is called:   “Jurisdictional Sustainability: Primer for Practitioners” and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia, and French.

“Tropical deforestation reduction, good management of freshwater systems, food security and social inclusion can all be achieved together through regional strategies for jurisdictional sustainability that are owned by local society”explains Dr. Daniel Nepstad, Executive Director of the Earth Innovation Institute, that organized the workshops.

The publication will be available on Thursday, February 9th from Tathiana Bezerra ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Articles on it are embargoed until 12 noon Central European Time on February 14th.

Experts who are available to give interviews:

Dan Nepstad, Earth Innovation Institute ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), Brazil, jurisdictional sustainability, REDD+

Ruaraidh Petre, Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), sustainable livestock and jurisdictional approaches

Joko Arif ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), jurisdictional approaches in Indonesia

Gustavo Suarez de Freitas ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), jurisdictional approaches in Peru

Maria Theresa Becerra ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), jurisdictional approaches in Colombia

Seth Shames ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), integrated landscape management

Achim Kress ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), jurisdictional approaches Côte d´Ivoire

Andreas Brede ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), jurisdictional approaches Indonesia.

For more information, contact Dan Nepstad at + 1 508 566 1963 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

Commodity Buyers Representing 70% of China’s Palm Oil Imports arrive in Central Kalimantan for Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)-Solidaridad Network Field Tour

Commodity Buyers Representing 70% of China’s Palm Oil Imports arrive in Central Kalimantan for Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)-Solidaridad Network Field Tour

November 22, 2016

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. The greatest demand for Indonesia’s palm oil comes from India, China, and the European Union. Smallholder farmers have become an important part of the global supply chain, contributing an estimated 40% of supply on commodity markets. Making the palm oil commodity sustainable without excluding this segment of the supply chain requires understanding both the smallholder and the buyer of palm oil.

To promote cooperation and dialogue between large buyers of Indonesia’s palm oil and the smallholders meeting a significant proportion of their demand, this week Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU), in collaboration with Solidaridad Network, will bring a delegation of Chinese palm oil buyers to Central Kalimantan province for Field Tour along with district leaders, farmer group representatives and other key stakeholders. The Chinese delegation includes representatives from COFCO, Sinograin, Julong, Wilmar China, and Fang Shun, representing an estimated 70% of all Indonesian palm oil import into China. This work is part of the Forest, Farms & Finance Initiative which is led by Earth Innovation Institute (EII) and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). INOBU also receives funding from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and Germany's Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building & Nuclear Safety.

Central Kalimantan province has become a focal point for the development of sustainable palm oil through jurisdictional certification. Two districts of Central Kalimantan, West Kotawaringin and Seruyan are piloting this approach with the help of INOBU. The governments of both districts are committed to sustainable palm oil in the region, with an emphasis on improving rural welfare, reducing deforestation and enhancing the recognition of cultural and indigenous rights.

The need for Chinese palm oil buyers to work collaboratively with smallholder farmers cannot be overstated. China imports 2.7 million tons of Palm Oil each year. Indonesia supplied about 1.2 million tons of Palm Oil to China, nearly half of Chinese imports. Through this field visit, the buyers and farmers can directly discuss and begin to tackle the challenges in the development of oil palm plantations. Solidaridad Network notes the importance for buyers to support sustainable supply of palm oil at this level to make it possible for smallholder farmers to participate in the market.

INOBU Managing Director, Joko Arif, described the two-day Field Tour as much needed, critical space to connect buyers with the districts and municipalities dedicated to producing sustainable palm oil. The delegation will visit local oil palm plantations, the orangutan conservation center, independent palm oil smallholders who have integrated with operations with dairy and cattle farming, as well as large companies and mills.  In West Kotawaringin, delegates will tour farms in the process of obtaining ISPO and RSPO certification. They will also visit plantations and palm oil mills to better understand the production and processing of palm oil.

"We in the District Seruyan have a vision that each producer of palm oil in Seruyan do so in a sustainable manner. We understand the ongoing process of getting certified is not easy, especially for smallholder palm oil farmers. It will take the participation of many stakeholder, including buyers, to accelerate the transition towards sustainability."~ Honourable Regent Sudarsono.

Press Release: Central Kalimantan’s Seruyan District Leading a Global Initiative for Supporting Sustainable Palm Oil Production: Update from the RSPO Annual Meeting


Central Kalimantan’s Seruyan District Leading a Global Initiative for Supporting Sustainable Palm Oil Production: Update from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Annual Meeting

Bangkok, 8 November 2016: The Regent of Seruyan District, Hon. Sudarsono, today described the progress his district has made in pioneering an approach for supporting sustainable palm oil production. The approach, as endorsed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), is a certification initiative at the level of a jurisdiction, involving governments, companies, smallholders and communities in moving towards sustainable palm oil production.

At last year’s meeting, Seruyan District was announced as one of the pilot sites for this innovative jurisdictional approach to sustainable palm oil certification. This approach differs from traditional approaches to certification that focus on plantations and mills. Instead, through the approach, sustainability issues, such as reducing deforestation, protecting areas with high conservation values and empowering smallholders, are addressed at the level of the jurisdiction.

Hon. Sudarsono explained his vision for Seruyan District by stating: “Our dream in Seruyan is to ensure that all commodities coming from the district, such as palm oil, are produced sustainably. For this we are committed in implementing jurisdictional certification approach as endorsed by the RSPO. So buyers and consumers of palm oil will know that the companies and smallholders producing them in Seruyan are doing so without causing deforestation or degrading peatlands. They will also know that there was no burning when clearing land or seizures of indigenous lands for palm oil.”

Following the commitment to the RSPO’s jurisdictional certification approach that he announced last year, Hon. Sudarsono described some of the progress that has been made in Seruyan District for achieving this goal.

One of the major achievements has been smallholder mapping and legalization. Currently a total of 2560 smallholders have been mapped and are in the process of applying for cultivation registration letters and formalizing their land rights. By October, the government had issued 50 registration letters, and hopes to accelerate the process in the coming months. The mapping process is also being supported by plantation companies in the district. The district will also start its pilot smallholder program, which will be expanded to cover all smallholders in the district in the next few years.

Another milestone achieved has been the development and implementation of the “The Information and Performance Monitoring System for Sustainable Plantations” or SIPKEBUN, as it is known in Indonesian. SIPKEBUN will assist the major effort for monitoring palm oil plantations. It is a collaborative effort between the Central and Regional governments. SIPKEBUN was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture on October 26, 2016. A Memorandum of Understanding for developing and implementing the system was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Kalimantan Province, the three pilot districts including Seruyan and Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU).

As a first step, SIPKEBUN stores and displays large-scale palm oil plantation and independent oil palm smallholder data for Seruyan District, including the location and area of plantations, level of production and socio-economic conditions.

Beyond mapping the smallholders, Seruyan District government has established a Working Group for the Jurisdictional Certification of Palm Oil. The Working Group is made up of representatives from district government departments, oil palm plantation companies and non-government organisations including INOBU. The Working Group is responsible for developing a work plan for supporting certification and providing advice on how to reduce risks such as deforestation, social conflict and greenhouse gas emissions as well as protecting areas with High Conservation Values and High Carbon Stocks.

"Seruyan's leadership ushers in a new phase of sustainable rural development that brings together the power of governments and public policy with the agility and influence of companies that produce or buy palm oil. With smallholders, local communities and NGOs collaborating in this process, this approach is really promising. We are extremely pleased to be part of this initiative,” concludes Joko Arif, Managing Director of INOBU.



Seruyan District, Central Kalimantan

Seruyan District is located in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. Palm oil is the largest plantation commodity in the district and contributes significantly to the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GDRP) of the district. There are 35 oil palm plantation companies in Seruyan District, 22 palm oil mills and around 5,311 oil palm smallholders. As much as 76 per cent of those smallholders are indigenous people. Smallholders in Seruyan, on average, own around 4.53 hectares per farmer. Only 50 per cent of independent smallholders possess land certificates. Around 55 per cent of independent smallholders have their lands within the concession area of oil palm plantations, 13 per cent are located within conversion forests and 32 per cent within production forests. No smallholders have land within conservation forests.


SIPKEBUN, which was developed by Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the provincial and three district governments of Central Kalimantan, is an online system that integrates data and maps of all oil palm growers: from industrial scale estates to independent smallholder farmers.

For the first time, the Indonesian government will be able to monitor online all oil palm growers and identify growers who are farming sustainably, and those who are clearing forests or burning their lands. SIPKEBUN also enables the government to know who is growing oil palm, where they are growing it and how they are growing it.

SIPKEBUN is also a powerful tool for governments to support smallholders to farm legally, productively and profitably. The system can help smallholder farmers to get cultivation registration letters. The data stored within SIPKEBUN enables local governments to streamline the process for issuing cultivation registration letters to smallholders. This data is also a stepping stone for initiating processes for issuing land certificates to smallholders. SIPKEBUN enables local governments to understand how smallholders are farming, which enables them to more effectively target interventions for improving the productivity and profitability of smallholder oil palm plantations

Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)

An Indonesian research institute, Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU) is shifting the paradigm for reducing deforestation in the tropics by promoting a jurisdictional approach to sustainable landscapes. Through a team of driven researchers and experts, INOBU empowers governments, private sector, indigenous communities and civil society to sustainably manage Indonesia's natural resources and agricultural production systems. INOBU’s approach is grounded in innovative research, policy analysis, technology and alliance-building.



Media Contact:

Budi Purwanto
Head of Forestry and Plantation Office
Seruyan District
Central Kalimantan
+62 82255925825


Joko Arif
Managing Director
Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Page 1 of 2

Throughout the year, we host many events, some of which are open to the general public.


The New Local Government Law

In September 2014, the Indonesian government enacted the new Local Government Law, Law No. 23/2014 that replaced the old Local Government Law, Law No. 32/2004. Although it recentralizes some authority back to the central level, the new law provides clearer guidance related to the distribution of governmental functions between the central and local governments. This article summarizes the legal analysis of the old and new Local Government Laws. Specifically, this article will analyze the shift of authority and distribution of governmental functions among the central, provincial, and district governments, especially with regards to land-based sectors, including forestry, land, agriculture, and spatial planning.

Read more


How can REDD+ protect the rights of West Papuans and the environment?

The Indonesian central government recently announced economic development as a national priority in West Papua. With commercial interests set to expand, there is an urgent need to implement land-use management systems that safeguard the welfare and rights of indigenous people and their natural environment in the province.

Read more


Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers, Forest Conservation and Climate Change

Intergovernmental fiscal transfers (IFTs) are an innovative way to create incentives for local public actors to support conservation. This book contributes to the debate about how to conserve tropical forests by implementing mechanisms for reducing deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).

Read more