The Jurisdictional Approach

Historical Approaches to Sustainability

Throughout history, people have tried to conserve the natural environment by establishing land and marine protected areas, creating regulations, community based approaches and more recently, landscape approaches. Others, in response to the social and environmental harm caused by the cultivation, harvesting and extraction of commodities, have sought to make supply chains more sustainable through consumer boycotts and certification initiatives.

Although these initiatives have had impact, they alone are not enough. The complexity of commodity supply chains and the people who do and do not benefit from them, mean that approaches that involve governments, the private sector and communities in a specific location are needed. We refer to these approaches as jurisdictional approaches.

shutterstock_99279983-1024x683 The Jurisdictional Approach

What is the Jurisdictional Approach?

Jurisdictional approaches seek to facilitate a consensus among different people, governments and the private sector for sustainable rural development within a jurisdiction. Jurisdictions, or government administrative areas, are selected on the basis of whether they have the authority to address the challenges associated with sustainable rural development.

Indonesia Context

For most places in Indonesia, district governments have the authority to address challenges related to sustainable rural development, with support needed from higher levels of government and ministries. In provinces such as Aceh, Papua and West Papua, the provincial governments have been granted special autonomy status, which means that the governments have greater powers and responsibilities than other Indonesian provinces. In these provinces, working with the provincial government, with the support of higher and lower levels of government, such as districts, may be the most effective approach.

As an archipelagic nation, all of Indonesia’s provinces must contend with the sustainable management of natural resources from the land and sea. Within each jurisdiction, society and government not only have to manage one commodity supply chain, but will often have multiple along with land and marine uses intended for local consumption and subsistence. Finding solutions for jurisdictional sustainability requires addressing these competing uses of the land and water, the conservation of the natural environment and improving the well-being of the people who live and work there. To find these solutions, government, civil society, the private sector and communities must work together to make informed decisions about the economic development of the jurisdiction.


Designing, testing and implementing the jurisdictional approach is INOBU’s core expertise. Our innovations build jurisdiction-wide solutions for Indonesia’s most pressing environmental problems, with a particular focus on how livelihoods can be made better.

At INOBU, we aspire for an Indonesia where landscapes and seascapes are managed sustainably and benefit the communities that depend on them.

Learn more about our jurisdiction-wide projects and innovations.