Project name:

Research Projects

Project description:

At our core, we are a research institution dedicated to sustainable landscapes and seascapes in Indonesia. Our research is conducted by INOBU’s team of experts, working in close collaboration with governments, the private sector, and communities – including indigenous people. The following is a sample list of some of the major research questions INOBU has explored over the last few years. Importantly, our research is designed to lead to application in the field. Through our findings, we develop and test concrete solutions for improving Indonesia’s environment and the people whose livelihoods depend on it.


European Forest Institute (EFI)

  • THE IMPLICATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULING ON CUSTOMARY LAND RIGHTS: SVLK IN CUSTOMARY FORESTS? (2017). The project seeks to understand the implications of Indonesian Constitutional Court Ruling 35/2012 and whether the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System, Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK), is possible in customary forests. The objective of the project is to define possible scenarios for the implementation of the Indonesian Constitutional Court Ruling 35/2012 and the role of SVLK in sustainably managing these forests.
  • SECURING LAND AND LIVELIHOODS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT OF CUSTOMARY LAND RIGHTS AND LIVELIHOODS IN WEST PAPUA (2014-2015). In this study, INOBU explored potential pathways for development for the people of West Papua that recognise the rights of indigenous Papuans and contribute to sustainable development. The objective of the research was to: “identify possible sustainable livelihoods options of indigenous communities in West Papua and propose pathways for the implementation of the Constitutional Court Decision 35/2012 in West Papua and its possible implications.” We explored these questions through the interrelated concepts of rural livelihoods and land tenure.
  • Findings of the provincial-wide spatial, economic and social analysis of timber industry in West Papua (2013-2104). This study was initiated with financial support from European Forest Institute (EFI) to explore policy instruments that can support the achievement of more sustainable supply chains for timber in West Papua. The study was undertaken in conjunction with the Forestry Office of West Papua.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

  • DESIGNING AN INSTRUMENT FOR MONITORING AND VERIFYING THE LEGALITY OF OIL PALM SMALLHOLDERS (2016-2017). The purpose of this project is to design an instrument for monitoring and verifying the legality of oil palm smallholders in the districts of Seruyan (Central Kalimantan) and Tanjung Jabung (Jambi) which includes:
    • Using proposed definitions of legality to identify smallholders or the suppliers of a mill within a jurisdiction facing legality issues.
    • Identifying solutions with the local government and mills to find a way to address the issue of illegality. (What can a mill do when they have illegal suppliers?)
    • Designing an instrument or protocol for local governments and “a mill” to ensure legality. (What can a mill do to ensure the legality of the product?)
    • Providing recommendations to the national dialogue on legality.
  • DEFINING THE LEGALITY OF OIL PALM FRESH FRUIT BUNCHES: EXPERIENCES FROM INDONESIA (2016). The study proposed options for the definition of legal fresh fruit bunches (FFB) and the mechanisms for proving legality. This study was carried out for the FFB Legality and Traceability Taskforce (FLTTF) to improve the system to trace the supply chain. Several steps were carried out in the study including:
    • A review of the laws and regulations relating to the legality of fresh fruit bunches.
    • Case studies at the provincial and district levels – the field research was carried out in one site in Sumatera and Kalimantan respectively. The case studies look at local government regulations related the legality of fresh fruit bunches, including local practices and the documentation used to prove legality.
    • An expert meeting and a focus group discussion (FGD) about what constitutes legality to reach an agreement on the definition of legality and the mechanisms for proving legality. The report was reviewed by experts through several Meetings and FGDs.

The World Bank (2013-2014)

INOBU conducted a land governance assessment in Central Kalimantan Province using the World Bank’s Land Governance Assessment Framework. The World Bank developed the Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) instrument to assess the status of land governance using a pre-coded framework of key land governance indicators based on global experience, using a participatory process that systematically draws on existing evidence. The LGAF is normally applied first at the country level.


The Australian National University (ANU)

  • Financing conservation in Indonesia: evidence from agri-environmental initiatives targeting rural communities (2016-2017). This study assesses the effectiveness of financial instruments in the field of environment and natural resources management using case studies from Indonesia.
  • Kapuas Land Assessment (2014-2015). Our study used a multi-disciplinary approach to assessing land suitability, rural livelihoods and land tenure in Kapuas district, in the province of Central Kalimantan. There were several stages to this study: a land suitability analysis; an analysis of the discrepancies between national and provincial land use classifications in spatial plans; and socio-economic and land tenure household surveys.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

  • NTT Climate Public Expenditures Review (2015). The Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) of the Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) was the first subnational CPEIR. As part of the study, the provincial plans and budget for climate change were analyzed with case studies in three districts in NTT. The results of the study informed and supported the planning, budgeting and implementation of climate change programs in the province.