Central Kalimantan is striving to accelerate operationalization and development of the Forest Management Unit (FMU) in 2018-2021. The Central Kalimantan Provincial Government represented by its Regional Secretary, Fahrizal Fitri S.Hut., M.P., inaugurated the Central Kalimantan FMU Center on October 30, 2019 during the Central Kalimantan FMU Festival.
The FMU Center was established by the Central Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service in collaboration with GGGI involving Central Kalimantan Development Planning Agency, USAID Lestari, UNDP Kalfor, BOS Foundation and BNF. The FMU Center will become an information center for a variety of FMU needs and a forum for the promotion and sale of FMU-produced non-timber forest products.
Central Kalimantan’s FMUs will be in charge of a large potential area in Indonesia that covers 8,510,524 ha divided into four Protection Forest Management Units covering 454,443 ha and 29 Production Forest Management Units covering 8,056,081 ha. FMUs are expected to be able to manage a variety of potential resources, including timber/plantation products such as rubber, sengon, jabon, and kaliandra, non-timber forest products such as fisheries, honey, rattan, bamboo, and materials for handicrafts, and environmental services such as tourism, carbon, and water. Most of these potential resources are still reserved or in planning.
The Central Kalimantan FMU Festival exhibited the mentioned potential resources. A number of wood and non-wood products, various handicrafts, and environmental services were launched and introduced to buyers/industries outside Central Kalimantan. In addition, the festival also featured open policy dialogues, meetings between the private sector and the FMUs, and two workshops that highlighted and discussed current regulations on management of non-timber forest products, market opportunities for non-timber forest products, and availability and access to funding to support their businesses.
Central Kalimantan Provincial Government also supports FMUs’ efforts to develop businesses, including mentoring on how to develop business plans. The FMU business plans follow a scheme directed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF). At present, four FMUs have initiated and conducted businesses as mandated, namely FMU Katingan Hulu, FMU Kahayan Hilir, FMU Gerbang Barito, and FMU Mentaya Tengah Seruyan Hilir.
There are still many challenges faced in the development of FMUs in Central Kalimantan, including natural conditions, funding support, and regulations (central-to-local regulations, taxes and user charges, etc.). But challenges can become opportunities. The FMU Center together with development partners will continue to improve readiness in relation to technology, capacity of farmers, FMU staff and local institutions, so that they can face various challenges and provide the most suitable solutions.