Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2012


Recent literature lauding indigenous ‘localism’ has led to the proliferation of local resource management institutions which has subsequent implications regarding the developmentconservation nexus: this localist paradigm risks entrenching a rigid definition of ‘local’, especially within the rural sector. Mobility is a fundamental tenet of a liberal democratic society while migration occurs for myriad reasons; migrant communities often remain marginalized and susceptible to human rights abuses. Similar to mass property titling programs instigated by Hernando de Soto’s policy prescriptions, state-driven, community resource management programs may also exacerbate the indigenous-migrant divide. In Jambi, Indonesia, the village forest designation (hutan desa) is a promising institution with the potential to impact positively the livelihoods of communities, although a gap in academic literature on migrant communities hinders the ability of the Indonesian government and NGOs to engage with rural settlers to bridge the informal divide.