The forest and its biodiversity: assessing the adequacy of biodiversity protection laws in Indonesia

Laely Nurhidayah, Shawkat Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Forests are a critical component of biodiversity and are essential for a wide range of ecosystem services. There is a rapid and alarming decline of biodiversity worldwide. Indonesian biodiversity, in particular, is increasingly under serious threat of environmental degradation as a result of the prevalence of criminal activities such as deforestation, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, and forest fires. The occurrence of deforestation in Indonesia can be primarily attributed to two main factors: forest conversion into oil palm plantation and wood fiber plantation. This article examines the adequacy of the legal framework in Indonesia in addressing biodiversity loss, the challenges it experiences and any prospects for the implementation of biodiversity laws and policies. This examination will be undertaken through the theoretical frameworks of the ecosystem approach, and political ecology. It is concluded that the effectiveness of legislation related to biodiversity conservation is hindered by top-down approaches and the political and economic structural legacies of previous governments which tend to favour economic development at the expense of adequate biodiversity protection. To address the complex problems of biodiversity protection, Indonesia not only needs stronger legislation in protecting biodiversity, but must address other factors that hinder the effectiveness of efforts to protect biodiversity. In addition, despite the current prospect of initiatives and policy reforms aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation since the implementation of REDD+, each initiative has practical, financial and legal limits. Therefore, it is suggested that the effective coordination of each strategy is needed. Particularly at the local level, the capacity of the community to be engaged in conservation and the ability of the government to implement and effectively enforce biodiversity laws has proven challenging and needs to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-201
Number of pages24
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Biodiversity
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Conservation
  • Forest
  • Indonesia legal framework


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