Between the Corporate and the Government Responsibility: The Livelihood Issues Experienced By the Local Community in the Surrounding Conservation Forest in West Java, Indonesia

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Sulastri SARDJO , University of Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia
Until about ten years ago forest had ever been the primary source of income for the community living in the surrounding area of the Halimun-Salak mountain, West Java. This situation has been changing since the government launched the new regulation that prohibited people to get anything from the forest because the area was designated as forest conservation. Since that time the community has been experiencing a decline in their standard of living, especially who were only had the forest as their source of income. Besides, for many years, the community has only been provided by inadequate basic infrastructure (i.e. health, education, transportation) that supposed to be the government’s responsibility. The situation becomes increasingly critical when the people knew that there was a multinational company that has been exploring geothermal energy within the conservation area which has further caused anxiety and uncertainty in local people livelihood. The latest development seemingly has been overlooked by the local government since it has not been taken any significant action to help the people. Moreover, the conflict between local people and the MNC sometime has been raised as critical issues for the economic or political interests of certain actors in the community. Pressures to the company have been increasing since the government regulation stated that the company should perform the social and environmental responsibilities. Based on the ongoing research in the area of Halimun-Salak Mountain, this paper analyzes the relation between state, market and society (Martinussen, 1997) that might be applied in the case of the production of geothermal energy in West Java, Indonesia. This paper also examines the issue of local conflicts over foreign investment and the corporate practices when the host country government has the tendency to corrupt or indifferent to environmental protection and community development (Vogel, 2006).