The present study explores the institutional design of Forest Management Units (FMUs) and its actual implementation in a locality where conflicts with local people or companies over state forests have been evident. The author reviewed related government regulations and conducted a field survey in Lampung province of an Indonesia's outer island of Sumatra. At the institutional level, establishment of FMUs and their management areas was mostly interpreted as a technical issue, and little provision for right settlements with local people was confirmed. Prescriptions of clear and adequate authority for FMUs to monitor and supervise company operations were also lacking. Accordingly, substantive measures to address the existing conflicts had not been implemented at the local level. If the government truly intends FMUs to function as part of governance processes at the local level, first of all, clear and adequate institutional provisions enabling them to function substantively should be prepared.
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Vol. 17 • No. 1