“Forestry is not about trees, it is about people. And it is about trees only insofar as trees can serve the needs of people”
It is important to have common understanding that forest is not only trees or habitat of wildlife. In Indonesia, or mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, if we talk about forest as an ecosystem or landscape, we have to include communities living inside or nearby forest area or event for those who live far away but their livelihood, their food, health, and quality of life depend upon forest resources and its environmental services. Timber, water supply for consumption, agriculture, and estate, water balance, micro climate; prevention from erosion, landslide, the role of pollination processes, non timber forest products such as rattan, honey, medicinal plants, materials for roof, clothing, housing, canoes, ropes; river system in the forest are part of important transportation system, and so on. More than 2.4 billion people or 40 percent of people live in less developed countries still used firewood for cooking (State of the World’s Forest 2014).
Forest dependent communities (FDC) who live for hundreds of years create their own adaptation to be able to survive and this creates knowledge, shaping, and crafting their own culture for hundreds of years. Their tacit knowledge about forest resources are very important to be documented and to be considered in any phase of (rural) development planning. Development planning has to be participatory in approach and put them as a subject. People centered development is one of the key success in dealing with them.