The Government of Indonesia has published a number of policies and regulations to better manage its vast amount of tropical peatland, yet the degradation and conversion of Indonesian peatlands still continues. This paper analyses the institutional fit between Indonesian regulations related to peatland use and the characteristics of peatland users. We reviewed Indonesian legal policies and regulations on peatland use and management and conducted questionnaires and interviews with peatland users and policy makers in order to understand their practices and incentives in relation to the implementation of the four main peatland regulations. We focus on two provinces with large peatland areas: Jambi and Central Kalimantan. Using a framework for assessing the degrees of fit between the rule creators and adopters for peatland management, this paper shows that the degree of technical, political, and cultural fit of Indonesian peatland regulations can be classified as low to moderate. The paper shows that many peatland users are insufficiently aware of peatland regulations. The lack of socialisation on the contents of the regulations and the alternatives for peatland best practices, together with the lack of field monitoring and law enforcement are the important causes of non-compliance with peatland regulations. However, there are ongoing processes of fitting visible that are largely driven by the local government and NGOs. We discuss the degrees of fit and present some lessons for increasing the degree of fit for peatland regulations.


Submitted by Greetje Schouten (schouten@rsm.nl)