This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. The original story was printed on Media Indonesia. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our RJF website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
The forest of Amarasi, which later became Herman Johannes Grand Forest Park, was once protected by customary laws. No one dared to pick up dry and fallen branches, let alone to cut down a single tree. The one who dared would be punished with harsh sanction under customary law. The Amarasi kings did apply strict customary rules to protect the forest. People were not allowed to use timber forest products and hunt wild animals. In the New Order era, such rules were still maintained. Minor violations, such as taking dry woods, if caught, would be fined with one sack of rice, Rp. 500 thousand in cash and a cattle.
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