On September 14, 1999, the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assem-bly approved a major piece of new legislation-the new forestry law.1This law updated the previous Basic Forestry Law of May 1967, Undang-Undang (UU) 5. Although healthy debate has emerged about whether the overall spirit of the law has changed, one area where there has been notable change is in the new provisions for customary communities and in the promotion of community involvement in forest management. Taken together with the Surat Keputusan ([SK] ministerial decree) 677 (Forestry) of October 7, 1998, the law signals a significant shift in increased state support for the devolution of forest management and forest benefits to local communities.