Epistema Institute is a research and knowledge management centre on law, society and the environment established by Epistema Foundation on 1 September 2010 in Jakarta.
What is the link between Epistema and Huma, and the HuMa Learning Centre?
Both Epistema Foundation and Epistema Institute are rooted in the ideas of members of HuMa, the Association for Community and Environmentally-Based Legal Reform. This organisation developed from the HuMa Learning Centre, a semi-autonomous work unit of HuMa Association that was formed to push for the development of different studies and schools of thought regarding law and society. These studies aim to support socially-based legal reform movements, the preservation of the eco-system and fair and culturally diverse values.
HuMa Learning Centre began with a HuMa work programme, namely, the Programme for the Development of Critical Thinking on Legal Theory and Methodology of Law (Programme 2). A General Members Meeting and HuMa Strategic Planning in 2007 held in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta crystallized the idea of transforming the activities of Programme 2 through the formation of study circles on law, society and the environment in certain areas. The realm of learning thus became the embryonic form of the Huma Learning Centre.
In 2009, it was agreed at the HuMa General Members Meeting that the Learning Centre should be a separate and independent organisation from HuMa (Decree No. VIII/RUA/2009, Huma General Meeting of Members.). This organisation was named Epistema Foundation.
The creation of centers of learning about law, society and the environment in order to support the movement toward the establishment of a national legal system based on democratic values, social justice, the environment and cultural pluralism.
1. Encourage the formation and development of networks and nodes of learning (learning circles) to promote various flows of study pertaining to law in societies across various areas of Indonesia.
2. Develop research to promote learning about different schools of law and social studies.
3. Develop centers and information management networks about the various streams of study of law and supporting communities.
Promoting eco-social justice to develop democratic and just state law in Indonesia
1. Learning Circles for Social and Environmental Justice (LESSON-JUSTICE)
The development of learning circles and alternative education activities related to eco-social justice involving civil society organisations and activists, academia, and national and local policy makers who can influence the discourse of legal reform.
o Learning circles studying the flow of legal thought;
o Country level study circles on law and indigenous peoples;
o Learning circles studying law, natural resources management and climate change;
o Discussion of thematic state law, indigenous peoples, law and management of natural resources and climate change;
o Training in legal aspects of climate change and REDD; perspective of legal pluralism in the preparation of local legislation;
o Lecture series on legal philosophy and legal theory and society.
2. Interdisciplinary Research on Community Rights to Better Livelihood, Just Social Traditions and Sustainable Environment (IN-CREASE)
Development of interdisciplinary legal studies that use and test the concepts of eco-social justice to provide recommendations for policy changes and become references for the maturation of the discourse of social movements.
- Cluster on law and society research:
1. Research on models of legalisation of public rights over land and natural resources in national and regional legislation: recognition, integration or incorporation?
2. Comparative study on state recognition of indigenous peoples and their rights over land and natural resources in Southeast Asia;
3. Research on the substantive and formal elements of state law in court decisions related to the recognition and protection of community rights over land and natural resources.
4. Research on strengthening tenurial security for communities in various conflict resolution models regarding land and natural resources in Indonesia: is legal pluralism a supporting or inhibiting factor?
- Cluster on legal research and environmental justice:
1. Mapping disharmonies in land law and natural resources;
2. Research on local knowledge systems to support low carbon development in the national legal system and normative systems within communities;
3. Research on the preparation of government policies and institutions at the national and local government level and with communities in implementing REDD readiness 2010-2012;
4. Research on the legal and institutional framework of the post-Kyoto Protocol at the national and local levels
5. Research on REDD and poverty: a policy analysis and case studies of two years of implementation of REDD in Indonesia.
3. Resource Centre for Social and Environmental Justice (RE-SOURCE)
Increased diversity of media studies and widespread use of such media to promote social and environmental justice in policy advocacy activities and learning processes by various educational institutions and communities.
o Preparation of a database;
o Publication of a book (series on Indonesian socio-legal system, series on law and climate justice, series on law, justice and society, series on legal figures), working papers, e-journal;
o On-line library and network;
o Preparation of films and interactive CDs on law, the environment and society
4. Institutional Development (IN-DEV)
The development of Epistema as an independent accountable and professional agency, as well as a wide-spanning network at the local, national and regional levels.
o Planning, monitoring and evaluation of standards development work;
o Capacity-building of Epistema staff and community members;
o Independent fundraising.