Traditional management: weak for large-scale gaharu exploitation
Adat did not play a major role in the management of large-scale exploitation of gaharu in the Apo Kayan. Statements of principles expressed in the customary regulations often remained un-enforced. With some exceptions, adat leaders were unable to collect fines or outstanding debts, particularly in the Kayan Hilir area.
Beside the existing difficulties of protecting the borders, controlling access to the forest, and monitoring the vast area, internal divisions and conflicts of authority with the sub-district administration weakened adat and undermined its effectiveness in enforcing regulations.
The village customary councils in the Apo Kayan often deliberated on the need to stop outside gaharu collectors from accessing their land or otherwise confiscate their supplies and belongings.
Adat leaders denounced the situation, but sometimes lacked the necessary legal authority to impose their will. The lack of unity and strength among adat leaders made it difficult to challenge those leaders who were willing to accept payments and gifts in return for letting outsiders in.These divisions were ingeniously used by traders to claim legitimacy for their activities in the customary land as they would say that "the other leader" had given them permission to operate.