Land-based conflicts in Indonesia – Urgent call for the Government

Friday, 6th January 2017

Despite the nine “customary forests” acknowledged by Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s administration last week encompass a total of 13,100 hectares (32,370 acres), the figures of the land-based conflicts occurring in this country is showing the contrary. 

The land-based conflicts in Indonesia has showing an increasing trend throughout 2016. The width of the conflicted land has reached 1.265.027,39 hectares in total, and has impacted 86.745 families in the country. This figure has doubled up from what had been shown last year (2015).

The most sectors with conflicts are ranked below from the highest to the lowest figures:

  1. 163 conflicts found in Plantation sector;  (36,22%)
  2. 117 conflicts found in Property sector;  (26,00%)
  3. 100 conflicts found in Infrastructure sector; suffers  (22,22%)
  4. 25 conflicts  found in Forestry sector; (5,56%)
  5. 21 conflicts found in Mining sector; (4,67%)
  6. 10 conflicts found in Coastlines and Maritime sector; (2,22%)
  7. 7 conflicts found in Oil and Gas sector; (1,56%)

The data is generated by an ILC Asia member from Indonesia, Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA), and was displayed during their 2016 End Year Record Data Launching Press Conference.

In this event, sat as speakers, KPA’s Secretary General Ms. Dewi Kartika, Indonesia Ombudsman member, Mr. Ahmad Alamsyah Saragih, and Vice Chairman of Indonesian PBNU (Nahdatul Ullema group), Mr. M. Maksum Machfoedz.

During his presentation, Mr. Machfoedz said that inequality in agrarian structure led to collective land-based conflicts in the country, thus, he further said, the legal aid must be more responsive toward complains even before the case is publicized by the media. He concerned that many complains are not being reported properly so far.

Confirming the previous statement, Mr. Saragih also mentioned that the land-based conflicts occurring so far are involving the state representatives in the country. He delivered his strong hope that the president will immeditely amend the agrarian policy existing, in order to halt further conflicts on the ground.

Land-based conflict has been distributing a great negative impact toward the economy and social issues, which also lead to the elevation of poverty in the country. Hence, this is an urgent call for the Indonesia Government to stop this to re-occur in 2017.