Sunday, 14 September 2014


The act of deforestation in Indonesia due to “clearance sale” or concessions for plan plantation and mining in the period of the New Order up till now had exceeded the ‘achievement’ by the Dutch colonial regieme. Through the Vereenegde Oost Indiesche Companie [VOC] the Dutch Government had axed millions of hectares of forest in all of Indonesia, but the Indonesia Government since the days of the New Order till now had damaged 64 million of forest. “deforestation seemed not enough, enter the Violation of human rights on custom communities” Bondan Andriyanu Chairtman of the National Geo Data disclosed to Business News [4/8].

The easy issuance of concession permit was contradictory to the principle of Natural Resource Management [SDA], while the GDN, through the application of Spatial Geodata System would publish accurate mapping and information to all parties. The system was integrated into CSO Geodata system. “We do not wish this Republic to become a Republic of Concession permit. So easy did the Government, central or provincial to give away concession permit. Evidently plantations and mining had damaged our forest”

GDN had mapped out some regions in Kalimantan which were eroded by palm plantations and mines. Data of Ministry of Forestry has it that forest destruction had begun since the application of HPH concession regieme. The condition of forest in East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan was critical. The land being given away had reached hills and mountains. People’s communities were edged asides. Coal mines, iron mines and palm plantation prevailed. Land possession had even reached lakes and swamps,” We are trying to map out the land. Land dispute might burst out any many time. Public land overlap with plantations and mining”

The people around mining sites tend to be edged asides, and overruled by big size investors. The Government tend to stand on the side of big investors not on the people who owned land willed to them generation after generation. “The people have the right to process land and manage natural resource. Conflict potentials which was once latent now had become manifest.”

The next Government, especially when Jokowi Widodo was officially installed as Indonesia’s 7th President, must look at the mater seriously. The elected President must set up a competent body to tackle land disputes in the regions. “They must be given the chance to negotiate with investors over land utilization. Natural resources should be allocated for people’s property”

Soon the body must manage land on spatial base of complicit over natural and agricultural resources. GDN managed spatial based data on conflict. CSO included in geo data continued to build spatial based sites. GDN networking encompassed participative mapping [JKJPP], Hu Ma clubs, Sawit Watch club, agricultural Reformation Consortium [KPA], People’s Forest Consortium [KpSHK], Jatam, and Indonesia Forest Watch [FWI].

“We will invite certain ministries. We introduce directly our geordata system. Some ministries like agriculture, transportation, BPN. Could call for public participation to comment on the best system to find the best solution”

Conflicts over natural resources over the past 3 years had stolen public attention considering the intensity of occurrence. Difference in land possession among conflicting parties never came to any clarity. Many conflicts which originally hidden now busted out to the surface. “when the public know a concession zone was possessed by companies, we believe it is necessary to do mapping. The conflict potential would become part of mapping, and the people must not just stand still”

Instead of attaining food sovereignty, the nation was dominated by a regime of food corporations where big corporations prevailed in food production and trading, while small farmers were marginalized. Things were made worse by policies which ignore environmental well being and human rights.

So far the national Geo Data team had recorded hundred of conflicts of various frequencies in 98 cities/regencies in 26 provinces. Such was most disheartening because to total disputed land areas was posted at 2,043,287 hectare or more that 20,000 km2 [data Hu Ma]. besides, this year the number of agricultural conflicts kept increasing. Lost of life was posted at 21 people dead, 30 people shot, 130 people tortured and 239 people arrested by the Security Forces [Data KPA]. Large scale investments, not accompanied by change on land processing system, had been wrong. “The way we see it, conflict might continued and will never end”

The confusion in Natural Resource Management was seen in the fact that around 13,000,000 ha of land had been designated as palm concession zones [Data Sawit Watch] and the appearance of 10,935 mining permit which claimed 40 million hectares of land Indonesia. The actors involved in land dispute against communities were among others: Government institutions, companies, and Government Owned companies [BUMN] i.e PTPN Perhutani. Four types of conflict issues were: Forest and Customs communities, Land Grabbing, Plantation, Mining, coal mining and water tapping.

There was mistake on Government’s side in defining food resiliency which was focused on corporate regimes and efficiency. Such had Created various problems which wide spread globally such as small producers losing market share and various environmental damages in agriculture. Food sovereignty must be a grave issue to be highlighted by all parties. “We are sure that spatial data afield would complement information data, especially in times of dispute. Now it is up to the government, if they are serious about managing conflict, this spatial data could serve as entry point for solution in the future”. (SS)

Business New - August 8, 2014

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