The government is currently working hard to overcome poverty and economic imbalances. Partly due to the concentration of land tenure and utilization, and the uncertainty of legality of ownership and control of community land, especially in rural, inland and coastal areas and small islands. The government then developed:
1. The scheme of land redistribution and legalization of assets individually or communally as well as economic empowerment of the community after receiving land, and
2. The release of forest areas to be the land of agrarian reform objects, the granting of social forestry permits through community forestry schemes, community plantations, partnerships, and village forests, as well as the recognition of customary forests
It is the background of the Tenure Conference held in Jakarta on 25-27 October 2017, the cooperation between the Ministry of LHK, the Office of the Presidential Staff, and the Civil Society Coalition for Tenure Justice. The conference was attended by approximately 540 people from all over Indonesia and several other countries. One of the objectives of the conference was to review and revise the Tenurial Road Map developed in 2011 by tracking the progress of three levels that have been addressed: 1) expanding the people’s management area, 2) conflict resolution, and 3) determination of forest areas.
Fair development is a government priority program to cover development gaps, especially in rural areas, as one of the tools to realize Nawa Cita. Forest tenure, land and governance are key components in providing opportunities to marginalized groups to gain access to the means of production (cultivation, capital, labor and knowledge) which in turn will open up new people’s economic opportunities based on principles justice and sustainability. The government’s target of 12.7 hectares of Social Forestry and 9 million hectares of Agrarian Reform is expected to address the challenges of various patterns of control and sustainable management of natural resources in the countryside, such as in coastal areas and small islands, rice fields, smallholder estates , agroforests and customary territories.
There are 11 panels offered on the second day. Vishnu chose to join Panel 3, Inauguration of Indigenous Forest for Indigenous Peoples Protection and Benefit Distribution. In the Abstract of the Academic Manuscript it is mentioned that the establishment of customary forests in Indonesia as part of the recognition, protection and promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights is slow. Slowness is in the regulatory, governance and political economy that lacks the proper place for indigenous peoples’ existence in Indonesia:
- The challenge of implementing the Constitutional Court 35 of 2012 to protect the rights of indigenous peoples
- Negotiation of Candidate of LHK 32/2015 through the condition of Local Legal Recognition Regulation in the process of verification and validation
- In the process of indigenous peoples legislation is still a political product that often does not meet with socio-anthropological reality at the site level
The management and utilisation of customary forests essentially adhere to the principle:
1. Use of local / traditional knowledge and applicable laws and regulations
2. Forest stakeholders are required to maintain the function of forests
3. The Government, district / city governments respect and protect the rights and obligations of indigenous peoples in managing and utilizing customary forests
4. Customary forests shall not be traded either at present or in the offspring
The utilisation of customary forests should therefore promote the principles of tenurial justice, which provide those with a socio-historical base of prior management and provide access to the most vulnerable groups in the community. In addition, men and women have equal opportunities to engage in verification and validation of forest rights, including customary forests.