2013 in Review Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago

2013 in Review Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago


In 2013, Indonesia began to show favorable legal change in recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples. While a lot remains to be done, positive recognition has occurred on almost every governmental level, from the capital down to regencies. Below are highlights from the year:

A. National Level

1.    Draft Law on the Recognition and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Rancangan Undang-Undang tentang Pengakuan dan Perlindungan Hak-Hak Masyarakat Adat, RUU PPHMA)

In June 2013, the Legislation Body delivered the draft law to the House of Representatives’ Plenary Session. It was then adopted as a House initiative on 3 April 2013, making it an official bill that the House will discuss with the government. The draft law itself was initially proposed by AMAN on 2011 and submitted through a political party to the Legislation Body to be included in the 2012 National Legislation Program.

The House Chairman sent the draft law, in bill form, to the President. In June 2013, the President assigned the Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (also known the Ministry of Justice), as well the Ministry of Internal Affairs as representatives of the Government in discussing the draft law with the Special Committee previously established by the House. The assignment of both the Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has only strengthened civil society perceptions of the complex nature of natural resources disputes, often still skewed against the attempt to establish legislative clarity for, and towards, indigenous peoples.

The process of finalizing the draft law has been comparatively slow, and the Special Committee appears stalled at the stage of garnering input from various universities and other stakeholders. Despite these claims, AMAN, as the lead organization representing indigenous peoples in Indonesia and an original proponent of the bill, has yet to be invited to an audience with the Special Committee. Simultaneously, the four ministries led by the Ministry of Forestry have reacted quickly with amendments and critiques. The government is currently ready with a an inventory of prospective issues, and await the discussion schedule from the Special Committee.

Specific to substance, a number of AMAN’s initial suggestions are not accommodated in the final draft law approved by the House. The first is on the term and definition used. The current draft uses Masyarakat Hukum Adat (Customary Law Society) to align it with that used in Article 18B Paragraph (2) of The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. The constitutional clause’s recognition of indigenous peoples is limited to customary governance and justice systems in specific context to rights over territories and natural resources. Adopting the same term means that adopting a purely functional approach, whereas any legislation on indigenous peoples should combine both a functional and human rights approach. AMAN has proposed Masyarakat Adat (Indigenous Peoples) as the social reality of indigenous peoples is not  solely limited to governance and justice systems, nor to rights over land and natural resources, but also related to religion, culture and other less physically tangible aspects. AMAN argues that Article 18B Paragraph (2) should not serve as the only constitutional basis, but that Article 28I Paragraph (3) should also be utilized, providing a constitutional basis for a human rights approach that also recognizes critical rights to religion, culture, and expression.

The second issue relates to institutional governance and oversight. The current draft law assigns only the Panitia Masyarakat Hukum Adat (Committee of Traditional-Law Society) as the sole and limited authority, on an ad-hoc basis, to verify the identification of indigenous peoples on the regency, provincial and national levels. This is contrary to the institution proposed by AMAN, which draws from wider authority and is rooted in greater institutional permanence. The proposed Komisi Masyarakat Adat (Committee of Indigenous Peoples) would work also on the regency, provincial and national levels and have authority to, inter alia, verify the existence of indigenous peoples, settle conflicts between indigenous peoples and third parties, coordinate development programs, synchronize regulations related to indigenous peoples, as well as authorize research on and empowerment of indigenous peoples.

Last, but certainly not least, the current draft law doesn’t contribute to meaningful efforts to diversity the existing governance structure. Indigenous peoples and customary law are merely authorized to settle internal conflicts, and are not seen as a prospective tool or means in disputes involving third parties, including the government.

2.    Law on Village Governance

The Law on Village came into force on 18 December 2013. This law provides both opportunities and challenges for indigenous peoples. It has the potential to allow indigenous peoples to decide on the village model they find most appropriate. Indeed, the law specifically stipulates a modality termed Desa Adat (indigenous village). However, the law also potentially challenges the long-term achievement of indigenous rights by over-simplifying the reality of indigenous peoples and potentially inviting a strong backlash on indigenous rights. The Law on Villages equates indigenous villages with indigenous peoples, when the reality remains that not indigenous peoples can be categorized as belonging to, nor necessarily be part of, an indigenous village.

Furthermore, the Law on Villages was similarly drafted based on a functional approach, which superimposes a traditional government structure on all modalities of proposed village governance, including that of Desa Adat. Again, this set of legislation fails to utilize functional and human rights approaches simultaneously, thereby weakening its possibility to support the recognition, protection and advancement of indigenous peoples. Rights recognized, protected and advanced by the State should not be limited to those of governance and natural resource ownership and management, as reflected by the Law on Villages and its proposal for indigenous villages. Instead, legislation must also recognize and protect less tangible elements, including spiritual beliefs, cultures and so on.

3.    Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 in Relations to Status of Customary Forest and Its Legal Implication.

Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 drew two significant conclusions: The first relates to indigenous peoples’ rights over indigenous territories, or in this case, customary forest. Within that context, the Constitutional Court found in favor of the plaintiff (AMAN, jointly with Kasepuhan Cisitu and Kenegerian Kuntu indigenous communities). Where Article 1 Paragraph (6) of Law No. 41 Year 1999 on Forestry states “customary forest is State forest located in the areas of traditional-law society”, the Court found this contrary to Article 18B Paragraph (2) of The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia recognizing the existence of indigenous peoples and their rights, including over customary forest in their indigenous territory. Accepting the argumentation, the Constitutional Court ruled that the word “State” in the Article 1 Paragraph (6) of the Law No. 41 Year 1999 on Forestry contradicted The 1945 Constitution, thus rendering it legally void. Interpreting and enacting concrete results from the deletion of the word “State” from the paragraph remains challenging.

3.1. Response from Government to the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012

3.1.1. Circular Letter from the Ministry of Forestry No. E.1/Menhut-II/2013 on the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012

In 16 July 2013, the Ministry of Forestry issued Circular Letter No. E.1/Menhut-II/2013 on the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012, announced on 16 May 2013. This was the first response of the government to the Constitutional Court Decision regarding Customary Forest.

In Indonesia, Ministerial level circulars (surat edaran) serve as legal guidance, in addition to legislation and presidential, as well as ministerial, regulations. This circular letter was addressed to Governors, Regents, and related governmental agencies across Indonesia, and elaborates on the Constitutional Court’s ruling and legal deliberation. The circular letter failed to outline obligations of indigenous peoples to the government, rendering the implementation of the verdict to rely solely on further enactment of government policy. It further  has the potential to direct provincial and regency governments to complicate the implementation of the decision. For instance, it affirms that customary forest will be released from designation as State forest only if indigenous peoples have been recognized by local regulation. In addition, the circular letter shifts contestation over how the ruling on customary forest will be implemented from the national to local level. It is thus plausible to interpret the circular letter as an effort by the Ministry of Forestry to disentangle itself from the very forestry disputes it has caused. More problematically, shifting responsibility to the local level may render the verdict unimplemented, as local governments rarely have the legislative and financial capacities to draft local regulation. Parallel to this, the local level has also increasingly become the focus of natural resources disputes, including forest. For local governments, surrendering State Forest and reverting them back to Customary Forest means losing important revenue streams.

3.1.2. Ministry of Forestry Decree Number P.62/Menhut-II/2013 on the Amendment of Ministry of Forestry Decree Number P.44/Menhut-II/2012 on Forest Estate

This decree was issued by the Government (Ministry of Forestry) on 19 November 2013 as the second response to the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 after the Circular Letter from the Ministry of Forestry No. E.1/Menhut-II/2013. The decree is a legal response coming from the Government, and is comprised of misleading content blurring the judgment of Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 on customary forest and Constitutional Court Decision No. 45/PUU-IX/2011 on forest estate. Several mistakes are found in the decree: First, legal subject, the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 has removed customary forest from the jurisdiction of State forest and categorized it as rights forest, although it remains as forest area. This means that the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 maintains two type of rights over forest located within forest area, namely State forest and rights forest. By that construction, the decision establishes indigenous peoples as the rightful owner of customary forest as part of rights forest. Yet the Government incorrectly interprets indigenous peoples’ as legal subjects in the Ministry of Forestry Decree Number P.44/Menhut-II/2012, relegating individual and legal entities as third parties whose rights will be identified. By excluding indigenous peoples as legal subjects in Article 17 and Article 18, the decree will not identify customary forest as rights forests within forest area, and rightfully owned by indigenous peoples.

Second, the decree oversteps its authority by setting out provisions for determining the existence of indigenous peoples. The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia establishes five provisions for determining the existence of indigenous peoples. Four are stated within Article 18B Paragraph (2), and the last in Article 28I Paragraph (3). The four provisions in Article 18B Paragraph (2) are: 1) “as long as they remain in existence”, 2) “in accordance with the societal development”, 3) “in accordance with the principles of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia”, and 4) “shall be regulated by law.” The remaining one provisioned by Article 28I Paragraph (3) reads, “in accordance with the development of times and civilizations.” Even Law No.  41 Year 1999 on Forestry has only two provisions to determine indigenous peoples’ existence: 1) “if any”, and 2) “its existence is acknowledged.”

The decree outlines further provisions for determining indigenous peoples’ existence, requiring indigenous peoples to provide written or other proof.  Acceptable written proof includes a letter on the history of land issued by autonomous government, land titles, and certificate of land titles issued by the National Land Agency. Unwritten proof includes recognition by local regulation, the presence of public and social facilities, inclusion in village statistics, and consisting of at least ten houses and exceeding ten families.

It is practically difficult for indigenous peoples to meet these requirements. As one example, recognition through local regulation depends too much on the local government’s capacity, finances, and political determination to formalize recognition of indigenous peoples. The minimal requirement for the number of families and houses places a burden on communities as well.

More fundamentally, these provisions infringe upon the legal principle of conditions for exemptions and a legitimate requirement for rights, both of which should be addressed equally. Three internal technical and functional requirements are instead treated as substantive: respective statistics on forest, population and sub-district/village required by Article 24 of the Decree 24 are technical in nature. These provisions shouldn’t determine whether a right is legitimate or illegitimate. The basis for exemption from a right can only be another right, and not because of technical factors. If this logic of the Ministry of Forestry Decree continues and remains uncorrected, future precedence will use technical requirements to omit or deny fundamental rights.

3.2. Response from National Commission on Human Rights: National Inquiry

Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) argued that numerous human rights violations are caused by the absence of clarity regarding customary forest’s legal status in the Law on Forestry. Komnas HAM perceives the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 as a ruling that marks a new era of indigenous peoples’ recognition in Indonesia. Using this momentum, Komnas HAM proposed a National Inquiry on indigenous peoples’ right over customary forest within forest area. The proposal has gained support from civil society organizations, including AMAN. Support for indigenous rights over customary forest has opened space for further advocacy of indigenous peoples’ rights. The National Inquiry should involve all stakeholders from its early stage so the idea can acquire strong political legitimation and result in a certain national agreement. The central issue that must be addressed is on effectiveness, given that rights over customary forest continues to be part of a broader contest over resources for power and money: What kind of political sphere needs to be built for the National Inquiry to be conducted effectively?

3.3. Response from Local Governments
3.3.1. Bulukumba’s Local Regulation

Following the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012, the Government of Bulukumba Regency, Sulawesi Selatan province revived a long-existing initiative to draft a local regulation regarding indigenous peoples. To demonstrate their commitment, the Government of Bulukumba Regency appointed a person representing Kajang indigenous peoples, a person representing the AMAN Regional Chapter in Sulawesi Selatan province, and a person representing AMAN National Chapter in Jakarta to take part as members of the local regulation’s drafting team.

Unfortunately, the initiative came to a deadlock due to different perceptions of indigenous peoples and how to regulate these definitions. One chief difference is the Government of Bulukumba Regency’s perspective that the Kajang community is the only indigenous peoples in the regency, and thus the local regulation proposed was one that recognized and protected the Kajang indigenous community exclusively. Representatives of AMAN argued that a process of identification and verification must take place to verify that the only indigenous group in the regency is the Kajang. Hence, the necessary regulation should be one on the rights of indigenous peoples, procedure of identification, verification, the recognition’s legal form, dispute settlement, and so on. Furthermore, the local regulation should be one that covers the entire administrative area of Bulukumba Regency. The deadlock remains today. At this stage, it is necessary to conduct a seminar inviting stakeholders, academics and non-governmental organizations to establish a common understanding on indigenous peoples, and the drafting of relevant local legislation based on this.

3.4. Response from Indigenous Peoples
3.4.1. Acceleration of Indigenous Territories Mapping

By the end of 2012, 2,402,222.824 hectares of indigenous territories had been mapped using participatory methods. . AMAN, the Indonesian Network for Participatory Mapping (Jaringan Kerja Pemetaan Partisipatif, JKPP) and the Ancestral Domain Registration Agency (Badan Registrasi Wilayah Adat, BRWA) handed these maps to the Geospatial Information Agency (Badan Informasi Geospasial, BIG) and the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (Unit Kerja Presiden Bidang Pengawasan dan Pengendalian Pembangunan, UKP4) on 14 November 2012. This handover contributes to AMAN’s effort to support the State in gathering accurate data on the distribution and size of indigenous territories, in the hope that this will enable  the State to plan for future development with minimal conflict.

After the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 that was announced in May 2013, AMAN has sought to accelerate the process of indigenous territories mapping. So far, mapping has been conducted in 84 of the indigenous communities who are members of AMAN, and it expected that it hundreds of communities will follow.  Even though there isn’t  any exact number specifying the size of the territory mapped since the process was accelerated, AMAN estimates that the total size of the mapped area- including the territory detailed in the map handed to BIG and UKP4 in November 2012- amounts to six million hectares.

Indigenous territories mapping is a crucial means of addressing the lack of official data regarding the existence of indigenous peoples in Indonesia. This lack of data has led the government to unilaterally claim indigenous territories as State property, an action which is responsible for long-standing  conflict between indigenous peoples and the State, and between indigenous peoples and corporations with concession licenses issued by the Government to manage indigenous territories.

3.4.2. Plangisasi of Indigenous Territories

After the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 was delivered, indigenous communities across the Indonesian archipelago began plangisasi activities in their respective indigenous territories. Plangisasi is a colloquial term for placing a placard or banner up, and is an expression of indigenous peoples’ spirit to re-demarcate their respective indigenous territories, and to inform others that the marked area is theirs.

Plangiasasi garnered various responses. In Maluku Utara, for instance, placards erected by the indigenous peoples were removed by PT Nusa Halmahera Mineral, a mining company. In Manggarai Timur Regency, the plangisasi was opposed by the District Forestry Office. The office allegedly threatened people with arrest if they put up placards in indigenous territories claimed as State forest area. On the other hand, other local governments accepted and even supported plangisasi. This variety of response demonstrates the range of public sentiment and understanding on the Constitutional Court Decision, from perception of the decision as a threat that will decrease authority to those who see the decision as a step forward for resolving lack of clarity in land tenure in Indonesia through clarifying status of indigenous peoples’ rights over customary forest.

3.4.3. Petisi 35 for the Implementation of Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 (from now on written as MK 35) and Adoption of the Draft Law on the Recognition and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Rancangan Undang-Undang Pengakuan dan Perlindungan Hak-Hak Masyarakat Adat, RUU PPHMA)

The slow response of the Government to the MK 35 Ruling, in terms of carrying it through to implementation, can be perceived as demonstrating an intention to continue denying indigenous peoples’ rights over their indigenous territories, including their customary forestsforests. Further evidence of this can be found in a circular letter issued by the Ministry of Forestry deemed as an attempt to extend demarcation between customary forest and State forest. Meanwhile, the parliamentary discussion on RUU PPHMA has also been stagnant, although its adoption is a critical step that the House of Representatives mustmust take in order to start the reconciliation process between indigenous peoples and the State, as well as to prevent conflict to expand in the future.

In the light of these issues, AMAN’s General Meeting on October 2013 launched a movement to urge the implementation of MK 35 and the adoption of RUU PPHMA, named Petisi 35 (Petition 35). Petisi 35 aims to acquire 35 million signatures build public support to urge the Government to immediately implement MK 35. It targets 35 million signatures.

B. On Local Level

1. Local Regulation of Malinau Regency

In 2012, Komnas HAM and AMAN facilitated the drafting process of the Local Regulation on the Recognition and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Malinau Regency, which was then adopted as Malinau Regency Regulation Number 12 Year 2012. In 2013, Malinau Regency’s Regional House of Representatives requested AMAN to facilitate the drafting process of two local regulations, respectively, on Indigenous Institutions, and on the Protection of Potential Agricultural Land for Food for Indigenous Peoples in Malinau Regency. AMAN complied and in December 2013, the Regional House of Representatives adopted both drafts as Malinau Regency’s Local Regulations.

The Local Regulation on Indigenous Institutions enables institutions of indigenous peoples in the Malinau Regency to strengthen indigenous governance and justice systems, settle disputes, and provide a sphere for the local government to conduct activities for the empowerment and strengthening of indigenous institutions. Moreover, the regulation supports an Indigenous Council, whose functions and authority includes conflict resolution between indigenous institutions, proposing development coherent with indigenous values, and conducting research and providing recommendations to local government.

The Local Regulation on the Protection of Potential Agricultural Land for Food for Indigenous Peoples provides opportunities for indigenous peoples to freely use, protect, and preserve edible plants in use for generations, and often unfamiliar to mainstream society. The regulation guarantees food security for indigenous peoples, clarifying the basis for indigenous land use and ownership, and limiting reassignment of agricultural land. As well, it obliges local government to, inter alia, identify indigenous peoples’ land utilized to ensure food security, and take necessary steps to defend land not only food security, but also food sovereignty for indigenous peoples in Malinau Regency.

II. Conflict over Indigenous Territories

It can be said that  2013  was a landmark year in the history of the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples in Indonesia as it saw the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 on the judicial review of Law No. 41 Year 1999 on Forestry, and the adoption of RUU PPHMA as the House of Representatives’ Initiative Bill. Yet despite these important events, indigenous peoples in Indonesia continue to face conflicts of territory, land and natural resources. The absence of well-conducted FPIC (free, prior, and informed consent) processes has resulted in repeated invasions and grabbing of indigenous territories over generations. The impact of this is clear when one realizes that the land that is being taken away is the main source of indigenous peoples’ livelihood. Indigenous peoples aren’t given the option to reject projects to be carried out on their territory, even though those projects potentially affect their lives in various ways. Indigenous peoples are not provided with a space or a means to pursue dialog with the government, or with private parties that obtain concession licenses to manage indigenous territories. Those who oppose these developments will face an oppressive reaction from the government, in most cases supported by security forces, either the military or the police. Land grabbing continues in the name of development.

During 2013, AMAN accepted hundreds of cases relating to the grabbing of land and natural resources owned and managed by indigenous peoples for generations. After analyzing each case, AMAN followed up with 143 of them by taking actions ranging from reporting to the National Commission on Human Rights, advocating on behalf of victims, defending victims before the court, and protesting to relevant government agencies and other parties.

A particular incident worth mentioning is the arrest of eleven indigenous people and the eviction of 378 indigenous families in Bengkulu and Kalimantan Selatan provinces. These actions were carried out using the Law on Prevention and Eradication of Forest Degradation which was legalized on 6 August 2013, just three months after the Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012 was announced.

Hundreds of other cases are not documented in detail because  they were reported just through letters, text messages and phonecalls. These cases usually occur in indigenous communities  lacking alternative means of communication. Inadequate documentation is aggravated by the weak capacity of these communities to document cases to understand  dispute settlement. In this situation, therefore, indigenous peoples are vulnerable parties, without access to justice.

Following are several prominent cases recorded by AMAN in 2013:

Datu Pekasa in West Nusa Tenggara.
The arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Edi Kuswanto, known as Datu Pekasa. This case demonstrates the regressive impact of the of Law No. 41 Year 1999 on Forestry. Datu Pekasa was imprisoned for one year on the accusation that he cut trees down and, hence, violated the Law. A case review couldn’t be pursued because the MK 35 is not deemed as a novum that can cancel a court decision. Datu Pekasa was released on 23 December 2013.

Companies Taking Over Aru Island in Maluku province.
Aru Island is one of the many small islands in Indonesia. Since 2007 the island has been under threat from PT Menara Group, a consortium comprising of 28 subsidiaries. In 2012, the Regent of Aru Island issued a principle license, location license and recommendation as the business basis for PT Menara Group’s sugarcane plantation. This was then followed by recommendations issued by the Governor of Maluku during 2011. Based on the license given to the company, the size of the land licensed for the sugarcane plantation is up to 484,493 hectares, or about three-quarters of the total width of Aru Island, and covers about 90 negeri (villages). The remaining parts of the island, including corals and mangrove forest, are not suitable for settlements. To smoothen its operation, PT Menara Group deliberately recruited surveyors from several negeri and was guarded by the Navy which prompted intimidation on indigenous peoples. In October 2013 a conflict emerged between Negeri Marfenfen and Negeri Feruni, which was allegedly provoked by PT Menara Group. The presence of conflict can be conveniently used by the company to request protection from the security forces.

Invasion of Suku Anak Dalam in Jambi Province by PT. Asiatic Persada, supported by Military and Police Troops.
At the start of December 2013 265 houses and huts of Suku Anak Dalam (SAD) indigenous community in Padang Salak, Jambi province were destroyed by PT Asiatic Persada, an oil palm plantation company, with assistance from the police, military and security guards. Five hundred people were forced to flee to the pavilion of the Governor’s Office while another  18 people were arrested. For several days the whereabouts of all of the members of SAD community  were unknown, especially those in Padang Salak who became disorganized after the attack of military, mobile brigade and PT Asiatic Persada. Some people came to Jakarta to seek  justice by reporting the case to Komnas HAM.

Forced Eviction of the indigenous Semende from a National Park in Bengkulu Province.
Between the 21-24 December 2013, members of the Semende Banding Agung indigenous community in Bengkulu province were forcibly evicted from their land. They inhabited a forested area that was claimed as a National Park. The Minister of Forestry, through the Office of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan, TNBBS), forcefully evicted 380 families. For three days, the indigenous peoples were beaten, verbally abused and threatened with gunshot, their possessions damaged and seized, and houses were burned down.. Four people were arrested. As a result of this action 600 people are in danger of starvation and hundreds of children are at risk of losing their education. A pre-trial suit filed by 15 advocates from the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago Defenders Association (Perhimpunan Pembela Masyarakat Adat Nusantara, PPMAN) was rejected by the Judge. The history and origin of the Semende Dusun Lamo Banding Agung is marked by the graves of their  ancestors, such as Puyang Dago, Puyang Sri Dewi, Puyang Depati Mance Negara and Puyang Puyang H. Rahman. Another significant item is, an original letter issued by the Administration of Dutch East Indies through the District Head of Kewidanaan Kaur on the appointment of the Depati (village chief) of Dusun Banding Agung dated 22 August 1891 and a Letter on Managing Dusun Banding Agung’s Customary Land (Ulu Benullah) dated 5 September 1950. As of now, four people remain jailed in Kaur Resort Police. They are sentenced on the grounds of violating of Article 92 Paragraph (1) Letter (a) and Letter (b) of Law No. 18 Year 2013 on Prevention and Eradication of Forest Degradation.

III. Recommendations

Government’s strong control over indigenous territories in Indonesia and the State’s weak protection of indigenous peoples through regulations, whether national or local,  are roots of problems indigenous peoples have been facing. A lot of legislations in Indonesia actually contradict The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. One of them is Law on Forestry that has been judicially reviewed by the Constitutional Court for at least eight times.

While in the other hand, a few legislations establishing recognition and protection of indigenous peoples are unable to be well implemented instead due to overlapping. Another acute problem is indication of state institutions’ deviated behaviour toward indigenous peoples’ issues. Some ministries, particularly ones related to land, territories and natural resources facilitating extractive industries, look more powerful compared to those taking care of empowerment, culture and human rights. Maintaining overlapping sectoral regulations contradicts The 1945 Constitution and denying public demand pulls indigenous peoples further away from justice.

Therefore, Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago urges:

  1. The House of Representatives to immediately legalize RUU PPHMA to be a law to ensure comprehensive protection and recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples. This may be done by integrating standards of indigenous peoples’ rights established by international instruments of human rights, including UNDRIP, ILO 169 and CERD.
  2. The House of Representatives to revise Law No. 41 Year 1999 on Forestry in accordance with Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012.
  3. The Government to review, revoke and revice policies or regulations contradicting Constitutional Court Decision No. 35/PUU-X/2012.
  4. The Government to immediately take strategic steps to address and settle conflicts involving indigenous peoples by ensuring complete participation of indigenous peoples. This included establishing border and renegotiating concessions within indigenous territories.
  5. The Government to immediately take strategic steps to prevent new conflicts by postponing issuance of license on indigenous territories until there is a clarity about border between State forest and customary forest.
  6. The Government and indigenous peoples to accelerate indigenous territories mapping to identify the existence of indigenous peoples in Indonesia along with their indigenous territories.
  7. Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) to immediately verify result of mapping conducted by indigenous peoples for the purpose of establishing border of indigenous peoples’ territories.

Tinggalkan Balasan