Indonesian development policies have for the past several decades focused on rapid economic growth, without a targeted strategy to benefit the least powerful groups, such as landless and land-poor agricultural laborers in the densely populated agricultural districts and the equally poor forest-dwelling communities in the less populated islands.
7 December 2017
- In August, the village of Taba Padang in southwest Sumatra was recognized by the Indonesian government for practicing the best community-based forestry management this year.
- Less than a decade ago, however, many of its residents were being arrested for planting in a nearby forest, deemed off-limits because of its protected status.
- In 2010, newly elected village chief Yoyon embarked on a years-long process to obtain state approval to allow the farmers to manage nearly 10 square kilometers of land in the forest.
14 November 2017
- Indonesian President Joko Widodo last month gave several indigenous communities back the land rights to the forests they have called home for generations.
- The total amount of customary forests relinquished to local groups under this initiative remains far short of what the government has promised, and looks unlikely to be fulfilled before the next presidential election in 2019.
- At a recent conference in Jakarta, a senior government official said the president would sign a decree to help more communities secure rights.
4 September 2017
A small community on the island of Sumatra is at the heart of a battle for traditional territories that could finally resolve the muddled and exploitative system of laws governing land ownership in Indonesia