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Jakarta Post

Indonesia pushes local governments to boost land reform program 

  • Moses Ompusunggu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, April 21, 2017   /   08:45 pm
Indonesia pushes local governments to boost land reform programĀ  A bird's eye view of an oil palm plantation in Dumai, Riau. (Antara Photo/Rony Muharrman)

The Indonesian government has urged regional administrations across the country to accelerate the implementation of the agrarian reform program by strengthening coordination with relevant agencies, an official of the Home Ministry said.

Home Ministry’s human resources development bureau head Teguh Setiabudi, said on Friday that governors and mayors had played a crucial role in supporting the program by improving their communication with related parties, such as land, forestry and housing agencies.   

“Many land conflicts are left unresolved due to the lack of coordination among the agencies that manage agrarian issues. It is better [for regional heads] to strengthen communication with relevant agencies to further efforts to resolve land conflicts,” Teguh said during a discussion on agrarian conflicts.   

(Read also: Agrarian reform to end control over land)

Locals, including tribespeople, often become entangled in land conflicts in part due to widespread double claims over land ownership, as well as forced land deprivation in support of the interest of industries such as timber and palm oil.

Teguh said land conflicts had been reported to regional heads, who had insufficient data to support the settlement process. This was partly due to the reluctance of land agencies to be transparent in providing the required data, such as right-to-cultivate permits (HGU) owned by plantation companies.

 “They [regional heads] should be given greater access to data so they can fully understand the roots of the problem regarding land conflicts,” Teguh said. (dan)

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