Decades of advocacy open the door for implementation and recognition of the land and forest rights of Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples. Since the fall of Suharto’s regime in 1998, the Indigenous Peoples of Indonesia have achieved significant policy and legal breakthroughs in the struggle for the recognition of their collective land rights. This struggle culminated in the May 2013 Constitutional Court Ruling, which declared that the state had wrongly appropriated customary forests and should return them to indigenous communities.
Yet after years of reforms at the constitutional and legislative level, the majority of Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples remain without legal recognition, and there has been little progress on the ground in recognizing indigenous lands. The political environment changed radically with the 2014 elections, which created space for AMAN and the Tenure Facility to dramatically extend the legal recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, as well as protection of these rights on the ground.
The Tenure Facility’s 30-month pilot project, which ended in 2017, advanced tenure security over more than 1.5 million hectares of land and forest. Moreover, it mobilized support at the national and district levels to capitalize on the current political momentum to accelerate legal recognition and protection of the tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples in Indonesia. It facilitated creation of an enabling environment for greater tenure security that will in the long term contribute to the development of win-win-win solutions between responsible private sector companies, indigenous communities, and the government in Indonesia. It linked directly to President Joko Widodo’s pre-election presidential vision and mission “Nawa Cita,” which contained six actions for protecting and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The project strengthened all six, and supported the legislative process to enact the Bill on the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples. It aligned with the land tenure and forest policy reforms detailed in the roadmap produced at the 2011 Lombok Conference, as well as REDD+, FLEGT, and SDG objectives.
Building on the successful Tenure Facility pilot initiative, three organizations have joined forces to upscale the implementation of tenure rights and agrarian reform throughout Indonesia. Launched in November 2019, the initiative is called ‘Accelerating agrarian reform and recognition of indigenous territory in Indonesia.’
To learn more about the pilot project and the current Tenure Facility initiative, click on the links below.