“I need to remind that for conservation forest that becomes customary law or owned forest, the conservation function must be kept, the function must not be changed.” –President RI Joko Widodo

On 30 December 2016, President Joko Widodo handed the Decree (SK) of Customary Law Acknowledgement in Istana Negara, Jakarta. Jokowi thought that if previously, this kind of decree was handed to big companies, now it is given to the community.

In Jokowi’s consideration, traditional rights acknowledgement of indigenous people means the acknowledgement of Indonesia original values in which indigenous people are able to manage the forest well, based on local wisdom so the harmonization between human and nature is created.

Previously, the determination of customary law has never been done by the government. But now, indigenous people could enjoy and also keep the archipelago’s culture through the decree of 9 customary forests by Minister of Environment and Forestry. The issuance of Customary area of Pandumaan Sipituhuta with 5.172 ha area from Consession of PT. Toba Pulp Lestari became the early step in the implementation of MK Decree 35/2012 on customary forest not state forest.

The state handed the management of 13.122 ha area of customary forests to 9 indigenous people community, namely customary forest of: 1) Rantau Kermas Village, District Merangin, Jambi; 2) Ammatoa Kajang, District Bulukumba, Sulawesi Selatan; 3) Wana Posangke, District Morowali Utara, Sulawesi Tengah; 4) Kasepuhan Karang, District Lebak, Banten; 5) Bukit Sembahyang and Padun Gelanggang, District Kerinci, Jambi; 6) Bukit Tinggai, District Kerinci, Jambi; 7) Tigo Luhah Permenti Yang Berenam, District Kerinci, Jambi; 8) Tigo Luhah Kementan, District Kerinci, Jambi; and 9) Customary forest of Pandumaan Sipituhuta, District Humbang Hasudutan, Sumatera Utara.

The inauguration and handover agenda was the government’s commitment, especially President Jokowi and The Vice President Jusuf Kalla in realizing Nawacita programme. Three agrarian commitments that will be conducted covered:

  1. Providing legal certainty of land ownership, land conflict resolution, and fighting against criminalization of reclaiming the people’s land rights
  2. Increasing the welfare of people by supporting landreform and 9 million ha land ownership programme.
  3. Creating food sovereignity through improvement and the opening of 1 million ha new ricefield.

Other than that, Siti Nurbaya as The Minister of Environment and Forestry also stated that there are important matters covered in the agenda of inauguration and handover for these customary forests.

Firstly, meeting on justification of customary forests with the background of confirmation of 9 indigenous people’s entities, and how indigenous people in the future. Secondly, the law is still the guidance for administration system and indigenous people’s rights, along with the indigenous people’s mentoring on communal rights. Thirdly, coherence in each regulation from various instrument related to indigenous people is one of national programme implemented to reduce the carbon emission in Indonesia. Fourthly, the official announcement of customary forests is a very important matter so it became national programme with most concerned from the president.

“This is a rare occasion. Long term hard work from people who supported this Decree,” –Margaretha Setting Beraan (BPH AMAN of Kalimantan Timur)

Decree of The Ministry of Environment and Forestry on the Inclusion of Customary Forest:

  • 6737/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Bukit Sembahyang dan Padun Gelanggang
  • 6738/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Bukit Tinggai
  • 6739/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Tigo Luhah Permenti
  • 6740/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Tigo Luhah Kementan
  • 6741/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Marga Serampas
  • 6742/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Amatoa Kajang
  • 6743/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Wana Posangke
  • 6744/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Inclusion of Customary Forest Kasepuhan Karang

Decree on the Appointment of Customary Forest:

  • 6745/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Appointment of Customary Forest Marga Serampas
  • 6746/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Appointment of Customary Forest Amatoa Kajang
  • 6747/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Appointment of Customary Forest Wana Posangke
  • 6748/Menlhk-pskl/kum.1/12/2016 on the Appointment of Customary Forest Kasepuhan Karang


Photo: setneg.go.id