KPA’s Advocacy on the Land Bill in Indonesia
This is the first of three posts on the work that the Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA) is doing in Indonesia. KPA is active in its campaign on policy advocacy and land conflicts.
As discussions on the Land Bill, a national priority bill in Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR RI), are now underway in Commission II, KPA is campaigning to ensure CSOs’ perspectives, especially KPA’s critical view on the draft bill, are popularized. KPA’s three main agenda with the Land Bill are: 1) advocacy on the substance of the draft Land Bill through a public hearing with DPR RI and discussions with experts; 2) national consolidation through KARAM Tanah (Coalition of Anti-Land Grabbing) and regional consolidation through regional KPA and members, and 3) campaign to expand public support.
The Land Bill is targeted by the House of Representatives to complete its discussion process and approved no later than the end of 2013. In the process of public consultation in Parliament, KPA has been invited twice by the Working Committee of Land, Commission II of DPR RI in a public hearing and consultation to give its views and inputs on the draft. In the second public hearing, KPA provided a critical view, mainly on the several chapters contained in the draft bill, which includes five major issues: state ownership rights, land registration, land rights, agrarian reform, and land dispute resolution.
Although in the second hearing with KPA, the bill has included a Chapter of Agrarian Reform and Settlement Dispute. However, in KPA’s perspective, what it refers to as agrarian reform is not a genuine agrarian reform that is based on the Basic Agrarian Law (BAL) 1960 – rather, it is merely land management. If the Commission II does not intend to implement agrarian reform as it was mandated by BAL, then KPA asks it to rename the chapter title to “land management” instead. The main target beneficiaries of the agrarian reform should be the poor, especially landless peasants/tillers (including peasants, farm workers, indigenous peoples, women, and other vulnerable groups).
As the Chapter of Dispute Settlement only sees land disputes based on legal aspects, it cannot address the structural agrarian conflict that has had massive impact and involves many victims (community), Thus, this draft bill (as per June 2013) will not be able to resolve the roots of agrarian conflict in Indonesia, i.e., the inequality of the agrarian structure.
KPA has emphasized that the Land Bill should follow the spirit of BAL 1960 in order to stop “ego-sectoral inter-department of government” (Government departments or agencies act on their own authority, with their respective law and regulations, which contradict BAL. This has resulted in overlapping mandates and claims.) Therefore the Land Bill does not replace BAL – as driven by a group/peoples in Parliament and government – but it must be more focused on operational rules on some issues not clearly regulated in BAL. The bill should be part of the solution of exsisted agrarian problem, so it should be the center of sectoral regulation, where the overlap in between sectoral laws that related with land matters are required to re-arraged, coordinated, and applied in the substantial content of the bill.
Before the public hearings, KPA also conducted a series of discussions that aim to get the latest developments in Parliament in relation to the Land Bill. On 24 April, KPA held a public discussion on the draft bill with CSOs, inviting the vice-chairman of the Land Working Committee of DPR RI. The civil society movement has discussed various views in order to formulate joint advocacy and campaign. Further, on 12 June, KPA and HuMa held a discussion with experts to get a critical assessment of the Land Bill. The experts came from KPA’s Expert Council, and several other experts from the academe.
Some of the results of the public campaign by KPA related with Land Bill can be seen through the news links below with some photos:
Public hearing of KPA with Parliament in 2013:
Public hearing of KPA with Parliament in 2012:
Other policy issue: