Let Masyarakat Adat Access their Land

The Masyarakat Adat (Indigenous Peoples) living in and around the forest are mostly in a destitute condition. Their forest resource, where they attached their livelihood with, has been converted into plantation and can not provide a decent livelihood. WARSI recorded that Jambi has 441 households of the Orang Rimba living in oil palm plantations namely, PT. Sari Aditya Loka, Astra Group in Merangin and Sarolangun Districts, PT Bahana Karya Semesta (SMART) Sarolangun district, PT Kresna Duta Agroindo (SAMRT) Sarolangun District, PT Sawit Harum Makmur, Citra Sawit Harum (Harum Group) in Bungo District and PT Satya Kisma Usaha (SMART) in Bungo District.

In addition, 230 households are within the concession of Industrial Timber Plantation with large scale such as PT Agronusa Alam Sejahtera in Sarolangun, PT Hijau Artha Nusa in Merangin, PT Malaka Agro Perkasa in Bugo District, PT Mugitriman Internasional in Bungo District, PT. Tebo Multi Agung in Tebo and PT Lestari Asri Jaya in Tebo.

“Up to now, the groups of the Orang Rimba are lying under the company’s concession in a very apprehensive condition and future,” said Sukmareni, the coordinator of communication of KKI WARSI.

 Moreover, the groups within the concession are very vulnerable to various social conflicts, either with the villager or companies. WARSI noted that such conflicts led to death toll of 18 populations of the Orang Rimba in the last 20 years.

“The government should come to protect the Orang Rimba by providing them a legal access to land management which multi parties recognize,” Reni added.

Without any certainty on land management for the Orang Rimba, the social conflict would keep happening and the Orang Rimba will always be the most disadvantaged groups in every conflict arose. Therefore, Reni stated that the government should be aware of and prioritizing this masyarakat adat. Should the agrarian reform incessantly carried out focuses and targets the vulnerable groups, particularly indigenous peoples where they attach their livelihood with forest resources.

The indigenous tribes can not anticipate the rapid change on the resources, so they became more marginal even lost their chance as the citizenship to live properly in Indonesia.

Agrarian reform program is the right solution for their sustainable livelihood by re-distributing the land they used to live in. Without this solution, the Orang Rimba and other indigenous tribes will only be a history. “That means the state lets the ethnocide in indigenous tribe.” He said.

Therefore, this is the right moment for the state to decrease land conflict. “Provide them an access to their land, protect and make them part of Indonesia,” he added.

To make a comparable data, Jambi has 732,713 ha of active Industrial Timber Plantation (HTI) and 67,140 logging concession area. In addition, there are 404,840.5 ha of palm oil plantation in a big scale belong to powerful groups in collaboration with Trans National Corporate’s (TNCs) company supported by the international banks.

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