Semarang - The Executive Office of the President (KSP) has directly mediated an acceleration of land disputes in Central Java, showcasing a long standing commitment towards land conflict resolution in the country.
Recently, the KSP team has processed the redistribution of 154 hectare of land for 1,294 families living within or in surrounding forest areas in Kenteng and Candi Village, Bandungan District, Semarang regency, Central Java. The whole process is expected to be finished by September. It marks the end of years-long struggle which started in 2000.
With the certificate of land ownership, millions of poor rural communities will have the legal certainty to extract the benefits from those lands in order to improve their livelihoods and help ensure a brighter future for their children.
“The President gave us a mandate to ensure the people’s well-being in the post land redistribution process,” said the Deputy Chief of Staff for Human Development, Abetnego Tarigan.
Environment and Forestry Ministry Regulation No 7/2021 - a derivative of the Job Creation Law - stipulated that settlements in forest areas including those on the Java islands can be redistributed through the forest areas setting scheme.
The Executive Office of the President (KSP) also said that a strong collaboration between Central government and regional leaders would further advance the resolution process.
The KSP Team also directly monitored and oversaw the acceleration of agrarian reform in Pemalang Regency, specifically in Karanganyar Village, Bantarbolang Village and Simpur Village.
The residents of two former villages expected the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to grant ownership for their homes which were located in the forest areas.
Most of the residents in those villages are hourly-paid laborers, parking attendants, and motorcycle taxi drivers who have lived in this village since the 1950s and the land they live in has been passed down from generation to generation.
"We want to immediately improve road access in Bantarbolang village, but this is difficult to be done since villagers living in forest areas have yet to receive any legal assurance of their homes," added Dyah, Head of Bantarbolang Village.
Through the Government Regulation No. 23/2021 on the Forestry Administration, the lawmakers initiated the Social Forestry program to solve the conflict over lands in forest areas. The regulation allows the local community to gain benefits from the forest resources in order to improve their welfare and livelihood.
Simpur Village in Belik District, Kab. Pemalang, is one of the Social Forestry areas since 2017 and is now rich with pineapple, silk trees, and durian - for a profitable market.
KSP also praised Simpur Village as an example, proof of the government's hard work in agrarian reform.
"The government's message is clear. The usage of land must pay attention to environmental welfare and forest preservation," Abetnego said to the residents of Simpur Village.