Articles

President Jokowi Calls for More Attention to Indigenous Peoples


25 March 2017

 

translated by Wimar Witoelar
President Jokowi Calls for More Attention to Indigenous Peoples

President Joko Widodo constantly encourages the Draft Law on Indigenous Peoples to be completed by the parliament. This draft law is hoped to provide the legal umbrella for the rights of indigenous peoples in cooperation with the government. This was communicated by the President during a discussion with  AMAN in the state palace, Jakarta, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

The President states, "As for the Law on Indigenous Peoples, I think this was the initiative of the parliament. I have already asked the government to keep pressing that the issue is finalized soonest and I heard that it's already included in the National Legislative Program of 2017 because it's also relevant to the needs of the government in finalizing problems primarily those having to do with territory." 
"The legal umbrella, when completed, will make things much faster," says the President. On a number of occasions, President Joko Widodo often expresses his commitment for the state to be present in supporting the community specifically in supporting the rights of the Indigenous Peoples to manage their forests administratively and sustainably. 
In this discussion he insisted that the government make its best effort to speed up the recognition of indigenous forests. "Now social forests which are still in process amount to 590.000 hectares. I have already instructed the ministries to act swiftly in distributing the land. I know that this is right of the indigenous peoples. If we give the rights to the indigenous peoples, I'm sure that the forests will be better kept and more green. I saw this myself in the field," says the President.
Because of this, to the officers and members of AMAN who were present during the discussion, President Joko Widodo requests that indigenous peoples give time to the President and his deputies to solve the problems that are faced by indigenous peoples in relation to land management. He also hopes that the parliament will soon approve the draft of the Indigenous Peoples Law. 
"Yesterday I protested to the Minister of Environment and Forestry that the recognition of indigenous peoples was achieved at a modest level in December. What is the reason? Well, because there are some regulatory matters which have to be followed by the ministry. "But trust me that I will push the process forward," Jokowi said.
Furthermore the head of state asures the indigenous peoples that he is keeping his commitment to entrust the social forest to indigenous peoples. Government does not want to continue handing over the rights to groups or companies of large size. "Until this moment I have never had the occasion to award hundreds of thousands of hectares  to large companies. I have repealed some permits by withdrawing those that are not used productively. For instance yesterday there were 12.7 million hectares," he says.
Besides giving recognition to the rights of indigenous peoples, the government is also certain that this is not enough. Other needs which are due to be fulfilled for the indigenous peoples such as those enjoyed by urban companies are mentioned by the President as worthy of attention.
"I think that these are not only matters that pertain to land but also to the process of strengthening a program, for instance, the provision of clean water, health access, nutrition improvement, and access in education and finance and capital. I think all of these are very much needed in strengthening indigenous peoples who reside in our provinces," he says.
Hence the President wishes similar discussions to be conducted going forward. He wants to hear and know more about the developments and progress in the field about resolution of conflicts faced by indigenous peoples. "I thank the presence of all of you in the Presidential Palace, I would like for a routine meeting to be held every three or four months to evaluate the progress so that we can decide to simplify regulatory processes. Especially in following up what we have discussed in the past." 
At the end of the event the president posed for pictures and shook hands with all the members of AMAN who also represent all of the provinces of Indonesia. Along with the President, there was also the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, the Chief of Staff of the President Teten Masduki, the Chairman of the AMAN Council Hein Namotemo, and Secretary General of AMAN Rukka Sombolinggi. 
Jakarta, March 22 2017
Head of the Press, Media, and Information
of the Presidential Secretary
Bey Machmudin
Notes from Mina Susana Setra, AMAN. President Joko Widodo also said:
1. Congratulates the election of the Secretary General of AMAN and the AMAN national council and apologizes for not being able to attend KMAN V.
2. Supports the acceleration of the Draft Law for  Indigenous Law with the promise to provide the Presidential Letter for transmission for the parliament.
3. Requests the Ministry of Home Affairs to push the acceleration of the decision letters on indigenous peoples and requests the indigenous peoples to push for the acceleration of Regional Supreme Court Resolutions since these resolutions will speed up the process to return the land of indigenous communities. 
4. At this moment, there are 18 letters being proposed for new indigenous forests in continuation of those done in December. More will be issued but there are numerous obstacles in regulations which have to be completed. 
5. Forests are in better shape when managed by indigenous peoples and the President has witnessed this directly. 
6. Refrain from conflict in the field giving the government time to release more land and take care of regulatory problems. 
7. If the Task Force is still needed, let it be formed quickly.  The Task Force will help the verification process of lands to be released. The more land area verified the better.
8. Ensure access by the indigenous peoples to health, education, economy, and empower indigenous peoples in remote areas.
9. The President plans to hold routine meetings every three to four months for updating and coordination.
n
notes from from Mina Susana Setra, AMAN:
1. The President congratulates the election of the Secretary General of AMAN and the AMAN national council and apologize for not being able to attend KMAN V.
2.The President supports the acceleration of the Draft Law for  Indigenous Law with the promise to provide the Presidential Letter for transmission for the parliament.
3. The President  requests the Ministry of Home Affairs to push the acceleration of decision of indigenous letters and request the indigenous peoples to push for the acceleration of Regional Supreme Court Resolutions. And since these resolutions will speed up the process to return the land of indigenous communities. 
4. At this moment, there are 18 letters being proposed for new indigenous forests in continuation of those done in December. The President will issue more but there are a lof of obstacles in regulations which have to be completed. 
The President further stated:
5. Forests are in better shape when managed by indigenous peoples and the President has witnessed this directly. 
6. Refrain from conflict in the field with the government time to release more land and take care of regulatory problems. 
7. If the Satgas is still needed, let it be formed quickly. Satgas can help the verification process of lands to be released. The more land area verified the better.
8. Make sure access the indigenous peoples to health, education, economy, and empower indigenous poeples in remote areas.
9. We plan to hold routine meetings every three to four months for updating and coordination.
These are the notes on the meeting between the President and AMAN

 

 

Print article only

0 Comments:

« Home