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TRIBUNPALU.COM – Agrarian Conflicts in the Palm Oil Industry continue to surface in various regions in Indonesia amidst the government’s efforts to develop investment and the economy.
The operation of Palm Oil companies without the Right to Cultivate (HGU) often triggers conflicts with the community, whereas as long as the company has a Plantation Business License (IUP), it has the right to operate.
“”Plantation Law 39/2014 article 42 explicitly regulates that the condition for farming is to have an IUP or HGU, then it was changed by the Constitutional Court Decision No. 138/2015 to have an IUP and HGU,”” said Forestry Law Expert of Veteran National Development University Hotman Sitorus released by the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) to TribunPalu.com, Sunday (22/10/2023).
“But it must be understood that the Constitutional Court’s decision only applies to companies whose IUPs were issued after the 2015 Constitutional Court decision. As for companies whose IUPs were issued before the 2015 Constitutional Court decision, it is sufficient to have an IUP,” Hotman Sitorus added.
Hotman explained that there is a long process in making HGU.
After the issuance of the location permit (ILOK) and then followed by the IUP issuance process, by law all parties who previously owned the land no longer have rights and the rights have been transferred to the IUP owner.
“If the land was previously owned by the community, then later the company has an IUP, it means that the company has carried out its obligations to the previous owner, namely by paying compensation so that the company then follows up on ILok to become HGU,” explained Hotman.
Furthermore, Hotman also highlighted various cases of agrarian conflict caused by chaos due to the large number of Land Ownership Letters (SKT) owned by the community.
According to him, SKT issued by the village government must be disciplined because it not only has implications for the longer process of land conversion, but it is feared that it will also trigger conflicts between communities.
“I have heard that in several cases of oil palm plantations in Central Sulawesi, the process of making HGU has dragged on for dozens of years because SKT continues to emerge. In one case there was an SKT issued for 16,000 ha on 7,200 ha of land? This must be questioned as to its ownership status!” Hotman emphasized.
In line with Hotman, Chairman of the Legal Division of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (Gapki) Muhtar Tanong assessed the need for firm and quick steps in resolving the agrarian issues of Palm Oil plantations in Central Sulawesi.
According to him, there are two things that must be finalized in land conversion.
First, whether the land is another use area (APL) which is usually owned by the community, then the BPN is authorized to issue the certificate after the process with the community is completed.
Second, if the land was originally included in the forest area, then the forestry is authorized.
“If it is said that the community owns the land, we must see whether the ownership is in the form of SHM, Girik or customary recognition? This must be clear with legal measurements,” said Muhtar Tanong.
“If the community cannot show legal ownership, it is likely that what they own is not the land, but something that is on it, for example the plants, buildings and this could be the land owned by the state.”
Muhtar said the government must be able to immediately resolve agrarian conflicts before the issuance of ILOK in order to provide options to investors.
“Whether the investor wants to pay for the land that already has rights or if the community does not want to release it, then it will be excluded from the ilok which is used as a proposal for the issuance of HGU,” Muhtar explained.
Gapki Sulawesi Chairman Dony Yoga in his speech ensured the commitment of Palm Oil industry players operating in Sulawesi to comply with applicable regulations and continue to contribute to the community and development of the Sulawesi region.
For this reason, Dony hopes that there is a comprehensive understanding by all stakeholders related to the law on various issues of Oil Palm plantations in Sulawesi so that there can be constructive discussions between parties.(*)