Sustainable management of natural resources in Indonesia is negatively affected by overlapping land permits, with local governments, companies, local populations and indigenous people simultaneously claiming the same land. In East Kalimantan, the government has identified several nature reserve areas, but in the same area there are vast coal deposits, oil palm plantation sites and timber, gas, oil and coal extraction companies. Beyond this, local communities claim ownership of land based on historic or customary rights. The extensive decentralization of land authority adds to the complexity, with vague regulations, competition between government institutions in issuing permits and exclusion of local populations. Dispute resolution mechanisms lack clarity and fairness, which restricts the ability of local governments to settle overlapping concessions or deal with non-compliance of license holders.
The Balikpapan-based NGO Prakarsa Borneo, in cooperation with the University of Balikpapan and the University of Amsterdam, is implementing a project to strengthen the capacity of district and provincial governments, civil society organizations and indigenous people for accountable and participatory law making and law enforcement in relation to natural resource management. The project is funded through the Indonesia-Netherlands Rule of Law Fund of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jakarta, which is managed by IDLO.
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