Urgent action is needed to halt the takeover of indigenous peoples’ lands for megaprojects in forested provinces like Kalimantan and Papua in Indonesia. The destruction of forests and rivers is undermining local indigenous livelihoods, and destroying ancestral lands. Between 40 and 70 million people in rural Indonesia depend on access to lands and resources, including water for drinking and sanitation, protected by customary laws.
7th July 2015: In a recent meeting with the national indigenous peoples’ alliance (AMAN), the Indonesian President vowed to support the Bill on the Recognition and Protection of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, which has languished in the legislature for several years. He also committed to setting up a Task Force on Indigenous Peoples and promised to release indigenous persons unfairly criminalized for pursuing their livelihoods.
Following high profile cases of police violence and killings of rural people protesting land grabs, a new alliance of rural people - indigenous peoples, farmers, workers and landless people as well as supportive NGOs - is demanding the repeal of laws which allow the State to expropriate people's lands and resources in favour or large businesses. They are also demanding the passing of new laws that secure the people's rights in land and ensure ecological justice, through agrarian reforms and the recognition of indigenous peoples' rights.