Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on Distribution of Decrees on Customary Forests, Social Forests and Land Objects for Agrarian Reform (TORA) Thursday, 7 January 2021 at the State Palace, Jakarta

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 7 Januari 2021
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

Good afternoon,

May prosperity be upon us all,

Om Swastiastu,

Namo Buddhaya,

Greetings of virtue.

Distinguished Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet,

Distinguished Governors who are present virtually along with all regional leaders,

Distinguished echelon I and echelon II officials at Ministry of the Environment and Forestry,

Distinguished recipients of decree on social forests, customary forests, and land for agrarian reform objects (TORA),

Ladies and Gentlemen.

In the last five years, the Government has paid a special attention to asset redistribution. Why? This is related to poverty. This is related to economic disparity, especially which occurs in rural areas and forests’ surrounding areas. Asset redistribution is also the answer to many agrarian disputes. I have seen numerous areas with land disputes and land conflicts. Therefore, this will be the answer to the existing agrarian disputes, be it between communities and companies or between communities and the Government.

Therefore, the Government will continue to implement asset redistribution through social forests policy and agrarian reform. Today, 2,929 Decrees of Recognition of Social Forests covering 3,442,000 hectares of land are distributed to the people around the country. We hope it can bring benefits to 651,000 households. In addition, 35 decrees of customary forests for 37,500 hectares of land and 58 decrees of land objects for agrarian reform (TORA) for 72,000 hectares of land in 17 provinces are also distributed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have mentioned this numerous times. I do not want to just distribute the decree. I will continue to check and ensure that the lands are really used for productive activities, not neglected, but continues to be developed so that it will bring great benefits for our economy, for the people’s economy. That is the goal. Once again, the Government does not just issue the decree. I have also ordered the recipients to formulate the business aspect. After all of you receiving the decree, use it for productive economic activities that are also environmentally friendly. Do not hand it over to someone else. Be careful. I will follow up later even from my office in Jakarta.

I also urge the recipients to plant productive crops that have economic values with the characteristics in each area. There are a lot of commodities that can be developed, not only agroforestry, but also ecotourism business. I have seen several villages, provinces, districts / cities that have started the ecotourism business and it sells really well.

Meanwhile, some people have already started to develop agrosilvopastura, bioenergy and non-timber forest products business. You can choose which one is suitable according to the characteristics of each province and region, including the people’s wood industry business. Nowadays, many are planting either sengon, albizia or acacia. Do plant them all, but first do calculate which one is more profitable.

I order Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs to assist these social forestry business groups for the capital, especially to People’s Business Credit (KUR) as it involves a very large area of land. For those living in the villages, I order Minister of Villages and Development of Disadvantaged Areas and Transmigration to assist them using the village funds for things that are beneficial to the villages. The Government has increased the budget ceiling for the KUR to Rp190 trillion. The interest has also been reduced to 6 percent per year. In my opinion, this should be very feasible. Apart from capital, I also urge regional governments to provide assistance to existing business groups on matters ranging from management to technology.

I think if these methods are implemented, we will be able to reap huge benefits at some point in the future. Therefore, I ask for policy breakthroughs that are consolidated and integrated between ministries, central, provincial and regency / city governments so that this social forestry program will bring a significant impact on economic equality and on the economic justice of our people, without disturbing the function of the forest and its ecosystem. So, the forest can be maintained and the people can get the benefits.

That concludes my remarks.

I am pleased I can hand over the decree on social forests and customary forests and the Government hopes that the benefits will really be felt by the people.

Thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (EW/MEP)

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