Indigenous Peoples and NGOs Reviewed Forestry Act

The Constitutional Court (MK) conducted the case no. 35/PUU-X/2012. The case was reviewing Act 41 of 1999 on Forestry for the first time in Plenary Session on Friday (20/4). Petitioner were Archipelago Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance (AMAN), Unity of Kuntu Indigenous Peoples, and Indigenous Peoples Unity of Kasepuhan Cisitu.

The preliminary hearings on the filed petition case was led by Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi, chairman of the panel of judges and accompanied by Achmad Sodiki and Harjono as well as members of the panel of judges. Opening the hearing, Fadlil requested Petitioner to introduce himself and anyone who attended the trial.

Petitioners Legal Counsel, Iki Dulagin introduce the present time it is, namely Abdul Haris, Sulistiono, and Andy and the Iki Dulagin Muttaqien own all of whom are lawyers applicant.

After introducing it are present in court this time, Dulagin then submit a summary of the petition. First of all, Dulaqin explained that the Indigenous People’s Unity Kenegerian Kuntu as one of the applicant derived from the Kampar regency, Riau province, represented Bustamir (Applicant 2). While the unity of society of Kasepuhan Cisitu represented by Moch. Okri from Lebak, Banten Province (applicant 3).

Furthermore Dulagin convey the subject petition memasalahkan Article 3 of the Forestry Law. According to Article 3 of the Forestry Law Dulagin ordered that the aims of forestry administration as much as possible for the prosperity of the people are equal and sustainable. But in reality, especially that experienced by the applicant, for over ten years of enactment of legislation that has been used as a tool by the state to take over union rights of indigenous people over their communal forest areas.

"Customary forest area was used as the next state forests in the name of the country it is sold, given or delivered to the owners of capital to be exploited without regard for indigenous rights and customary law community unit in the region. This leads to conflict between customary law community units with their customary forests of trustees of the new," said Dulagin.

Often, conflicts arise between indigenous and tribal peoples to forest managers who have made an entry into the indigenous forests are considered criminals. According to Petitioners, the conflicts that arise and then harm the applicant party is a sign of the Forestry Law has a worldview that is not appropriate to the unity of indigenous people over the forest area.

Against the petition, the Petitioner considers Fadlil unclear how many chapters would ask who would be tested. Applicant from the beginning just to mention some of the provisions without which the article asserted that would be tested and found to conflict with the 1945 Constitution.

While Sodiki questioned whether the Petitioner presented the problem stems from ambiguity or obscurity Forestry Law of the criteria for its own customary law. "So if that is clear and also limit baseball would be difficult to maintain that it is the customary law, anyway? In fact you can see in the Estates Act, Forestry Act, even in the Ministerial Regulation No. 599 Agrarian no signs what is called by the customary law or customary rights were. Can you see there what its terms as an area of customary law and it must show the existence of an entity which has its own organization," explained Sodiki.

Harjono focused on the legal standing of the Petitioners. "If I see here Petitioners were from several NGOs and indigenous peoples. And then, if it is the NGOs who defended indigenous peoples, then associate. Why NGOs are related to indigenous people? Is it moving in the advocacy issues of indigenous people? If then the customary law, prove that you are the indigenous people that existed, "said Harjono suggested. (Yusti Nurul Agustin / mh/

Saturday, April 21, 2012 | 22:51 WIB 176