Civil Society in North Sumatera and KPA (Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria) Discussed Perpres 86/2018


The emergence of Presidential regulations (Perpres) No. 86/2018 concerning Agrarian Reform took place on September 27th  2018. It attracted the attention of elements of civil society to consolidate and discuss. On thursday, November 22th 2018, the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) together with KPA member organizations or farmer groups, and civil society elements in North Sumatra who are concerned about pushing the agrarian reform agenda to hold discussions related to Perpres 86/2018 on Jalan STM Ujung, Gang Suka Eka No. 45 A Medan.

Harun Nuh, one of the KPA (Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria) National Councils moderated the discussion. Dewi Kartika (KPA General Secretary) gave presentation, how the agrarian reform has been implemented by the Government and the presence of Presidential Regulation 86/2018. Dewi explained that since RA was a national priority, the achievements of government reforms included: From the target of legalizing land for transmigration to 0.6 million hectares, only 32,820 hectares (5.47%) were reached yet. Then the target of 3.9 million hectares of new asset (certification) legalization reached 655,605 hectares (16.9%). While the land redistribution of 0.4 million hectares of abandoned land and ex-concession  has reached 188,295 hectares (47%) . The object of land redistribution from the release of forest areas that targets the redistribution of 4.1 million hectares, the implementation is nothing.

Perpres 86/2018 was put into place during the 58th Hari Tani Nasional (National Peasant Day) celebration as well as the opening of the 2018 Global Land Forum (GLF). KPA considered that this Presidential Regulation was a step forward to solve the implementation problem of agrarian reform. This Regulation can be opportunity to campaign and enlarge the agrarian reform movement , legal opportunities and breakthroughs to improve the implementation of agrarian reform. Then it can be a reinforcement of the proposed subject and object of RA from the community, as a binder of the commitment of the provincial and district / city governments to immediately implement agrarian reform. In addition, this Perpres can also be seen as an instrument for accelerating the Location of the Priority of Agrarian Reform (LPRA). As well as this Perpres can be used as an entrance for community participation or peasant unions in the implementation of agrarian reform, both at the central and regional levels.

The presence of this Perpres could be an opportunity for civil society.  Civil society can propose agrarian reform objects from abandoned lands, ex-concession, 20% of concession, forest areas that have been designated as non-forest areas, arising land, and so on.  Especially, for civil society groups that have occupied and controlled ex-HGU lands, this regulation became the basis for land tenure protection that had been occupied.

However, Dewi Kartika also said that the institutions in Perpres 86/2018 is still using the previous institutional implementation model, in which the Economic Coordinating Minister was leading the agrarian reform agenda. According to her, the Economic Coordinating Minister does not have a firm bargaining position to resolve the inter-ministerial egosectoral, among others, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the ATR/BPN (Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning), Kementerian Kelautan dan Perikanan (Marine and Fisheries Ministry), Kementerian Desa (Village Ministry), and so on.

Egosectoral disputes  between ministries is the reason why the government has not yet released and resolved land issues in the conflict area. Therefore, KPA together with members in North Sumatra saw a gap between policy targets and implementation in the field and proposed the Location of Priority Agrarian Reform (LPRA). LPRA intends to answer the gap between the policy targets on paper and the implementation of government work in the field.

Civil society were not explicitly involved in the Agrarian Reform Task Force (Gugus Tugas Reforma Agraria/GTRA) team as intended by Presidential Regulation 86/2018. “currently KPA is encouraging representatives of civil society to be included in both national, provincial and district levels.” Dewi said.

In North Sumatra, one week after the issuance of Presidential Regulation 86/2018, various elements of civil society in North Sumatra, who are members of Secretariat for Agrarian Reform (SEKBER RA) of North Sumatra have discussed, consolidated and held a press conference on November 8th 2018. Several KPA member organizations and farmer groups were also involved. The encouragement of civil society in North Sumatra is to criticize where indigenous peoples are not involved in the agrarian reform agenda, and urge the government to involve elements of civil society to be involved in the provincial and district/city GTRA teams.

Marihot Gultom, Futasi’s leader said that Perpres 86/2018 is an opportunity for people to get land. “I think, the Jokowi-JK Government is currently providing these opportunities, how can the people have land. . Now, how do we propose the land we occupy, so that the Government can admit.”

Around the city of Medan, concession and ex-concession of PTPN II had been the object of an agrarian conflict which has never been solved. The object becomes a struggle area between groups of farmers, cultivators, real estate entrepreneurs, and even land mafia. This regulation will be an opportunity for peasant groups, and groups of cultivators who have managed occupied the Ex-concession of PTPN II.

Harun Nuh also said that the concession and ex-concession of PTPN II object has many demands. “A plot of land, many group has different demands, there are indigenous territories, there are suguan lands, grant land for the sultan, ex-concession, cultivated land, and so on. I am worried that the agrarian reform movement will be difficult to cooperate each other. like so far we can’t work together, we work individually.”

Ansyaruddin, chairman of the Rakyat Penunggu Kampong Secanggang, Langkat Regency said “it is time for all elements of the Agrarian Reform movement in North Sumatra not only to carry out lobbying and advocacy work. In the future, we must unite, be solid and doing demontration simultaneously to the Provincial and Regency/City Governments,” Ansyaruddin concluded.