The Community Land Co-Learning Initiative was no ordinary workshop or training. It was about how to advance in the way forward to protect the community land and an opportunity to learn from experts across the world.
Challenges faced in Indonesia
Tenure conflict in Indonesia, occurs mainly between the communities fighting the government or private company over land expansion into community land that has uncertain tenurial traditional/customary land status, and community lands in/around forest, that compete with formal permits on land tenure and natural resources.
JKPP uses participatory mapping as a way to draw a proposal decision in community management areas within forest area, create local spatial planning, establish village borders, anticipate and reconstruct disasters, and use as supporting evidence to resolve land conflicts in courts.
In the last six years, the Indonesian government has issued several policies to recognize community management areas that JKPP uses, and some of our maps have now been recognized by the government in the adat/customary forest and as a social forestry scheme. Nonetheless, the progress is sluggishly moving.
How this workshop builds a bridge toward our dream
I remembered the first call I had with Rachel when she introduced the community land co learning initiative to me. She said, “maybe you (JKPP) will use the information in a different strategic way in your works after following this initiative.” This statement referred to how this initiative is important to bring “new” approach in strengthening us and other organizations who work on securing community land.
JKPP was originally interested in the initiative because we enjoy learning from other organizations, seeing how others handle land grabbing issues and how they secure the community land. Problems with land grabbing is the red thread that connects all the organizations here participating in the initiative. We now know more, in detail, the patterns of land grabbibg and how other organizations in different regions have created strategies to overcome it. It was a valuable learning experience for me, and how JKPP can adapt and improvise each strategy learned to fit into the Indonesian context.
The eight days workshop in Nairobi was the most effective workshop I have ever participated in so far. It focuses on “what works” and “what doesn’t work”; the experiences were share through a skill-based tutorial, the exercise was not only being carried out in indoor classes, but also through outdoor activities outside of the class. Each organization shared their best practices and lessons learned (the successful ones and those which failed), by describing the threats, basic problems, and specific strategies used to combat the issue.
We learned many innovative strategies, for example on how COMAID targeted a corrupt leader, encouraging him to become a campaigner against corruption. Another method was delivered by IBC Peru on how they used participatory mapping and life plan, and how to initiate the good community land governance and natural resource management by creating better by-laws.
Everyone there was both a teacher and a student at the same time!
Through this initiative, we would like to see if other organisation have innovative or “smart” ways to protect community land, and also to know how they have been dealing with their government so far. Also, JKPP would like to adopt the good community land governance and natural resource management through new laws to complete our works on participatory land use planning. So far, JKPP has been working to ensure community to have their own map, and plant the idea of how important it is to complete it with “strong” agreement on community land governance and natural resource management by-laws.
JKPP expects to create significant changes in the community policy and agenda through this activity. JKPP will work continuously to ensure inclusion participation of all communities, in protecting their rights, through participatory land use and by-laws, as a way to reach the community’s welfare. JKPP will also continue the advocacy work in gaining recognition from the Government on the participatory map. We expect that in the future, that the Government will officially acknowledge our maps and use it as the reference in the policy making process.