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BRWA reports 105,000 hectares of indigenous territory in IKN area, no state recognition

Tempo - March 20, 2024

Irsyan Hasyim, Jakarta – The Indigenous Territory Registration Body or BRWA noted that there are around 105,000 hectares of indigenous territory in the area of Nusantara Capital City or IKN.

Head of BRWA Kasmita Widodo said the number was based on data collection carried out together with the regional administrators of the East Kalimantan Indigenous Community Alliance (AMAN) in North Penajam Paser Regency.

"We recorded the data on the ground, there are around 100,000 hectares of indigenous territory in four regions, namely Mentawir, Sepaku, Pemaluan, and Maridan," said Widodo in an online press conference on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

It was previously reported that the IKN Authority or OIKN asked the residents in Pemaluan to move because their settlements and indigenous territory do not comply with the IKN Spatial Plan.

"This is certainly odd since the spatial planning was drawn up much later than the existence of [Pemaluan] people. And yet, the indigenous people were the ones told to move," said Widodo.

Of the 105,000 hectares of indigenous territory, said Widodo, the forest area reaches 70-80 percent. Meanwhile, 70,000 hectares of land there were identified as indigenous forest. "However, the indigenous forest in IKN could not be processed yet," he said.

According to Widodo, the recognition of indigenous people and their territory was hindered by the lack of regulation. North Penajam Paser Regency does not have any indigenous law in place. Moreover, IKN's government is separate from the local government, which makes it harder for indigenous people to be recognized.

Deputy II Secretary General of AMAN for Advocacy and Politics, Erasmus Cahyadi, said that AMAN has thoroughly documented indigenous communities in the IKN area in 2022.

According to Erasmus, there are 8 indigenous communities in the core area of IKN. "One of them is the Balik Sepaku tribe. The Balik Sepaku tribe has its entire traditional territory within the IKN Core Area, with a total of indigenous territory reaching 50,000 hectares," he said.

The Balik Sepaku Tribe community is positioned in the IKN green belt. "They are not allowed to do anything in the green belt. No development from within the community is allowed," he added.

"Which begs the question: how will the government treat the 8 indigenous communities in IKN? Thus far, several offers such as relocation have been met with rejection from the residents," Erasmus concluded.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1847342/brwa-reports-105000-hectares-of-indigenous-territory-in-ikn-area-no-state-recognitio