Civil society group AURIGA Nusantara is calling on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo through an online petition to stop local officials from issuing more land permits to businesspeople.
A study commissioned by AURIGA found an increase in the issuance of mining, plantation and forest use permits a year before and after the 2015 regional elections, with a total of 13,000 land permits issued from 2014 to 2016.
In the study, AURIGA came to the conclusion that local heads in many areas across Indonesia had received political campaign funds from businesspeople as compensation for facilitating the issuance of permits. AURIGA said such corrupt practices might affect people’s lives because deforestation and forest fires continued to increase every year, causing local communities to lose their ancestral land and water sources.
“If we don’t take action, we we’ll all lose our homes,” the group said on Monday about the petition posted on change.org.
Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) activist Tama S. Langkun said in addition to a moratorium, the government also needed to reform local offices in order to prevent such misdeeds from recurring ahead of the upcoming regional elections.
Citing ICW data, Tama said Indonesia had lost around Rp 2.7 trillion (US$196.02 million) from a corruption case related to land permit issuance in North Konawe and another Rp 2.3 trillion from the e-ID case.