Midcourse Manoeuvres: Community Strategies and Remedies for Natural Resource Conflicts in Indonesia


Over the last 50 years, most Asian countries have gone through a shift from subsistence agricultural systems to industrialized economies. In Indonesia, the major shift came in the late 1960s, under the presidency of General Suharto. A key aspect of this regime was trade and industrial expansion. Changes were made to foreign and domestic investment laws to facilitate growth, including the removal of most controls on private investments.

This report analyzes how development based on extractive, large-scale agricultural projects and industrial and infrastructure projects has impacted communities in Indonesia. It also looks at the efforts made by the communities to mitigate the impacts faced by them and the results of these efforts.

The first section of the report provides an overview of the economic and political context and the legal framework that governs land-based development in the country. The second section provides the extent of land use change followed by a section on impacts. Subsequent sections delve into strategies employed by communities to mitigate these impacts and the remedies achieved.

This report is part of a three-year study to understand how communities in Indonesia, India, and Myanmar secure land and natural resources that are intrinsic to their survival and livelihoods—and to what effect. An overview report on the methodology and findings from the three countries is also available, along with individual country reports on Myanmar and India.

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