Hoax 7 : Oil palm plantations create agrarian conflicts.
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Do oil palm plantations create agrarian conflicts ?
The reform era that has taken place in Indonesia since 2000 has provided enough space for people in every region to convey their aspirations and fight for their rights in accordance to the prevailing laws and regulations in Indonesia. It is therefore normal for people to express their aspirations, including in terms of the agrarian rights that are believed to be part of their life.
In reality, agrarian conflicts occur in almost every region in Indonesia, not exclusively in the oil palm plantation areas. Of course, as a law-based country, the settlement of agrarian conflicts is and will be resolved through the prevailing laws and regulations.
Based on a 2015 report of the Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Ministry and the National Land Agency, there were approximately 4,223 cases of agrarian conflicts occurring in almost every province (see the table below). Those conflicts are being settled in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
If we take a look at the distribution of those agrarian conflicts, we see almost all provinces have agrarian conflicts. The 10 largest provinces with agrarian conflicts are South Sulawesi, Bali, West Java, West, Sumatra, Central Java, East Java Lampung, NTB, Southeast Sulawesi and Maluku.
Table : Number of agrarian conflicts in Indonesia
|Province||Number of agrarian conflicts||Province||Number of agrarian conflicts|
|West Java*||364||West Sulawesi||63|
|West Sumatra||353||South Sumatra||49|
|Central Java*||329||North Maluku||45|
|North Sulawesi*||117||East Kalimantan||22|
|North Sumatra||110||South Kalimantan||17|
Source : Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency, 2015 *non oil palm plantation centers
Bali, West Java, East Java, South Sulawesi and NTB are not centers of oil palm plantations. West Sumatra, Lampung and Southeast Sulawesi provinces do have palm oil plantations, although they are very small. Major palm oil areas such as North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan see some agrarian conflicts, but fewer than provinces without oil palm plantations.
Based on these data, correlations between oil palm plantations and the number of agrarian conflicts are very weak they are not even systematically associated. Agrarian conflicts are happening in almost all provinces, both in oil-palm plantation centers and non oil-palm centers. The largest number of agrarian conflicts actually occur in provinces that do not have oil palm plantations.