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Improving the Lives of Indigenous Communities through Mapping

A Case Study from Indonesia

Overlapping land use and tenure uncertainties are prevalent in Indonesia. The One Map Initiative at the Village Level (Inisiatif Satu Peta di Tingkat Desa; ITUPEDE) supports Indonesia’s One Map Policy to address these problems, primarily through participatory mapping. It helped the Gajah Bertalut indigenous community to map its territories and improve land-use planning based on local wisdom. It helped make land boundaries clearer and mapped more inclusively. Agreements restricting deforestation in specified areas were enacted and adequately implemented.

Key Findings

Executive Summary

  • Overlapping land use and tenure uncertainties are prevalent in Indonesia. This situation has created adverse consequences for environmental protection as well as the negotiating power of indigenous communities over land rights. The establishment of the Rimbang Baling Wildlife Reserve partly on land settled by the Gajah Bertalut indigenous community reflects this problem—and the country’s chronically poor forest and land governance system.
  • The One Map Initiative at the Village Level (Inisiatif Satu Peta di Tingkat Desa; ITUPEDE) supports Indonesia’s One Map Policy to address the land governance problems, primarily through participatory mapping.
  • ITUPEDE helped the Gajah Bertalut indigenous community to map its territories and improve land-use planning based on local wisdom. It helped make land boundaries clearer and mapped more inclusively. Agreements restricting deforestation in specified areas were enacted and adequately implemented.
  • The spatial evidence and documentation collected by ITUPEDE increased the subnational government’s acceptance of the Gajah Bertalut indigenous community, which led it to rescind its earlier decisions limiting the community’s rights. However, for the national government to officially recognize the community, a local regulation (peraturan daerah; PERDA) must first be issued by the local parliament.

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