Home Institution

University of Vermont

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change


Agrarian reform in Indonesia is part of a movement beginning after independence was gained in 1945. Farmers have been fighting to obtain rights to their land from a government that has a history of violence, repression, and corruption for decades. Environmental, indigenous peoples’, peasant, and agrarian movements were given a legitimate, legal framework to work within after 1960 when the Basic Agrarian Law was passed, protecting the rights of the people to their land. However, during both the Old Order and especially New Order regimes, the law was often ignored by the government, and many grassroots organizations had to work under secrecy, as land reform movements were often associated with the Indonesian Communist Party, members of whom were killed after the transition from the Sukarno to Suharto presidency. After the fall of Suharto, agrarian movements were able to openly come together to begin strategizing and forming organizations that still exist and are very influential today. One of these organizations is Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA), an Indonesian NGO based in Jakarta that works on agrarian issues. The head of KPA Bali, a sub-division of the KPA, lives in Sumber Klampok village in the Buleleng regency. She works diligently with the special committee of the village on a variety of land rights issue, especially to obtain certificates for the villagers that give them legal land ownership. The history of Sumber Klampok begins in 1922 when it was made into a slave plantation by Dutch companies. The people who have inhabited the area have never had rights to the land since this happened. Sumber Klampok now is a well-developed, rural, agricultural village with only 849 families. This village is a good example of what many Indonesian farmers and indigenous people have endured at the hands of the government, and also the uncertainty that many of them face in the future regarding their land rights.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agricultural Economics | Agriculture | Asian Studies | Environmental Monitoring | Inequality and Stratification | Peace and Conflict Studies | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Social Policy


Article Location