The grant of concessions to palm oil companies has also limited the people’s rights to use and benefit from the forest as a source of food and job opportunities. Several regulations at the local and national levels have mandated that community/local participation rights should be guaranteed in the granting process of forest concessions. However, from 27 regulations that are reviewed, WRI found that the supposedly guaranteed local participation rights still have gaps that could potentially be violated or regarded as unbinding by some parties.
In addition, most of the regulations that guarantee people’s participation rights have yet to include a particular guarantee on women’s rights fo participation, access, and control. In several regulations regarding the management of natural resources, forests, plantations, and space, there are still gaps and weak points regarding to the transparency of natural resource management; transparency of the issuance of environment and business permits; mechanism of forest management supervision; including supervision of the fulfillment of companies’ obligations.
The absence of guarantee and mechanism for people’s participation rights and involvement in the allocating process of forest concessions resulted in prolonged bloody conflicts, victimizing many civilians in various places. This occurred because the existing regulations are far from adequate in terms of solving the root of problems related to land conflicts. The existing regulations are limited to the managing mechanisms once the conflict has occurred, without facilitating a more just and transparent mechanism for conflict resolution related to land ownership.