Civil society group AURIGA Nusantara is calling on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo through an online petition to stop local officials from issuing more land permits to businessmen.
A study commissioned by AURIGA found an increase in the issuance of mining, plantation and forest use permits a year before and after the 2015 regional elections, with a total of 13,000 land permits issued during the period of 2014-2016.
In the study, AURIGA came to the conclusion that local heads in many areas across Indonesia had received political campaign funds from businessmen as compensation for facilitating the issuance of permits.
“They have misused their authority,” the group said on Monday about the petition posted on Change.org.
AURIGA said such corrupt practices might affect people’s lives because deforestation and forest fires continued to increase every year, causing local communities to lose their ancestral land and water sources. “If we don’t take action, we will all lose our homes,” the group said.
Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) activist Tama S. Langkun said that in addition to a moratorium, the government also needed to reform local offices in order to prevent such misdeeds from recurring ahead of the upcoming regional elections.
“This kind of corruption hurts both the environment and the people,” Tama said on Sunday, adding that the public also needed to pay more attention to expose environment-related corruption.
Citing ICW data, the activist said Indonesia had lost around Rp 2.7 trillion (US$196.02 million) from a corruption case related to land permit issuance in North Konawe and another Rp 2.3 trillion from the e-ID case.