Padang (ANTARA) - Indonesia's Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Ministry/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) has guaranteed that the country's indigenous people will not lose their rights over customary land after it is registered or certificated.

"(The right) will not be nullified if the land is immediately registered or certificated," ATR/BPN Minister Air Marshall (Ret.) Hadi Tjahjanto stated in Padang on Wednesday.

Minister Tjahjanto made the statement to provide a guarantee to indigenous people, who are concerned that their customary lands would be transferred to another party after the lands are registered or certificated.

Tjahjanto also underscored that the ministry is only tasked with transferring the land's physical data and juridical aspects into land books and measurement documents.

When a customary land is registered and certificated, people living in it will only need to regulate and manage the applicable provisions without losing their rights over the land.

During his two-day working visit on June 20-21 to West Sumatra, the former Chief Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces stated that the province is home to a total of 352 thousand hectares of customary land.

The minister noted that registration and certification of customary lands will result in various benefits and legal certainty to their people, including the certainty that the area of lands will not continue to shrink.

"After we register (the lands), there will be no more overlaps, there will be no more problems with parties attempting to conquer the lands," he stressed.

In order to solve problems related to customary lands in the country, the ATR/BPN Ministry will initially work to identify and distinguish lands.

The ministry will be mapping lands by issuing certificates to categorize which lands come under the authority of the Environment and Forestry (KLHK) Ministry, belong to customary law communities, and are occupied by other agencies.

In addition, the mapping is aimed at determining river and road boundary areas.

"After we issue certificates and submit them to the spatial planning, then it will be clear which lands are customary and which ones are not," he explained.

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Translator: Muhammad Zulfikar, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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