Banda Aceh, 19 September 2006 – The Agency for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Aceh and Nias (BRR) and the National Land Agency (BPN) today official released a policy statement on Joint Land-Titling with respect to ownership of the land parcels that will be purchased and distributed to the community by BRR. While joint titling is not prohibited by Indonesian Law, or syariah and adat law, it is not commonly used and consequently there are no administrative mechanism in place for its implementation.

BRR’s policy statement aims to introduce joint titling as an important facility for dealing with land ownership issues in post-disaster situations, and will work closely with the BPN and local government to ensure that beneficiaries of its land parcels are eligible for joint titling.

Land ownership provide direct economic benefits as it is a source of income either from rental or sale, and as collateral for credit that can be used for consumption or investment purposes. Women may not fully participate in these benefits, however, if they do not share formal rights over the land; only independent or joint titling can ensure that women, men and children have equal access and control over land-based earnings. Formal rights to land for women will impact in the strategic role of women in the economic development of society.

“The question of access to productive assets including land for widows and the application of joint land-titling for spouses is a serious matter and wa brought to my attention during the early stages of land re-certification and reallocation of displaced communities. Although there is no statement in syariah or adat law or Indonesian law that prevents women from owning land or being a signatory to a joint title, specific interventions are required to support full implementation and understanding of these rights,” commented the director of BRR, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, at the launching of policy statement.

BRR has been working in cooperation with BPN to ensure that the land it purchases and donates to the communities left homeless and without land can be registered with BPN using a joint certificate where both spouses officially can be signatories on the land certificate. BPN and local government have been reviewing the administrative requirements to ensure that their staff can provide the necessary support for those requiring joint certificates. BRR has committed additional resources to BPN in order that the required forms can be prepared and facilities set-up to maintain electronic data records. This commitment from BRR also includes assistance with the training of land officers who will be responsible for registering and explaining the purpose and benefits of joint land-titling to the community.

In addition, BRR will provide financial assistance for the implementation of the joint land title program, and intends to directly assist in the socialization of the program in close csooperation with women organizations. “It will be essential that all stakeholders are aware of this program and contribute to it,” remarked Kuntoro in his speech to those present at the launching, “as we need everyone’s support to ensure that our work benefits men and women equally so the rights of those vulnerable and marginalized by tragedies and injustice can be protected.” BRR will provide BPN with a list of beneficiaries who require joint land-titling.

“This is a work-in-progress and we hope that now it will soon become a realty not only for the immediate victims of the recent disasters who have lost so much, but also for generations to come,” concluded Kuntoro. “It is our aim that by the end of this year, with the support and encouragement of BPN this strategic initiative can be successfully implemented”.


Note: the content of this posting was copied from BRR’ press release at the launching of joint land-titling policy