Social conflict in the plantation sector in general is due to 1) the ineffectiveness of socialization processes , 2) the lack of an open and harmonious relation between publicly-listed plantation company and the surrounding society, 3) the violation of the rights of society around the estate, and 4) the absence of  land compensation agreement.

Efforts and strategies due to conflict  anticipation in plantation sector :

  1. Socialization of the rights and obligations of the parties / stakeholders involved in the plantation business. In recent legislation has actually governed the rights and obligations of the parties associated with the plantation business, for example first : Article 11 of the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture No. 26 of 2007 on Guidelines for Plantation licenses specify that plantation companies have Plantation Business Permit (IUP) or for cultivation of plantation permit (IUP-B) shall establish plasma plantation to the low of 20% (twenty percent) of the total area cultivated gardens by the company. This community land concession can be made by credit pattern, grants or revenue sharing. Furthermore, Article 15 letters (I) and Article 17 letter (n) Minister Regulation No. 26 of 2007 determine that the willingness and also the plantation development plans must be in written  and be included in applying IUPB or IUP. Second, article 15 letter (m), Article 16 letter (k) and Article 17 letter (o) Minister Regulation No. 26 of 2007 also specifies that to obtain IUP-B/IUP-P/IUP, palm oil companies must submit a written application that comes with a willingness statement and an action plan to carry out a partnership with growers, employees and communities around the estate.
  2. The estates company and communities around the estate must be open, maintain tolerance and have the same perception and understanding of the importance of plantation itself or to increase the welfare of the people around the estate. The reasons underlying these statements, in some cases, it is found that the presence of palm oil companies is being attributed with several negative impacts that will occur in the future is quite risky, some were related to land use and waste. Some have also argued that the company did not contribute to the society welfare, particularly communities because the company only does things for the sake of the companies and governments’ prosperity as policy makers. Society is never prospering in the presence of plantation companies. Society here exists only as a spectator for the success of plantation companies.

  3. Plantation companies should engage and provide value to / more benefits to the surrounding community, both at the beginning of the process of establishment of the company and when the company is already operating. a) At the beginning of the establishment, for example, has begun to be fostered openness to the surrounding community, the community has been involved before and after both the establishment and the operation of the company. b) Meanwhile, when the palm oil companies are already established and operated, they can run partnership with growers, employees and communities around the estate. Under the provisions of Article 22 of Law No. 18 Year 2004 (Pasal 22 UU Nomor 18 Tahun 2004)on Plantation, hereinafter also referred to in Article 22 to Article 25 of the Minister Regulation Number 26 of 2007(Permentan Nomor 26 Tahun 2007), the partnership can be done through partnerships processing and / or business partnerships. The partnership is in the form of the provision of production, cooperation of production, processing and marketing, transportation, operational cooperation, ownership, and other support services. The partnership is based on the principle of mutual benefit and sustainable benefit, respect, responsibility, and strengthen the interdependence between them. This partnership is due to further empower and increase the added value / welfare to growers, employees and / or the community around the estate and to ensure / maintain  security, continuity / sustainability and integrity in plantation. With this partnership purpose, of course, palm oil companies are also interested to apply for a good and effective partnership. c) Besides implementing the partnership, the company needs to run a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However, it should be given in the form of CSR activities as much as possible to empower local communities so that they can provide the value / benefits for communities around the estate.

Thus, the stakeholders’ efforts and strategies in the resolution of social conflict in plantation sector should be done in an integrated and comprehensive among plantations, planters, employees and communities around the estate through information dissemination, developed and maintained mutual openness, tolerance, perception and understanding, engaging and adds value to the business benefits for the surrounding community plantation estates through an effective partnerships and also through CSR implementation. These efforts are ultimately expected to ensure / maintain the plantation security, sustainability / continuity and integrity.

[The author is Secretary General of Forum Pengembangan Perkebunan Strategis Berkelanjutan (FP2SB), Candidat Doctorate of Law Faculty of Law University of Indonesia PPS Accompanied by the Law in the Field of Agriculture, and a Permanent Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Jember]