time line

The Timeline



First encounter with outsider. The then Dutch Indies Colonial Government made a contact with Punan tribe and organized them to settle in permanent villages outside the forest. It helped the government to monitor and control the tribe. The Punan gradually shift their lifestyle and identity as a nomad.



Indonesian government conducted resettlement program to indigenous communities who still lived in the forest. The indigenous people gradually stay in a permanent settlement. They no longer stay inside the interior forest and have no rights to manage their customary forest.



Punan Adiu and LP3M started to collaborate and aware about their rights as indigenous community


January 2006

Punan Adiu join to a seminar on the impact of large scale oil palm plantation to shifting cultivation communities in East Kalimantan.

This seminar raised communities awareness of the importance of protecting natural forest for community livelihood and reject large scale oil palm plantations in the area. Indigenous communities in Northern Kalimantan (Bulungan, Nunukan and Tana Tidung) involved in this seminar.


April 2012 – June 2014

With support from LP3M and other partners, Punan Adiu Community conducted participative mapping to protect their customary forest. They involved representatives of neighbor communities in the process.

The mapping required several times of field work, rechecking data and confirmation from surrounding communities to maintain the accuracy and credibility of the map and all documents.


October 2012

District Regulation (Perda) on recognition and protection of customary communities was issued by Malinau House of Representative (DPRD Malinau).

may 2013

16 May 2013

A ruling by Indonesia Constitutional Court (MK35/PUU-X/2012) allows for the re-categorisation of customary forest (hutan adat) from ‘state forest’ (hutan negara) to ‘forest subject to rights’ (hutan hak) as described in Article 6 of the 1999 Forestry Law.

Categorisation as ‘forest subject to rights’ (hutan hak) involves a recognition of community rights to land and resources, although forest areas remain under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forestry, and the assignment of rights must be renewed every 20 years.

nov 2014

19 November 2014

Malinau Distric Head (Bupati Malinau) issued a regulation on the Malinau District’s Management Agency for Customary Communities Affair.


September – October 2015

Punan Adiu Community created a Village Regulation on Customary Forest Management (Peraturan Desa No. 07/2015).

This regulation regulates how the community protect and manage their customary area.


February 2016

Punan Adiu was selected as one of villages for Indonesia REDD+ project. With support from national and international partners, Punan Adiu community prepare to enter global carbon trading. The community hope that the trading will be one of their financial source to fund their conservation agenda and community empowerment.


2015 – 2017

Punan Adiu submit a document for recognition and protection of customary community and their forest to Malinau District Government. The process took two years before the District Head (Bupati) signed the decree.

may 2017

8 May 2017

Malinau District Head (Bupati) signed a Bupati Decree on recognition and protection of Punan Long Adiu Customary Community
(No. 189.1/K.185/2017)


hectares of Punan Adiu Customary Area are protected by this decree. With this legal standing, the community has rights to protect and manage their customary territory.

june 2018

21 June 2018

Punan Adiu Community submitted a document for National Recognition and Protection of Punan Adiu Customary Community to Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry in Jakarta.

This application is addressed to President of Republic Indonesia as the National Leader who will signed the National Recognition and Protection.

As of this written (2020), the process is still on going.


What Punan Adiu has achieved in long run is a representation of how civil society could persistently leverage their strength to challenge power dynamic and influence its equilibrium. The process takes time, but the result will eventually be transformative.

Land reform by leverage

“ A land reform by leverage, on the other hand, takes time. This is a reform by which peasants, in organizations they have formed and manage, bargain with overlords or government from strength they have already achieved. … Only through reforms by leverage does the peasant acquire, in the long run, an equitable distribution of welfare and adequate political representation.

– (Powelson, John P and Richard Stock. The peasant betrayed: agriculture and land reform in the third world. Cato Institute. Washington, D.C. 1987).

Behind story

Behind the story