Located in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans, Indonesia is the world’s largest island nation, with more than 17,000 islands. The population is 266 million (2018), making it the fourth most populous nation. Sustained economic growth has seen GDP per capita rise to US$12,300 in 2017 and fewer than 6% of the population living on less than US$1.90 per day.
Indonesia has a complex and fragmented legal and regulatory framework governing land, with multiple laws and regulations that stretch back to the 1960s. The Basic Agrarian Law (BAL) is the primary legislation. This sets out four main forms of tenure: right of ownership (hak milik) is permanent and can be transferred and mortgaged; use right (hak pakai) applies to rights of possession that are not permanent; right to exploit (hak guna usaha) is a kind of agricultural commercial lease; and right to build (hak guna bangunan) provides the right to construct and use buildings. Customary land law is a key difficulty in Indonesia. The BAL states that agrarian law is adat law, or Indonesian customary law, and gives some recognition of communal land rights (hak ulayat). However, adat law varies across the country and is not necessarily compatible with the formal tenure types set out in the BAL.