Tag Archives: indonesia

Forest peoples demand their rights be made central to global efforts to curb deforestation

March 19, 2014. Source: Forest Peoples Programme

After a major inter-continental gathering on Deforestation and the Rights of Forest Peoples held between 9 and 14 March 2014 in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, indigenous and forest peoples called on the international community, governments and international organizations to secure and respect their customary rights to their forests, lands, territories and natural resources in conformity with international law.

They issued this call in the form of the Palangka Raya Declaration, which urges governments, the private sector, financial institutions, international agencies and the international community to:

  • halt the production, trade and consumption of commodities derived from deforestation, land grabs and other violations of the rights of forest peoples;
  • stop the invasion of forest peoples’ lands and forests by agribusiness, extractive industries, infrastructures, energy and “green economy” projects that deny forest peoples’ fundamental rights;
  • take immediate and concrete actions to uphold forest peoples’ rights at all levels including the right to land, territories and resources, the right to self-determined development and to continue to own, control and manage their customary lands according to their knowledge and livelihoods.

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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, REDD, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Are Norway’s REDD deals reducing deforestation?

By Chris Lang, March 6, 2014. Source: Development Today

Protest outside of a Norwegian government meeting to promote REDD in Oslo, Norway highlights the social and ecological costs of the REDD scheme and draws attention to a scandalous Norske Hydro project that threatens to destroy Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Photo Courtesy: Friends of the Earth Norway

Protest outside of a Norwegian government meeting to promote REDD in Oslo, Norway highlights the social and ecological costs of the REDD scheme and draws attention to a scandalous Norske Hydro project that threatens to destroy Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Photo Courtesy: Friends of the Earth Norway

When I started the REDD-Monitor website in 2008, REDD – Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – was promoted as the “low-hanging fruit” that would save the rainforests and address climate change. In 2006, for example, the economist Nicholas Stern had described REDD as “highly cost-effective” and explained that it could reduce emissions “fairly quickly”. More than seven years on, REDD is neither cheap nor quick. (In 2012, I asked Stern whether he has reconsidered his views on REDD in the interim. He didn’t reply.)

The Norwegian government is the biggest funder of REDD, including US$1 billion REDD deals in Indonesia and Brazil, two countries with large areas of forest and high rates of deforestation. The money is payable when deforestation is reduced. But have Norway’s rainforest billions had any influence on rates of deforestation in either country?

Forest Politics

Forest politics in the two countries are different. Brazil is opposed to REDD offsets but Indonesia is in favour. Deforestation in Brazil has fallen since 2004, but in Indonesia it is increasing. Brazil has reliable deforestation data, produced annually by the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais). Indonesia’s deforestation data is produced by the Ministry of Forestry – and the data is not supported by satellite data. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Clash with palm oil company leaves one Indigenous community member dead in Sumatra

By Rhett A. Butler, March 6, 2014. Source: Mongabay

Suku Anak Dalam indigenous community members beaten by security at PT Asiatic Persada's concession in Sumatra. Photo courtesy of Perkumpulan Hijau

Suku Anak Dalam indigenous community members beaten by security at PT Asiatic Persada’s concession in Sumatra. Photo courtesy of Perkumpulan Hijau

A member of the Suku Anak Dalam indigenous community was killed and five others were injured during a clash with security forces on an oil palm concession owned by PT Asiatic Persada in Sumatra, reports Mongabay-Indonesia.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening in Bungku, Jambi. According to eyewitness accounts, security forces raided the village and arrested Titus, a 26-year old resident, who was forcibly taken into custody. It is unclear why he was arrested.

As word of the arrest spread, a large number of residents approached the Asiatic Persada office where Titus was taken. Security responded with force, firing guns and beating the protesters, six of whom were seriously injured and taken to local hospitals. One of the victims, Pujiono, aged 40, succumbed to his injuries at 11 pm.

Asiatic Persada is a subsidiary of the Ganda Group, a palm oil giant that supplies Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil company. Wilmar recently established a policy that bars palm oil produced via deforestation, peatlands degradation, or social conflict. The incident is therefore the first major test for Wilmar, says Greenpeace. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Political Repression, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Forest Stewardship Council certification does not guarantee reduced forest carbon emissions

By Chris Lang, February 19, 2014. Source: REDD Monitor

fscA recent study in East Kalimantan revealed no difference in carbon emissions between Forest Stewardship Council certified logging operations and conventional logging concessions.

This has potentially huge implications for REDD. “Sustainable management of forest” is one of the “plus” parts of REDD as agreed in December 2010 in Cancun. “Sustainable management of forest” could mean subsidies to industrial-scale commercial logging operations in old-growth forests.

The findings of the recent study also have serious implications for the Forestry Stewardship Council which is expanding its certification system to include forest carbon.

The Forest Stewardship Council was formed in 1993, with the aim of promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. It does so through a certification system. An FSC accredited “certifying body” assesses whether the company’s forestry concession complies with a series of FSC principles and criteria. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Indonesia: Conflict with mining company, Motoling Picuan community members shot by police

By AMAN, January 27, 2014. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Image: North Sulawesi Province, Indonesia (OSM)

Image: North Sulawesi Province, Indonesia (OSM)

Three members of the Motoling Picuan indigenous community in North Sulawesi were seriously injured when a conflict between the community and PT Sumber Energi Jaya, a gold mining company operating in the area, escalated around midday last Monday, 6 January.

Sernike Merentek, a member of the Motoling Picuan indigenous community was shot by police from behind with the bullet penetrating his stomach. He was taken to Kando Malalayang hospital, Manado, in a critical condition. He is now reported to be conscious and able to communicate, though minimally.

In addition to Sernike, Hardi Sumangkut, 36 years old, and Asni Runtunuwu, 40 years old, were also both injured by police gunfire. Another victim, Terok Jefri, 38, was wounded in the arm by arrows fired by hired thugs working for the company.

Other community members have also since been arrested. “Six members of the indigenous Motoling Picuan community are reported to have been arrested and mistreated by police. They are still being held,” said Second Deputy to the Secretary General of AMAN, Rukka Sombolinggi. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Mining

Long struggle against Indonesia oil palm land grab

January 21, 2014. Source: GRAIN

View of the PT Hardaya Inti Plantations oil palm concession in Buol.  Photo: Pietro Paolini/Terra Project

View of the PT Hardaya Inti Plantations oil palm concession in Buol. Photo: Pietro Paolini/Terra Project

Sudarmin Paliba stands on a hillside, looking down through row upon row of oil palm trees. “This is where we had our fruit trees, and at the bottom we grew paddy rice,” he says.

One morning in 1994, Sudarmin and other farmers from the Buol District of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, were walking to their farms when they came upon a team of workers, guarded by soldiers, chopping down trees in the surrounding forests.

They were told that a road was being built. But soon they came to understand that this was just the beginning of a much larger operation. All of their customary lands and forests had been signed away without their knowledge or consent to one of Indonesia’s richest and most powerful families for the creation of a massive 22,000 ha palm oil plantation.

Over the next three years, the farmlands and forests used by over 6,500 families were destroyed. Sudarmin and his fellow villagers stood in front of trucks and attached themselves to trees, but with the military backing the operation, there was little that they could do.

Today, their former farms and forests are blanketed by an endless monoculture of oil palms belonging to the PT Hardaya Inti Plantations company, owned by business magnate and political insider Murdaya Widyawimarta and his wife Siti Hartati Cakra Murdaya through their holding company, the Cipta Cakra Murdaya Group. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests

Indonesian palm oil developer’s efforts to conserve ‘forest carbon’ abuse community rights

Note: In an unsurprising bit of news, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil isn’t doing much to protect forest-dependent communities from displacement and exploitation.  And, once again, flawed models of carbon-centric conservation are violating the rights and livelihoods of those communities.  Maybe the solution is no more oil palm plantations…

-The GJEP Team

January 17, 2014. Source: Forest Peoples Programme

A new report, launched today, shows that efforts by one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil companies, PT SMART, to set aside forests as ‘carbon stores’ in the centre of Borneo are flawed. Indigenous peoples and local fisherfolk are objecting to the way these impositions curtail their land rights and restrict their livelihoods.

PT SMART trades under the Sinar Mas brand and is part of the Singapore-based Golden Agri Resources group (GAR) which also includes Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Sinar Mas Forestry.

After being strongly criticised by environmental campaigners for clearing forests and planting on peatlands, which led companies like Unilever and Nestlé to temporarily suspend purchases from the company, GAR agreed to stop such activities. It then adopted a new Forest Conservation Policy, by which it assesses the carbon in forests in its concessions and sets aside areas of ‘high carbon stocks’.

The new policy is now being piloted in one of PT SMART’s eight oil palm concessions in West and Central Kalimantan, PT Kartika Prima Cipta (PT KPC) in Kapuas Hulu district, an upland area famous for its large lakes, extensive peat swamps and productive inland fisheries. The PT KPC concession overlaps the lands of Dayak and Malay communities. Both PT SMART and GAR are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), whose standards require that companies respect community rights and only acquire their lands subject to their ‘free, prior and informed consent.’
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Filed under Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs

Indonesian palm oil firm to pay losses in ‘historic’ ruling

January 9, 2013. Source: Agence France-Presse

Oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Photo: Achmad Rabin Taim via flickr

Oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Photo: Achmad Rabin Taim via flickr

An Indonesian court has ordered a palm oil company to pay almost $30 million to the state for illegally clearing peatland in a “historic” ruling, lawyers said Thursday.

The Meulaboh district court on Sumatra island ruled late Wednesday that Indonesian company Kallista Alam had illegally burnt vegetation on 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of peatland in Aceh province to clear it for a palm oil plantation.

In the civil case brought by the Ministry of Environment, the court ordered the company to pay 114.3 billion rupiah ($9.4 million) in losses to the state and 252 billion rupiah to rehabilitate the land it destroyed.

The forest was protected under several laws, including a presidential decree suspending new permits to log peatland and some other types of forests across the country. Continue reading

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests