November 23, 2011
PT Munte Waniq Jaya Perkasa is currently bulldozing forests around Muara Tae, a village in West Kutai, to establish an oil palm plantation. The company, which is owned by Malaysia-based TSH Resources, is backed by police and other security personnel.
Clearing is strongly opposed by the Muara Tae community which is comprised primarily of indigenous Dayak Benuaq people. The community has set up a guard station near the forest.
Benuaq girl and ncap payang tree (c) EIA/Telapak
EIA and Telapak say the standoff represents an opportunity for the Indonesian government to demonstrate its commitment to recognizing customary land rights. In July, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of the Indonesian President’s Special Delivery Unit and the REDD+ Task Force, pledged to "recognise, respect and protect" traditional or Adat rights.
Additional leverage may come from Norway's 1.8 percent stake in TSH Resources. Norway has committed $1 billion to help Indonesia reduce deforestation and peatlands degradation and is therefore a target for criticism when its pension fund investments are linked to forest destruction and social conflict.
For more on this story, see Villagers face off against palm oil firm’s bulldozers.
Indigenous community forcibly evicted for palm oil in Indonesian Borneo
(11/01/2011) A palm oil company has forcibly evicted an indigenous community from one of the last tracts of rainforest near Jempang in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo, reports Telapak, a group that advocates community forest management.