- After defeating a plan to turn much of the Aru Islands into a series of giant sugar plantations, indigenous people in the eastern Indonesian archipelago are mulling how to raise their standard of living without sacrificing their rich environment.
- The now-concluded investigative series “Indonesia for Sale” examined the corruption underpinning Indonesia’s land rights and climate crisis in unparalleled depth.
- The series was a collaboration between Mongabay and The Gecko Project, an investigative journalism initiative founded at Earthsight in 2017.
Indonesia - In Kalibiru, a national park in the Menoreh mountains to the west of Yogyakarta, tourists scale precarious-looking ladders up timber trees to take Instragrammable photos of themselves on treetop wooden platforms overlooking lakes and lush forest.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — When Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was elected in 2014, he ran on bold promises to ensure higher economic growth, reduce environmental impact, reform land laws, and improve both human rights and public health in Indonesia.
When countries revise their land and forest tenure laws, whereby rights are granted to people who depend on forests for their livelihoods, one goal is to reduce disputes over land and resources.
Despite this, conflicts persist, and sometimes new ones arise: why?
- A state-owned plantation company, PTPN XIV, is evicting farmers to make room for an oil palm estate on the eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
Getting to the bottom of illegal plantations on Indonesia’s state owned forests
In an ideal world, palm oil production would cause no deforestation, and have a transparent and fair supply chain. In reality, the impacts of the sector have been the cause of ethical concerns worldwide.
These are dark days if you care about justice. New estimates reveal that over 5 billion people live outside the protection of the law. These are people who can be driven from their land, intimidated by violence, and excluded from society.
Against the backdrop of this staggering figure, community paralegals offer hope.
On a late night in December, I arrived in the village of Lunjuk on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. A warm breeze welcomed me as I sat down with 30 women and men from Forum Petani Bersatu — the local farmers’ union — who had gathered to share stories of their ongoing struggle to reclaim their land.
In the annual review of the Agrarian Reform Consortium, secretary-general Dewi Kartika displayed some interesting infographics.