This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Tempo. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
In the middle of a scorching hot day, the calm waters of the bay at the Polimo beach of Silabu Village, Pagai Utara, Mentawai Islands, became full of activities. Since last February, the beach has become a place to pile the logs, or log-pond, owned by the Mentawai Essential Oil Cooperative, which is clearing the forest for an essential oil plantation.
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The log pond pier jutted into the sea about 70 meters with the width of 4 meters. The pier was made of piles of coral reefs—massive types of coral that were large and round liked rocks—that have been split into smaller pieces. Those shards of coral reefs became the main foundation of the pier, covered with sea sand and broken finger-sized coral reefs.