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.
The last forest of Pagai Utara Island, Mentawai Islands, around 1,500 hectares, is being cut down. The logs are claimed to be used as capital for the construction of an essential oil plant nursery.
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From a distance, Estranus Siritoitet, 66 years old, was overseeing the movement of a bulldozer opening a road into the forest in Maguiruk Sub-village, Silabu Village, Pagai Utara, Mentawai Islands, West Sumatera. The roar of the heavy equipment engine was accompanied by the sound of falling trees, followed by the sound of birds flying into the air. “Inside, there were many big trees that have been cut down. [If it had not been] taken out, it would be rotten,” said Estranus, last Wednesday, 9 March 2022.