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Reportagem Publication logo Junho 5, 2022

The Indigenous Batui People’s Quest to Restore the Bakiriang Forest (bahasa Indonesia)

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Two people load oil palm into a truck.
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Bangkiriang Wildlife Reserve (SM) Conservation Area in Banggai Regency, Sulawesi, Indonesia has...

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Mongabay. 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.



Image by Mongabay. Indonesia, 2022.
  • The Bakiriang forest, before the wildlife vote, was Batui's customary forest. After the state took over and made it a forest area, even with conservation status, palm oil plantations began to grow there. The condition of the forest has changed.
  • In 1936, Bakiriang Forest was designated as a forest that must be protected based on the King of Banggai Decree No. 4/1936, covering an area of 3,500 hectares, located in the Batui Mountain Forest Complex. It extends south to the coast of the Bakiriang River estuary. The forest complex is flanked by two large villages, Moilong and Sinorang, which were formerly part of the Batui sub-district.
  • The King of Banggai's decree making the Bakiriang Forest mandatory for protection supports the Batui Indigenous people in preserving the Bakiriang forest and their customs and cultural identity.
  • Eva Susanti Bande, coordinator of the People's Front for Palm Advocacy (FRAS) Central Sulawesi, said that if people want to control land in forest areas, they can go through the agrarian reform object land (Tora) route. This is regulated in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) Number 86/2018 on Agrarian Reform.

Baharuddin H Saleh frowns and his eyes turn red when he talks about the Bakiriang Wildlife Sanctuary in Sinorang Village, Batui Selatan Sub-district, Banggai District, Central Sulawesi. He was saddened that Bakiriang's forest had been eroded into palm oil plantations.

"In the past, the Bakiriang forest was not like that," said the head of the Batui District Customary Institution, last April.

Before the wildlife vote, Bakiriang was Batui's customary forest. After the state took over and made it a forest area, even with conservation status, oil palm plantations began to grow there. The condition of the forest has changed.


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Baharuddin H Saleh, chairman of the Batui Sub-district Customary Institution. Image by Sarjan Lahay/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia, 2022.

Oil palm plantation in Bakiriang Wildlife Sanctuary, Banggai. Image by Sarjan Lahay/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia, 2022.

Resort of Bakiriang Wildlife Reserve. Image by Sarjan Lahay/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia, 2022.

Entering the Conservation Area, SM Bakiriang, in which there are many beun palms. Image by Sarjan Lahay / Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia, 2022.