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Story Publication logo May 31, 2023

Palm Oil Dispute in East Belitung Protected Forest (bahasa Indonesia)


Palm oil plantation in Indonesia

The three Malaysian palm oil companies allegedly encroached on the Senunsur Sembulu II Protected...

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An English summary of this report is below. The original report, published in Portuguese in Público, follows.

This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Katadata. 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 Tim Kolaborasi. Indonesia, 2023.

The information marker of the protected forest in Buding Village, Kelapa Kampit, East Belitung, is now only a wooden support. The board containing information on the protected forest area has disappeared, its whereabouts unknown.

The board was installed at coordinates S-2°45, 404, E107°59, 936. In addition to emphasizing the status of the area, its presence is also a warning sign so that oil palm concessions do not violate the protected area.

Surrounding the protected area are palm oil plantations owned by PT Steelindo Wahana Perkasa (SWP) and PT Parit Sembada. These two companies are subsidiaries of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK), a multinational Malaysian company in the palm oil and rubber business.

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Sunadi (not his real name), is a resident of Kelapa Kampit who witnessed the establishment of the board. He was invited by the forest rangers and the East Belitung Environment Office to erect the sign.

The installation was on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. Two days later when he went to the location, the information board was gone. "We don't know who dismantled it, whether the forestry department or the company," he told the Katadata.co.id and Jaring.id team on December 20, 2022.

Sunadi escorted the team to the location of the board. He then pointed to a stretch of oil palm that should not be in the protected forest area. "This is a state forest," he said.

Chart by Amosella. Indonesia, 2023.

Image by Tim Kolaborasi. Indonesia, 2023.

Image by Tim Kolaborasi. Indonesia, 2023.

Image by Tim Kolaborasi. Indonesia, 2023.

Map by Amosella. Indonesia, 2023.

Map by Amosella. Indonesia, 2023.
Video by Katadata. Indonesia, 2023.