This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Liputan6.com. 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.
Jambi — Anshori Hasan, 54, looked troubled when he was asked about the unlicensed gold mining activity that has been afflicting the Guguk Customary Forest area. He had difficulty hiding this anxiety because the heavy equipment from illegal gold mining activities have now left dugouts all along the riverbanks of the customary forest in Guguk Village, Renah Pembarap District, Merangin Regency, Jambi.
"We are sad that there are many traces of illegal gold mines along the riverbank," Anshori said, kicking off the conversation.
Accompanied by a young man from Guguk Village, I then had a chance to see firsthand the sight that made Anshori sad earlier. Only a stone's throw from the suspension bridge that serves as the access point to the customary forest, the traces of illegal mining are there in plain sight.