Gemawan Institute

Gemawan Institute

Lembaga Gemawan (Gemawan Institute) is an NGO in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, established since 1999 and  focusing on empowering local communities and developing advocacy towards social justice.

Lembaga Gemawan assists local communities at the grass-roots level (villages), especially local farmers and women, to develop their livelihoods. They have assisted more than 1000 women to increase their capacity to fight for their rights, and for the last ten years, Lembaga Gemawan has been developing two credit unions to empower communities in the Regencies of Sambas, Kubu Raya and Pontianak.

Furthermore, in their advocacy efforts, Lembaga Gemawan has been assisting local communities affected by oil palm plantation expansion to fight for their rights. For the last 5 years, they have been empowering local communities to deal with land conflicts  associated with oil palm plantation and HTI (Industrial Plantation Forests).

In 2008, Lembaga Gemawan supported the local communities of 5 districts in Sambas Regency to insist that the Head of Sambas Regency withdraw communities’ lands from the Location Permit (Izin Lokasi) of some HTI and oil palm plantations. In 2009, they assisted 2 communities groups to renegotiate with two subsidiaries of Wilmar International (International Palm Oil Company) operating in Sambas Regency. These efforts have resulted in the communities gaining their lands back and receiving support for 5 years of plantation development in their area. Also in 2009 Lembaga Gemawan initiated activities to secure 52,700 ha in 5 villages (in Pulau Maya Karimata District in Kayong Utara Regency) as Village Forest. 

Lembaga Gemawan is also actively involved in working with partners (such as Sawit Watch and Forest People Programme) and providing input to the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investment policy strategy for the palm oil sector.

Since 2010, Lembaga Gemawan has tried to work on spatial planning issues in order to strengthen communities’ activities on land rights and commodity protection. In 2011, they assisted rubber farmers in capacity building and raising awareness in order to implement their right to fair and transparent trade at the local level.

Please visit the Gemawan website