The Sungai Utik Declaration was the outcome of young indigenous leaders training. The declaration was formed in a highly collaborative drafting process, which followed five days of deep reflection by over twenty young indigenous leaders from Indonesia and the Phillippines.
The community of Pandumaan-Sipituhuta in North Sumatra faces the clearance of the forests that they depend on to extract resin by the Toba Pulp Lestari paper company, a subsidiary of the pulp and paper giant APRIL.
"The report reveals that oil palm companies often use violent tactics to grab land from indigenous communities with the collusion of the police and authorities. Previously self-reliant families, who were able to meet their own needs from the forest around them, complain of being tricked into giving up their land with the promise of jobs and new developments. Instead they end up locked into debt and poorly paid work, while the bounty of the rainforest is replaced with monotonous oil palm plantations. Pollution from pesticides, fertilisers and the pressing process is also leaving some villages without clean water.
Since 2005, Friends of the Earth, Sawit Watch and LifeMosaic have worked closely together on a project aimed at bringing impartial information to communities affected by oil palm plantations in Indonesia, enabling them to make informed decisions about their land and their futures. Losing Ground draws on community testimonies gathered during this project, new Sawit Watch data and previous research to provide an insight into the social, economic and cultural impacts of oil palm plantations." Click here for more information on the Life Mosaic website.