New video exposes reality of oil palm land grabs in Indonesia

New video exposes reality of oil palm land grabs in Indonesia

A new video from handcrafted films made in collaboration with indigenous peoples and Indonesian campaigners exposes the destruction caused by oil palm companies in Indonesian Borneo (West Kalimantan). 

Based on interviews with the indigenous people who were evicted to make way for this plantation, the film tells this tragic story through the testimony of the Dayak’s whose lands were bulldozed to make way for palm. The case is typical of the continuing problems being caused in Indonesia by the imposition of a colonial model of land grabbing, encouraged by the State, which ignores the customary rights of the indigenous peoples and licences the destruction of their forests and the take-over of their lands for plantations. When the communities resist they are criminalised.

Across Indonesian archipelago, according to a report of the National Land Bureau to the RSPO, there are some 4,000 such land disputes between communities and oil palm companies. As Abdon Nababan the director of the National Indigenous Peoples Alliance (AMAN) notes in the video, this discriminatory pattern of development, which denies peoples’ rights, has to stop as it threatens not just the future of indigenous peoples but the unity of the country itself.