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30 Jun 2020

Eyes on the Forest News

Indonesia: Civil society organisations denounce alleged intentional destruction of community food resources by pulpwood company

'Civil Society Open Letter About APP’s Recurrent Violation of Farmers’ Land Rights in Jambi, Indonesia', June 3, 2020

PT. Wira Karya Sakti (WKS)… is an industrial pulpwood producer affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper Sinar Mas (APP Sinar Mas), one of Indonesian main pulp companies. On the morning of 4 March 2020, a drone sprayed poison on the community’s rubber trees, vegetables, and palm trees. This is the way PT Wirakarya Sakti resolved its conflict with the local community: by jeopardising the safety of their food and livelihood in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis.

This is not the first violation by WKS. In 2015, a farmer union leader, Indra Pelani, engaged in protecting community land, was brutally killed by WKS security. Back in November 2019, the security team of PT Arara Abadi, another APP supplier, had arrested Pak Bongku, a member of the Sakai indigenous people, for planting sweet cassava in his ancestral land claimed by the company…

APP’s affiliates or suppliers are involved in conflicts with 107 communities in Indonesia, involving around 350,000 ha of disputed land… Indonesian and international organizations encourage buyers and investors to avoid brands and papers linked to APP, Sinar Mas, Paper Excellence and their sister companies controlled by APP’s owner, the Widjaya family.