Palm Oil News Update

The human cost of palm oil development Palm oil now covers about 14 million hectares of land in Indonesia. Plantation companies control most of this land. The way corporations gain control over lands plays out in different ways, but tensions are common. The Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA) registered 1,771 land conflicts in Indonesia between 2014 and 2018, with 41 people killed, 546 assaulted and 940 farmers and activists facing criminal prosecution. Oil palm plantations account for the largest number of cases, compared to other industries. Reasons for this high number of conflicts include the high level of corruption in the sector (which the Anti-Corruption Commission has confirmed), the lack of transparency on palm oil concessions (such as the executive government’s refusal to release data on use rights), biased and unpredictable law enforcement, and limited community participation in the processes leading to plantation development, as in the previously mentioned example of Sarapat Village. Farmers may also lose their lands through market-based processes. For instance, when people more or less voluntarily sell their land to manage debt or extraordinary expenses. This is well documented, for example, in the research of Tania Murray Li of Ecosoc Institute. #palmoillaboursolidarity September 18, 2019 at 07:04PM


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