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Bumitama Agri Oil Palm plantation, Indonesia


PT Ladang Sawit Mas (LSM) is an oil palm plantation company under the ownership of Bumitama Agri.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bumitama Agri Oil Palm plantation, Indonesia
State or province:Nanga Tayap sub-district, Ketapang district in West Kalimantan
Location of conflict:West-Kalimantan
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific commodities:Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Bumitama has knowingly destroyed forest that is the home for endangered orangutans. In April 2013 Bumitama promised it would not clear land near forest reserves in West Kalimantan until studies were completed to appraise the land’s ecological importance. However, satellite imagery shows that hundreds of hectares of peatland and forests in the area were cleared between May and September 2013. So while Bumitama was negotiating with the RSPO to address the complaint, the company continued to clear land, despite its pledge to stop the cutting.

Project area:8,300
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/05/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Bumitama Agri Ltd, from Indonesia - Palm oil producer
Wilmar International from Singapore - In 2011, Wilmar bought 56.8 percent of Bumitama’s total Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) production.
International and Finance InstitutionsHSBC United Kingdom (HSCB) from United Kingdom - financier (of Wilmar International)
DBS Bank Singapore from Singapore - financier
Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from Malaysia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Friends of the Earth Europe, International Animal Rescue, Friends of Borneo
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
conservationist groups
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Global warming, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Land dispossession, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Negotiated alternative solution
Development of alternatives:Friends of the Earth calls on financiers to cancel their loans, withhold other financial services, and publicly commit to a moratorium on loans and the purchasing of shares in Bumitama, or any company associated with it. Wilmar International, the largest buyer of Bumitama's palm oil and a significant shareholder, should break current contracts with the company and sell its shares.
The government of Indonesia immediately has to implement and enforce its existing moratorium on the conversion of peatlands and forests, to save the most threatened forests, peatland ecosystems, and endangered wildlife, and to take immediate steps to resolve social and land conflicts.
Governments of consumer countries including the EU, must work to reduce demand for palm oil; one particular opportunity is the EU’s unsustainable demand for palm oil biodiesel, driven by biofuel targets and subsidies, and a carbon accounting system that does not take into account displaced deforestation and land grabs. The EU must cap and then phase out land based biofuels, and implement correct carbon accounting.
Robert Hii (Friends of Borneo): "The dates when licenses were issued may sound like a violation of national laws but it is in fact how the government expects plantations to operate.
By law, once a "permission to explore" is granted in an area, the company is expected to work on it within 3 years or lose the license. This explains why most companies open up small areas just to show they are working the land even as the rest of the licenses are being processed. Hopefully the new president of Indonesia will do something to correct this backwards way of working."
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Depends on the future development of the case.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Friends of the Earth Europe report
[click to view]

short timeline of conflict
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Conflict palm oil case study by Rainforest Action network
[click to view]

Information on financiers
[click to view]

Article by Mongabay
[click to view]

Chronology on RSPO website
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
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