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REA Kaltim, oil palm plantations in East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Ongoing land conflicts in PT REA Kaltim oil palm Plantations since its establishment in 1991.


Land conflicts in Kutai resulted from indiscriminate allocation of land to private companies for oil palm plantations on the 90s given that local communities rights were not recognized under national laws.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:REA Kaltim, oil palm plantations in East Kalimantan, Indonesia
State or province:East Kalimantan
Location of conflict:Kembang Janggut
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 :Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Land
Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

1,2 million ha of land are allocated for palm oil plantations in East Kalimantan. The expansion has been accelerated since 2005, increasing the total area of plantations by 30% during 2005-2012.

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Project area:37,084
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:620,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/1994
Company names or state enterprises:PT REA Kaltim Plantations from Indonesia
REA Holdings PLC from United Kingdom
Relevant government actors:Plantations Office of East Kalimantan
Kukar National Land Agency
Forestry and Plantations Office
Local Parliament
Land Adquisition Committe (East Kalimantan)
International and Finance InstitutionsRoundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) (RSPO)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Forest People’s Programme
Sawit Watch
TuK Indonesia
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Global warming
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Land demarcation
Development of alternatives:The communities demand [1]:
-Realization of plasma schemes (cooperative programmes introduced by the Indonesian government to enable smallholders to become independent oil palm growers. The small farmers produce for large agribusinesses and receive assistance in the form of loans, knowledge, etc. in exchange)
-The equal treatment of all the villages within the concession
-Compensation for land lost in early 90s
-Active information-sharing channels between company and communities
-Training for communities on their legal rights, RSPO standards and right to FPIC
-Greater transparency by the company
-Participatory mapping of customary lands and concession boundaries
-Provision of relevant documents to community mebers
-Development of regional bylaw recognizing and protecting customary rights to land
-Government action to resolve ongoing land disputes
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Some mechanisms of conflict resolution has been put in place and participatory mapping has been undertaken as a response to protests
Yet, many demands from the communities are still unfulfilled and information is not fully communicated
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Chao, et al., 2013. “PT Rea Kaltim Plantations and the Dayak and Kutai peoples of Kutai Kartanegara and Tabang, East Kalimantan” In: Consent or conflict? The oil palm at a crossroads. Ch5
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[3] RSPO Case Tracker "PT Rea Kaltim plantations"
[click to view]

[2] “Sustainable palm oil: Marketing or true commitment?”
[click to view]

"13 Warga Kembang Janggut Ditangkap" by Koran Kaltim (online newspaper)
[click to view]

Other documents

Detention of local residents who blocked part of the plantation at PT REA Kaltim Plantations Source: Koran Kaltim
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Clàudia Custòdio
Last update17/04/2017
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