PT Cemerlang Abadi conflict, Sumatra

Oil palm is today the fastest growing monoculture in the tropics. Indonesia is the world's largest producer. The country has witnessed a massive conversion of customary (adat) land to oil palm (and fast-wood) plantations. Between 1967 and 2007, oil palm monocultures have increased about 50 times and the government is planning to expand the area under plantation.
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Basic Data
NamePT Cemerlang Abadi conflict, Sumatra
SiteKuala Batee, South Aceh
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesPalm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project Area (in hectares)6,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1998
End Date1998
Company Names or State Enterprises PT Cemerlang Abdi
Relevant government actorsGovernment of South Aceh
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersWAHLI
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Forms of MobilizationProperty damage/arson
- Material confiscation (protesters took away vehicles, heavy machinery and a generator)
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Imprisonment of protesters
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The 2014 court case can be seen as a success for environmental justice.
Sources and Materials

McCarthy, J.F., 2006. The fourth circle: a political ecology of Sumatra’s rainforest frontier. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

WRM Bulletin Nº12 (May 1998)
[click to view]


Palm Oil Company Fined Millions for Burning Sumatran Forest
[click to view]

Palm Oil Company fined Millions as Indonesian Court delivers historic ruling against illegal destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp Forests
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJ.-F. Gerber
Last update06/05/2014