PT Wilmar Sambas Plantation conflict, Kalimantan, Indonesia

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 Wilmar Sambas Plantation conflict, Kalimantan, Indonesia
ProvinceWest Kalimantan
SiteVillage of Senujuh, sub-district of Sejangkung, Sambas district
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 Details
In 2011 and 2012, Newsweek ranked Wilmar as the world’s least sustainable company in terms of environmental performance
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Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2006
Company Names or State Enterprises PT Wilmar Sambas Plantation (PT WSP) - Wilmar Group
Wilmar International from Singapore
International and Financial InstitutionsCompliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)
Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from Malaysia
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Corporación financiera internacional, - The IFC has provided numerous guarantees and loans to Wilmar
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLembaga Gemawan (a local EJO), Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
- villagers stopped thirty company workers, and confiscated an excavator and five chainsaws used by the workers to clear the community forest.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Other Environmental impacts
OtherThe company cleared local rubber agro-forests.
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusUnknown
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (undecided)
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesIn 2007, 516 villagers signed a public statement asking for all oil palm expansion to be stopped in their villages and expressing disappointment that their village head had given consent without consulting the community.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Recent data about the court case needed!
Sources and Materials

[1] Marti, S., 2008. Losing ground – the human rights impacts of oil palm plantation expansion in Indonesia. Friends of the Earth, London; SawitWatch, Bogor.
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[3] Wilmar International and its financiers
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Palm Oil land disputes in West-Kalimantan: the Politics of scale in [2] [2] Processes of DisPute resolution An empirical research on dispute resolution strategies in Sambas district. Masters Thesis by Elisabeth Vos
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Policy, practice, pride and prejudice Review of legal, environmental and social practices of oil palm plantation companies
of the Wilmar Group in Sambas District, West Kalimantan (Indonesia). A joint publication of: Milieudefensie (Friends of
the Earth Netherlands) Netherlands, Lembaga Gemawan Indonesia, KONTAK Rakyat Borneo Indonesia
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[4] Why not Wilmar? Down to Earth
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Other Documents

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The plantation
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Meta Information
ContributorJ.-F. Gerber
Last update03/05/2014