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.
In the present case, the area became the target of logging operations in the 1980s and oil palm plantations in the 1990s. PT. Harapan Sawit Lestari (HSL), having concessions over approximately 25,000 ha, began operations in 1993. In 1997 the project was acquired by Commonwealth Development Corporation, under the British Foreign Ministry. It is now jointly owned by Cargill and Temasak Holding, a private investment arm of the Singapore government.  The concessions affect 15 indigenous Dayak communities. Land rights violations and the destruction of local livelihoods were the main problems. Burning and bulldozing were used, graves were destroyed, and corruption was used to acquire land against unfair compensations. These impacts resulted in a complex dispute between villagers, authorities, and the company. The latter used the village administration’s close relationship with local police and military during the Suharto era to force indigenous communities to hand over their land. The new government has brought no change. PT HSL continues to refuse to recognize local community land rights. The community is divided: many local supporters of the company have benefited directly or indirectly from the plantation either through employment or by gaining land through a cooperative scheme that runs part of the plantation. The manner in which the scheme was imposed on the community and the inequities in its implementation are increasing social tensions. Some community groups are taking action into their own hands. In mid-1999 villagers apparently reoccupied 2,000ha of HSL/CDC’s plantation, marking their former property with boards bearing their names. In early July 2000, 50-60 people from three villages cut down 400 oil palms in the concession area in broad daylight as a token protest. All plantation operations were stopped for several days and local security forces were reinforced by additional police from Ketapang .
However, local people do not want the plantation to pull out. Their former way of life is now impossible since their land is converted into an oil palm monoculture. They want proper compensation for their losses and some guarantee of a sustainable livelihood for their families and future generations.
According to a report in 2009 , Cargill is expanding the operation into an adjacent area on an estate known as PT Indo Sawit Kekal and in 2007 purchased 1,000 hectares of primary rainforest from the village of Bagan Kajang to clear. RAN reported that they did not have an EIA as required by law, and that in July 2009, as part of this most recent expansion, Cargill bulldozed 800 fruit and natural rubber trees without permission. According to the owner, he was not told of the clearing before it took place, did not receive any compensation, and Cargill managers refuse to speak with him. “This is the hardest. My way of life is gone, taken away by Cargill. My rubber trees were the way I survived day to day.”