Bangun Nusa Mandiri palm oil plantation in Jelai Hulu, Ketapang district, Indonesia

Indigenous communities of Silat Hulu see their livelihoods threatened by the establishment of a oil palm plantation of Golden Agri-Resources.


Owned by the palm oil giant GAR, PT Bangun Nusa -PT BNM- Mandiri started operating in Ketapang district in 2008. In the Environmental Impact Assessment carried out prior to its establishment, many potential damages are listed, such as the transformation of natural landscape, water and air degradation, risk of fires, soil erosion, local fauna and flora disturbance, sanitation problem and land disputes. There is no reference to the impact that palm oil plantations will have on food security and traditional livelihoods.

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Basic Data
NameBangun Nusa Mandiri palm oil plantation in Jelai Hulu, Ketapang district, Indonesia
ProvinceWest 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
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsBefore the biofuel boom took place, not more than 3% of land in Ketapang district (i.e. 100,000ha) was used for growing oil palm. In 2005, 742,000 ha were covered by oil palm, and 2 years later, 1,4 million ha, representing 40% of Ketapang’s land area.

Golden-Agri Resources is the second largest palm oil company in the world. It owns 446,200 ha in Indonesia as of 2011. They joined the RSPO in 2010 and committed to have all their plantations certified by 2015 [1].
Project Area (in hectares)20,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationaround 15,000
Start Date01/04/2008
Company Names or State EnterprisesGolden Agri Resources (GAR) from Singapore
Sinar Mas Group (SMART) from Indonesia
PT Bangun Nusa Mandiri (PT BNM) from Indonesia
Relevant government actorsKetapang government

Indonesian Constitutional Court

National Land Agency Office and Plantations Office of Ketapang District
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPublic Interest Lawyer Network Indonesia (PILNET)

Forest Peoples Programme


TuK Indonesia

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 MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Global warming
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (undecided)
Development of AlternativesThe local communities are asking for: mitigation of land clearing impacts on water resources, provision of promised facilities and infrastructures, proper information sharing, socialization of the meaning and purpose of High Conservation Value Areas, resolution of any ongoing land disputes, implementation of the accorded plassma scheme, and accessibility to all relevant documents by the community.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Despite compensation was paid to communities in Silat Hulu in 2009 to make up for all the losses, there are other conflicts ongoing within PT BNM concession.
Sources and Materials

[1] Jiwan, et al. 2013 “PT Bangun Nusa Mandiri and the Dayak Jelai and Dayak Kendawangan peoples of Ketapang district, West Kalimantan” In: Consent or conflict? The oil palm at a crossroads. Ch6
[click to view]


“Hukuman untuk SMART, Pelajaran bagi Pembuat Kebijakan” by Walhi West Borneo
[click to view]

”Caplok Lahan Adat, Penegak Hukum Harus Usut PT Sinarmas” by Nusantaranews
[click to view]

[2]“Konflik Perkebunan Sawit Meluas, RSPO Dituntut Segera Kembali ke Khittah” by Mongabay Indonesia
[click to view]

[3] “Sustainability without human rights respect and victims justice is meaningless” by Elsam (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy)
[click to view]

“Kotak Pandora di Konsesi Sinar Mas Grup Kalbar” by Mongabay Indonesia
[click to view]

“Bedah Kasus ‘Kriminalisasi Masyarakat Adat dan Hukum Adat’ Pembelajaran dari Kasus Silat Hulu, Ketapang” by Suara Komunitas
[click to view]

“Siaran Pers: Keberlanjutan Takkan Berarti Bila Menegasikan Penghormatan terhadap HAM dan Keadilan Korban” by TuK Indonesia
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protests against the criminalization of 2 activists in Pt BNM Source: Nusantara News
[click to view]

Oil palm field in PT BNM Source: Mongabay
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorClàudia Custòdio
Last update18/04/2017