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Katigan peatland conservation and REDD project excluding traditional owners, Kalimantan, Indonesia

This conflict concerns the population of Bapinang Hilir in the South of Kalimantan island, Borneo and the Indonesian company Rimba Makmur Utama (RMU). Carbon trading is restructuring local communities.


As high levels of carbon dioxide emitted by the Northern hemisphere over the last two centuries have strongly contributed to the climate crisis, carbon emissions have become a commodity. Countries are endorsing climate agreements, committing to decreasing emissions, therefore businesses have had to find alternative ways to continue business as usual [1]. This has led to the creation of carbon offset concessions that generate and sell carbon credits. Ironically, the responsibility for ‘reducing’ emissions is transferred to small, marginalised populations of the Global South.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Katigan peatland conservation and REDD project excluding traditional owners, Kalimantan, Indonesia
State or province:Central Kalimantan
Location of conflict:Bapinang Hilir
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:REDD/CDM
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Carbon offsets
Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Although RMU's concession area is of 149,800 hectares, the total area accounted for as the VCS and CCBA verified project zone is of 305,669 hectares.

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Project area:305,669
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Bapinang Hilir
Start of the conflict:01/01/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Rimba Makmur Utama (RMU) from Indonesia - Rimba Makmur Utama (RMU) is in charge of the Katingan REDD+ project
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
KLM (KLM) from Netherlands - Buys carbon credits from the project
Verra from United States of America - Certifies the carbon credits
Relevant government actors:Government of Indonesia (Kalimantan)
Katigan Regency
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Dayak Misik Group [8]
- World Rainforest Movement
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local scientists/professionals
Dayak people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Media based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Fires
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Fostering a culture of peace
The Katingan project has not evicted the villagers, “to avoid a fight, [as] the reserve prefers to keep the peace and opts for cooperation with the local population." "The project offered local communities 100 million rupiah (about US$10,000) a year for training and educational projects, aimed at getting them to work the land without using fire or chemicals" [3].
Proposal and development of alternatives:There is no evidence of local mobilisation (as far as we know) to this REDD + project, claimed to be one of the largest in the world. Local population density is low.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project is still underway and the local population has had to adapt to their new circumstances. Despite the project's goal to protect the environment and provide sustainable opportunities for the local population, many have lost their land and sources of livelihood and social divide is growing.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[7] CIFOR. RED + on the ground. CHAPTER 18. Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Yayan Indriatmoko, Stibniati S Atmadja, Nugroho Adi Utomo, Andini Desita Ekaputri and Mella Komalasari.
[click to view]

[1] UNFCCC, (2015). Paris Agreement. United Nations Climate Change [online].
[click to view]

[2] Prawiranegara, I. (2022). The Katingan REDD+ project in Indonesia: The commodification of nature, labour and Communities' Reproduction. World Rainforest Movement [online].
[click to view]

[3] Lang, C. (2019). Indonesia’s Katingan Redd Project sells carbon credits to shell. But that doesn’t mean the forest is protected. It’s threatened by land conflicts, fires and a palm oil plantation. Redd Monitor [online].
[click to view]

[4] Rimba Makmur Utama. (2016). Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project. Verra [online].
[click to view]

[5] Offsetters Community., (2022). Katingan Peatland Restoration & Conservation redd project. OSTROMCLIMATE [online].
[click to view]

[6] Shell., (n.d.). REDD+ Katingan Mentaya, Indonesia. Shell [online].
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Fiona Grant , [email protected]
Last update29/03/2023
Conflict ID:6298
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