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PT Karya Canggih Mandiri Utama (KCMU) 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
Name of conflict:PT Karya Canggih Mandiri Utama (KCMU) conflict, Sumatra
State or province:Sumatra
Location of conflict:Bengkunat region, Lampung province
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Please see "Description".

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1985
End of the conflict:2000
Company names or state enterprises: PT Karya Canggih Mandir Utama (KCMU)
Relevant government actors:District government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Support of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Forms of mobilization:Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New strategy on behalf of the company but no improvements for the local farmers.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Although the 40/60 scheme was successfully cancelled in 2000 thanks to the protests, the company decided not to implement the system and to start acquiring community land directly. Sad example of a huge power imbalance. No clear environmental gain.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Colchester, M., N. Jiwan, Andiko, M. Sirait, A. Yunan Firdaus, A. Surambo and H. Pane, 2006. Promised land – palm oil and land acquisition in Indonesia. Moreton-in-Marsh: Forest Peoples Programme; Bogor: SawitWatch.
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Contributor:J.-F. Gerber
Last update05/05/2014
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