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
NamePT Karya Canggih Mandiri Utama (KCMU) conflict, Sumatra
SiteBengkunat 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)Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific CommoditiesPalm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsPlease see "Description".
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1985
End Date2000
Company Names or State Enterprises PT Karya Canggih Mandir Utama (KCMU)
Relevant government actorsDistrict government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSupport of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Forms of MobilizationStreet protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
New strategy on behalf of the company but no improvements for the local farmers.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

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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Meta Information
ContributorJ.-F. Gerber
Last update05/05/2014