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PT PHP 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 PHP conflict, Sumatra
State or province:Sumatra
Location of conflict:West Pasaman District, West province (Sumatra)
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

Company Profile: Established in 1992, PT PHP was initially a domestic investment enterprise with shares owned by its founders. In 1999, the company’s legal status was changed to Foreign Investment Enterprise (PMA) and its shareholders became foreign entities: Keyflow Limited (British Virgin Islands), Caffrey International Limited (UK), HPR Investment Limited (British Virgin Islands), Banoto Investment Limited (British Virgin Islands), Wilmar Plantation Limited (British Virgin Islands) and PT Kartika Prima Vegetable. The latter’s shares were subsequently sold to PT Karya Prajona Nelayan. [1]

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Project area:5,450
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1997
Company names or state enterprises:PT Permata Hijau Pasaman (PHP) - Wilmar Group
Wilmar International from Singapore
International and Finance InstitutionsRound Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from Malaysia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:One local NGO (at least)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Kapa and Sasak communities
Forms of mobilization:Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Protester "captured" a police station in order to release anti-palm-oil activists.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The movement benefited from no longer-term successes.
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.
[click to view]

Noor, R., and R. Syumanda, 2006. Social conflict and environmental disaster: a report on Asia Pulp and Paper’s operations in Sumatra, Indonesia. Montevideo: World Rainforest Movement.
[click to view]

[1] Conflict or Consent: PT Permata Hijau Pasaman I and the Kapa and 4 Sasak peoples of Pasaman Barat, West Sumatr
[click to view]

Buyers and Financiers of the Wilmar Group
[click to view]

Zakaria, A., C. Theile and L. Khaimur, 2007. Policy, practice, pride and prejudice: review of legal, environmental and social practices of oil palm plantation companies of the Wilmar Group in Sambas District, West Kalimantan (Indonesia). Amsterdam: Friends of the Earth Netherlands.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:J.-F. Gerber
Last update06/05/2014
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