Last update:
2017-04-17

Surya Sawit Sejat, oil palm plantation in Kotawaring district, Indonesia

United Plantations established a palm oil plantation in Kotawaringin District, Central Kalimantan, without having the required permits and without consulting the local communities. Despite mobilization, their operations continue.


Description:

Land clearing for oil palm plantation started in 2004 by PT Surya Sawit Sejat -PT SSS- iafter the conduction of a preliminary survey. PT SSS did not hold any meetings, disseminated information nor consulted the communities. The company staff only exchanged  information with the village chiefs. The first community plantations were set up in 2005 and 2006. PT SSS was acquired by United Plantation Berhad -a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil- in 2006 and became a palm oil plantation, despite not having carried any legal process previously [1]. There are 2 villages within the PT SSS areas: Sungai Rangit Jaya and Runtu . The local communities earn their livelihoods from cultivating rubber and palm oil, working for large companies. Traditionally, they cooperated to grow rice, food crops and rubber, fish in rivers and lakes and collect stones to sell them for construction. With the arrival of palm oil, their livelihoods were radically changed and fostered individualization as people were hired to work for the plantation. Customary institutions had disappeared on the 80s after the introduction of the village governmental system, which regulates land ownership and use based on State laws. In 2008, a regulation on Dayak customary Institutions was issued to empower the rights of indigenous peoples and support customary laws. United Plantation was one of the stakeholders that established the RSPO. Attempts at hindering the establishment of the plantation took place by the locals in several occasions, which usually ended up with arrest by the police.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Surya Sawit Sejat, oil palm plantation in Kotawaring district, Indonesia
Country:Indonesia
State or province:Central Kalimantan
Location of conflict:Kotawaringin district
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:Deforestation
Land acquisition conflicts
Agro-toxics
Specific commodities:Land
Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The first community plantations were set up in 2005 and 2006. PT SSS was acquired by United Plantation Berhad -a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil- in 2006 and became a palm oil plantation, despite not having carried any legal process previously. There are 2 villages within the PT SSS areas: Sungai Rangit Jaya and Runtu.

Project area:15,550 ha
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2806
Start of the conflict:01/12/2004
Company names or state enterprises:PT Surya Sawit Sejati
United Plantations Berhad from Malaysia
Relevant government actors:Provincial government of Central Kalimantan
District Land Agency (BPN) of Pangkalan Bun
District Forestry Office of Kobar
National Land Agency
International and Finance InstitutionsRoundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) (RSPO)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Forest Peoples Programme http://www.forestpeoples.org/
Sawit Watch http://sawitwatch.or.id/
Walhi http://www.walhi.or.id/
Greenpeace
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Sabotage
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Global warming
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Land demarcation
Repression
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The plantation continues operating despite not having obtained permits legally. Complains by the local people have been ignored and they have not received compensation for the damages derived from the plantation or for the loss of land for food crops.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Provincial Regulation No.16 of 2008 on Dayak Customary Institutions in Central Kalimantan

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[2] Greenpeace, 2008. "United Plantations certified despite gross violations of RSPO standards"
[click to view]

[1] Firdaus, et al., 2013. “PT Surya sawit Sejati and the Waringin people of Kotawaringin Barat, Central Kalimantan”. In: Chao et al, 2013. Conflict or consent? The oil palm at a crossroads. Ch2
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

“Penyelesaina Konflik Warga dan PT SSS Jalan di tempat”
[click to view]

“PT. SSS Melanggar Mekanisme Konflik yang Seharusnya” by Sawit Watch
[click to view]

RSPO-PT SS
[click to view]

“PT SSS Tak Hadiri Rapat Mediasi: DPRD Merasa Dilecehkan” (PT SSS did not attend mediation meeting: Council feels harassed”
[click to view]

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Public Summary Report
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Clàudia Custòdio
Last update17/04/2017
Comments
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