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PT Wilmar Sambas Plantation conflict, Kalimantan, Indonesia


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 Wilmar Sambas Plantation conflict, Kalimantan, Indonesia
State or province:West Kalimantan
Location of conflict:Village of Senujuh, sub-district of Sejangkung, Sambas 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:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In 2011 and 2012, Newsweek ranked Wilmar as the world’s least sustainable company in terms of environmental performance

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises: PT Wilmar Sambas Plantation (PT WSP) - Wilmar Group
Wilmar International from Singapore
International and Finance InstitutionsCompliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO)
Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from Malaysia
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Corporación financiera Internacional (CFI) - The IFC has provided numerous guarantees and loans to Wilmar
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Lembaga Gemawan (a local EJO), Indonesian Environmental Forum (WALHI)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
- villagers stopped thirty company workers, and confiscated an excavator and five chainsaws used by the workers to clear the community forest.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsThe company cleared local rubber agro-forests.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (undecided)
Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:In 2007, 516 villagers signed a public statement asking for all oil palm expansion to be stopped in their villages and expressing disappointment that their village head had given consent without consulting the community.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Recent data about the court case needed!
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Marti, S., 2008. Losing ground – the human rights impacts of oil palm plantation expansion in Indonesia. Friends of the Earth, London; SawitWatch, Bogor.
[click to view]

[3] Wilmar International and its financiers
[click to view]

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). A joint publication of: Milieudefensie (Friends of

the Earth Netherlands) Netherlands, Lembaga Gemawan Indonesia, KONTAK Rakyat Borneo Indonesia
[click to view]

Palm Oil land disputes in West-Kalimantan: the Politics of scale in [2] [2] Processes of DisPute resolution An empirical research on dispute resolution strategies in Sambas district. Masters Thesis by Elisabeth Vos
[click to view]

[4] Why not Wilmar? Down to Earth
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:J.-F. Gerber
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1188
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