Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

Bangun Nusa Mandiri palm oil plantation in Jelai Hulu, Ketapang district, Indonesia


Owned by the palm oil giant GAR, PT Bangun Nusa -PT BNM- Mandiri started operating in Ketapang district in 2008. In the Environmental Impact Assessment carried out prior to its establishment, many potential damages are listed, such as the transformation of natural landscape, water and air degradation, risk of fires, soil erosion, local fauna and flora disturbance, sanitation problem and land disputes. There is no reference to the impact that palm oil plantations will have on food security and traditional livelihoods.

The majority of the people living within the plantation area indigenous Dayak. They are garden-farmers, based on what they gather form the forest –their livelihoods are dependent on the rainforest and the rivers[1].

The area allocated to PT BNM was previously used collectively by the indigenous communities.

The case of Silat Hulu village: relations between different Dayak communities living in the town were satisfactorily regulated by customary rules prior to the establishment of PT BNM. In 2008, conflicts arose when communities were evicted from there (an area of circa 350 ha to plan oil palm platations). Despite under customary laws land must not be sold to third parties and the obvious rejection to give away their lands by the Dayak peoples, land clearing for palm oil establishment took place anyway on different occasions [3]. Peaceful demands from the communities were repeatedly ignored, and a big protest was organized on September 2009. The company machinery was damaged, to demand for compensation and respect for customary rights.

The Silat Hulu communities accused the company of degrading customary territory, destroying planted crops and fruit gardens, trespassing on communities’ territory without permission and notification, intentionally neglecting the authority of the customary chief, hoarding farm fields owned by Silat Hulu residents and destroying valuable trees and forest –i.e. violating customary law. The conflict was deemed solved when in November 2009 the company paid for all the grievances, thus acknowledging its guiltiness.

In another occasion, two activists –Japin and Vitalis Andi- were brought to court, accused of damaging the plantations. They were initially found guilty, but after several appeals and partially thanks to the support of PILNET, the Constitutional Court of Indonesia ruled on their favour and reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Silat Hulu [1].

The Ketapang government has neglected   protection of Constitutional rights of indigenous communities in several occasions.

Indigenous communities in PT BNM have complained about the destruction and contamination of water streams that are basic for their subsistence. Moreover, they reported not being invited to the environmental assessment of the plantation of oil palm. The company informed the communities about the planned operations and their impacts, but it never consulted them.

Despite the requirement to have resolution processes in place in all company holding’s to grant certification in any of the plantations, some GAR holdings were granted RSPO certification, ignoring the existing conflicts derived from forced evictions and crop damage in Silat Hulu and other communities within PT BNM[1].

Up to date, the land has not been returned to the local communities and conflicts continue within the concession [2].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Bangun Nusa Mandiri palm oil plantation in Jelai Hulu, Ketapang district, Indonesia
State or province:West Kalimantan
Location of conflict:Ketapang
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
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Land
Palm oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

Before the biofuel boom took place, not more than 3% of land in Ketapang district (i.e. 100,000ha) was used for growing oil palm. In 2005, 742,000 ha were covered by oil palm, and 2 years later, 1,4 million ha, representing 40% of Ketapang’s land area.

Golden-Agri Resources is the second largest palm oil company in the world. It owns 446,200 ha in Indonesia as of 2011. They joined the RSPO in 2010 and committed to have all their plantations certified by 2015 [1].

Project area:20,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:around 15,000
Start of the conflict:01/04/2008
Company names or state enterprises:Golden Agri Resources (GAR) from Singapore
Sinar Mas Group (SMART) from Indonesia
PT Bangun Nusa Mandiri (PT BNM) from Indonesia
Relevant government actors:Ketapang government
Indonesian Constitutional Court
National Land Agency Office and Plantations Office of Ketapang District
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Public Interest Lawyer Network Indonesia (PILNET)
Forest Peoples Programme
TuK Indonesia

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Global warming
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (undecided)
Development of alternatives:The local communities are asking for: mitigation of land clearing impacts on water resources, provision of promised facilities and infrastructures, proper information sharing, socialization of the meaning and purpose of High Conservation Value Areas, resolution of any ongoing land disputes, implementation of the accorded plassma scheme, and accessibility to all relevant documents by the community.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite compensation was paid to communities in Silat Hulu in 2009 to make up for all the losses, there are other conflicts ongoing within PT BNM concession.

Sources and Materials

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

[1] Jiwan, et al. 2013 “PT Bangun Nusa Mandiri and the Dayak Jelai and Dayak Kendawangan peoples of Ketapang district, West Kalimantan” In: Consent or conflict? The oil palm at a crossroads. Ch6

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

“Hukuman untuk SMART, Pelajaran bagi Pembuat Kebijakan” by Walhi West Borneo

”Caplok Lahan Adat, Penegak Hukum Harus Usut PT Sinarmas” by Nusantaranews

[2]“Konflik Perkebunan Sawit Meluas, RSPO Dituntut Segera Kembali ke Khittah” by Mongabay Indonesia

[3] “Sustainability without human rights respect and victims justice is meaningless” by Elsam (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy)

“Kotak Pandora di Konsesi Sinar Mas Grup Kalbar” by Mongabay Indonesia

“Bedah Kasus ‘Kriminalisasi Masyarakat Adat dan Hukum Adat’ Pembelajaran dari Kasus Silat Hulu, Ketapang” by Suara Komunitas“kriminalisasi-masyar-akat-adat-dan-hukum-adat”-pem-belajaran-dari-kasus-silat-hulu--ketapang.htm-l?lang=id&rid=lembaga&id=225

“Siaran Pers: Keberlanjutan Takkan Berarti Bila Menegasikan Penghormatan terhadap HAM dan Keadilan Korban” by TuK Indonesia

Other documents

Protests against the criminalization of 2 activists in Pt BNM Source: Nusantara News

Oil palm field in PT BNM Source: Mongabay

Meta information

Contributor:Clàudia Custòdio
Last update18/04/2017



Protests against the criminalization of 2 activists in Pt BNM


Oil palm field in PT BNM