Regent of Kotawaringin Timur Met GPPI to Prevent Palm Oil Plantation Conflicts

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Illustration of Palm oil plantation. Photo by: Sawit Fest 2021 / Indah Kurniati

PALMOILMAGAZINE, SAMPIT – The Regent of Kotawaringin Timur (Kotim), Central Kalimantan Province, Halikinnor, met with the Gabungan Pengusaha Perkebunan Indonesia (GPPI) Kotim to address conflicts between local communities and large private palm oil companies.

The meeting, held on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, aimed to find solutions to the ongoing disputes in the plantation sector.

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“We met with plantation owners in Kotim to discuss solutions for the recurring conflicts in the sector,” Halikinnor stated, as quoted by from KontenKalteng on Thursday (June 13, 2024).

Also Read: Kotim Regent Will Coordinate Regarding Massive Palm Oil Theft

Kotim hosts numerous large private plantation companies, predominantly operating in the palm oil sector. The regency is renowned for having the largest palm oil plantations in Indonesia.

Conflicts between plantations and local communities continue to arise, including issues such as land encroachment, fatalities, and territorial disputes, which often escalate into physical clashes between security personnel and residents, as well as protests.

“Kotim wants that the issues would be minimized in the future. The solution in village and sub district levels would be getting more comprehensive by involving the related agencies,” he said.

Halikinnor also emphasized that the related agencies should prioritize not only formal legal aspects but know the land owner history and the villagers’ economic business around the big private companies.

To minimize demonstration and fresh fruit bunch (FFB) stealing in the big private companies, it needs to track down the villagers’ business proram as their potential sources of living. “The companies should actively deliver their corporate social responsibility (CSR) so that the villagers’ businesses would be mobilized. By having the businesses, they would escalate their welfare and FFB stealing would be minimal,” he said.

Also Read: GPPI Advocates for Palm Oil Sectors and Sustainability Maintenance

Halikinnor said about the pillage to the big private companies and plasma claim for about 20%. He thought, the issues always come up because the plasma purchase is by the outer parties of the village or regency and the plasma harvest would be enjoyed more by the buyers, not the local. “When establishing the cooperation, the local was registered as the members of cooperation. But after they get harvests, the other enjoy the trade,” he said.

To solve the issue, Halikinnor emphasized that after having replanting program in plasma plantations, the members of cooperation should be returned to the original owners that were registered as the members of cooperation since it was established.

“They should be forbidden to trade plasma (plantations) from the big private companies namely for the new established cooperations. The members proposed in the decision of calon petani calon lahan (CPCL) should really pay attention to the local who stay around the big private companies. I do hope the decision would make investment in this regency be better,” he hopoed. (T2)

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