Bogor, June 30, 2016. A number of civil society organizations urged the Indonesian Government to immediately resolve the conflict between the Muara Tae Indigenous Community and PT Borneo Surya Mining Jaya (PT. BSMJ) oil palm plantation, First Resources Group. This insistence was conveyed after the intimidation and death threats of the indigenous people who refused the release of the Dayak Benuaq customary forest in Muara Tae to become an oil palm plantation concession.

The expansion of oil palm plantations poses a serious threat to the destruction of indigenous territories in Muara Tae village, Jempang District, West Kutai Regency. Persistent pressure forced indigenous people to continue to struggle to save the remaining forests. They have made various efforts, reported to the Regional Government, the National Human Rights Commission, to send a letter to the Village Minister, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration. The Independent Forestry Monitoring Network (JPIK), the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), even facilitated the Muara Tae indigenous community to express their objections to the RSPO and Ciliandra Fangiono, the owners of PT. BSMJ, for the negative impacts arising from the company’s activities.

Masrani Tran as a community representative and one of the community leaders Muara Tae stated, “We have conveyed the rejection of the company’s expansion, but the government did not provide a solution”. “The government is more in favor of the company, we are even considered not supporting government programs. Even now we get death threats from a group of people who support the company, “said Masrani.

“We have conveyed the rejection of the company’s expansion, but the government did not provide a solution”. “The government is more in favor of the company, we are even considered not supporting government programs. Even now we get death threats from a group of people who support the company, “said Masrani.


The land dispute that occurred in Muara Tae is an example of many tenure issues that the government has not been able to resolve. The study conducted by FWI shows that there are at least 4 (four) companies that pose a threat to the preservation of natural forests and the integrity of the Muara Tae traditional territory. Practices carried out by large-scale companies, especially oil palm, not only lead to conflicts between communities and companies, but have led to horizontal conflicts between communities. This condition is of course caused by the weak capacity of the government in managing and managing forest resources in Indonesia.

Director of Forest Watch Indonesia, Christian Purba stated, “The central and regional governments will immediately take concrete action to resolve the overlapping land ownership in Muara Tae to prevent escalation of the conflict so that it takes casualties.” “Improving licenses in the palm oil sector by conducting reviews and audits of permits in conflict with indigenous territories and damaging forest ecosystems is the next step. “In the future the licensing process must be open, so as to avoid the emergence of tenurial conflicts,” said Christian.

The prolonged conflict that took place in Muara Tae village was a clear example of the government’s impartiality to indigenous peoples. The presence of a number of companies in the Muara Tae area has been the trigger for the conflict to date. “The government must protect its citizens and immediately deal with the threats faced by the indigenous people of Muara Tae. “Do not be discriminatory or privilege the interests of certain parties,” said Muhamad Kosar, JPIK National Dynamics.

Muhamad Kosar, urged the government through the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning to make this case a momentum for the implementation of conflict resolution. “The government must show its seriousness in handling this case and make it the entrance to the effectiveness of supervision and law enforcement”.

Contact For Interviews:
Masrani Tran, Figure of the Muara Tae Indigenous Community; +62 822 5527 4194;
Christian Purba, Executive Director of FWI, +62 812 1105 172;
Muhamad Kosar, JPIK National Dynamics, +62 813 1872 6321;

Editor’s Note:
– Founded in 1992 and listed on the Singapore Exchange since 2007, First Resources is one of the leading palm oil producers, managing more than 200,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in Riau, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, Indonesia in full about First Resources can be seen through the following link :
– The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has become a standard reference for global sustainable palm oil production. The RSPO encourages openness, legal compliance, economic feasibility, proper management of plantations and factories, environmental and biodiversity responsibilities, social and community responsibility, without deforestation and continuous improvement. Information about First Resources membership at the RSPO can be seen through the following link:
– Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) is an independent forest monitoring network consisting of individuals who have a commitment to realize an open process of forestry data and information management in Indonesia so as to ensure fair and sustainable management of forest resources.
JPIK is an Independent Forest Monitoring Network that was agreed and declared on September 23, 2010, consisting of 69 NGOs and NGO Networks from Aceh to Papua. The establishment of JPIK is a manifestation of commitment to contribute actively in promoting good forestry governance by ensuring credibility and accountability of SVLK implementation.

Big Size Map of Muara Tae Situation


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Presiden Jokowi Didesak untuk Instruksikan Penghentian Intimidasi dan Ancaman Pembunuhan terhadap Masyarakat Adat Muara Tae