Once again, an Indonesian pulp and paper company is clearing the forests of indigenous communities to replace them with industrial tree plantations. Once again, villagers are protesting. Once again, the police and authorities are siding with the company.
In 2009, PT Toba Pulp Lestari announced that it was expanding its pulp and paper operations in Porsea, near Lake Toba in Sumatra from 165,000 tonnes per year to 300,000 tonnes per year. Since then, the company has been clearing communities’ forests, despite on-going land conflicts and protests by local communities. Recently, 31 villagers were arrested trying to stop the company from destroying their forests. 16 men are still in prison in Medan.
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