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David Rajaguguk, organizer with KSPPM, a solidarity NGO based in the Lake Toba region of North Sumatra, Indonesia

“We hope that the Indonesian government will immediately recognize the rights of Indigenous communities and remove their lands from company concessions so that they can manage their traditionally-owned lands. Traditionally-owned land is the identity of the Batak Indigenous peoples and their clans. Without their traditionally-owned land they will lose their clans and future generations.”

Answer

Over 30 years ago, land was taken from Indigenous Batak communities and given to pulp and paper corporations with the promise that it would one day be returned. To this day, many Batak Indigenous communities continue to demand that the government and corporations return their traditionally-owned land which is inextricably linked to their cultural survival.

Photo of the Indigenous Batak community of Nagasaribu.

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