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Abson Lumban Batu, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia

“We are the heirs of this Indigenous land. We know this farmland is inherited from our ancestors and we are their descendants. It is because we know the land was passed on by our ancestors that we farm here, for our livelihood and to send our children to school.” 

Answer

For the people of Aek Lung in North Sumatra, farming is more than a way of life, it's an act of resistance. Pulp giant Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) took the communities’ traditionally-owned land and cut down their forest for eucalyptus plantations. After TPL harvested the eucalyptus, community members returned to the land and reclaimed it, planting their own crops before TPL could replant it with another monocrop pulp plantation.

Photo of Ama Raja Medang Simamora traditional community from Aek Lung on their farmland. 

 

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