Beyond Paper Promises

Beyond Paper Promises

Amplifying Frontline Resistance to Protect Forests and Human Rights

That paper you’re using? That rayon shirt you’re wearing? Both are made from trees. After years of campaigning, many corporations have committed to eliminate forest destruction and human rights abuses from their business. Despite these promises, hundreds of communities are still suffering the impacts of having their traditional forests and lands seized and cleared for industrial pulp plantations. Together, we demand more than paper promises. [...]

Across Indonesia and the world, frontline communities are still fighting to get their lands back, to have their forests protected, and to have their culture and rights respected. The images and interviews below are from the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, in the villages of Lubuk Mandarsah, Op. Bolus, and Aek Lung. These are only a subset of villages that have been negatively impacted by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), APRIL, Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL), and other companies that have adopted strong policies that should—if properly implemented—protect communities and forests.

The lived experiences in these communities are the true measure of whether or not companies are keeping their promises. Join us in learning from their stories, and take action to demand that companies keep their promises to frontline communities! [Hide] 

Explore The Stories:
Click the images below to read their stories.
Robert Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Life on the frontlines of deforestation
Rentina Nababan, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Rentina Nababan, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Mohammad Jais, Sekato Jaya farmers’ group in Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
M. Jais, Sekato Jaya farmers’ group in Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Abson Lumban Batu, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Farming as an act of resistance
 Redita br Nababan, Op.Bolus, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Redita br Nababan, Op.Bolus, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Abson Lumban Batu, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Defenders of the forest
Pak Arkamis Kadus, Deputy Head in the Tebo Farmers’ Union, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Environmental degradation
Yulmanesni, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
The next generation
Nurmala Boru Purba, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Nurmala Boru Purba, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Benzoin (frankincense-like resin) as a forest livelihood
Yulmanesni, Indra’s adopted mother
Indra Pelani, murdered activist-farmer
Lake Toba, home to Indigenous Batak communities
Puka Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia (not pictured)
Ancestral land through the generations
Frandody Taruna Negara, aka “Dody”, Head of Tebo Farmers’ Union (STT), in Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Frandody Taruna Negara, aka “Dody”, Head of Tebo Farmers’ Union (STT), in Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Sadili, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Farmers unite to fight APP
Farming as an act of resistance
Ibu Nurhotmahsari, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Ibu Nurhotmahsari, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
David Rajaguguk, organizer with KSPPM, a solidarity NGO based in the Lake Toba region of North Sumatra, Indonesia
Toba Pulp Lestari’s (TPL) polluting pulp mill
Abson Lumban Batu, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Abson Lumban Batu, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Kristina br Hutabarat, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Farming as an act of resistance
Rudiansyah, Executive Director of WALHI Jambi, (Friends of the Earth - Jambi Province, Indonesia)
The impacts of logging
Salamat Sianipar, Raja Patik (traditional leader) for his clan, Nagasaribu, Indonesia
Salamat Sianipar, Raja Patik (traditional leader) for his clan, Nagasaribu, Indonesia
Jimmy Simanjuntak, Nagasaribu, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Jimmy Simanjuntak, Nagasaribu, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Sarip Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Benzoin trees as a forest livelihood
Suddung Simamora, Aek Lung, Indonesia
Suddung Simamora, Aek Lung, Indonesia
Nurmala Boru Purba, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Heirs to ancestral land
Abson Lumban Batu, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Ama Raja Medang Simamora traditional community from Aek Lung
Pak Musri Naoli, Director of WALHI Jambi 2012-2016, (Friends of the Earth - Jambi Province, Indonesia)
Life on the frontlines of deforestation
Toni Simanjuntak, Nagasaribu, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Toni Simanjuntak, Nagasaribu, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Rudiansyah, Executive Director of WALHI Jambi, (Friends of the Earth - Jambi Province, Indonesia)
Rudiansyah, Executive Director of WALHI Jambi, (Friends of the Earth - Jambi Province, Indonesia)
Sadili, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Sadili, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Maymunah, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Maymunah, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Puka Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Puka Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Zulkarnain, Indra Pelani’s best friend
Zulkarnain, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
David Rajaguguk, organizer with KSPPM, a solidarity NGO based in the Lake Toba region of North Sumatra, Indonesia
Indigenous Batak community of Nagasaribu
Yulmanesni, Indra Pelani’s adopted mother
Yulmanesni, Indra Pelani’s adopted mother
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)’s plantations on the Kampar Peninsula, Sumatra
Yulmanesni, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Yulmanesni, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Zulkarnain, Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Farming as subsistence and resistance
Puka Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) pulp plantation
Lubuk Mandarsah, Jambi Province, Indonesia
Delima br Tobing, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Delima br Tobing, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Marga Rusmedia Lumban Gaol, Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Marga Rusmedia Lumban Gaol, Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Kersi Sihite, Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Kersi Sihite, Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, North Sumatra, Indonesia