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Abson Lumban Batu, North Sumatra, Indonesia

“When we farm on our land, TPL comes to harass us and threaten violence. TPL threatened me and said I cannot take this land and that I would be arrested. But I know that the land is ours so that is why I am farming here. We are not scared. We still work our farms because we know that this land is ours.”

Answer

For the people of Aek Lung in Indonesia, 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 Kristina br Hutabarat harvesting chilis on reclaimed community land.

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