The Tokyo 2020 Olympic authorities promised to host one of the greenest Olympic games in history. Shockingly, RAN and our allies found them using significant volumes of rainforest wood to build their new National Olympic Stadium. The timber is from a supplier that has a well documented history of rainforest destruction, illegal logging and human rights abuses.
Earlier this month, RAN and dozens of allied organizations delivered an open letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Olympic authorities demanding an end to the use of rainforest wood to construct the Tokyo Olympic facilities. So far, they’ve denied the risks in their sourcing practices and failed to adopt stronger safeguards to protect rainforests and respect human rights.
That’s why we need your voice now. We need a public outcry to break through to the Olympic authorities to let them know the reputation and credibility of the iconic Olympic games are at stake. By taking action now, we can help prevent further use of rainforest wood and make sure the Olympics adopts strong safeguards on rainforests and human rights.
“The forest is my hair, the mountain is my head, the water is my blood, the sand and all that God created in this land, it is a human, the same as me. If there's no longer any forests...in Indonesia, its like my head is being all cut off. That's what I have to tell...the government. All forests in Indonesia have to be returned home. Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) must be stopped. Do not let everyone die here and across Indonesia.”
In December 2016, Pandumaan-Sipituhuta became one of nine communities to have their customary land rights recognized by the Indonesian government. While this land was removed from the plantation of Toba Pulp Lestari, the community is still waiting for local legislation to pass so that they can acquire formal title to their land.
Photo credit: Credit: Joel Redman / If Not Us Then Who?
“The benzoin is the source of our life. If it does not exist people can not live here. It is the source of our livelihood and allows us to send our children to school. So we strongly objected when Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) cleared the forest...We continue to struggle, against all difficulties, until the last blood runs out, we should strive to fight for our land.”
For generations, Indigenous Batak communities have planted benzoin trees in their traditionally-owned forests and have sustainably harvested the tree’s fragrant resin. This culturally significant practice is often a primary source of cash income. Since pulp producer Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) took over communities’ land for its pulp plantations, many benzoin trees have been cut down, directly threatening the livelihoods of many communities.
Photo of Kersi Sihite preparing a benzoin tree for harvest. Photo credit: Credit: Joel Redman / If Not Us Then Who?
Demand Toba Pulp Lestari stop intimidating Indigenous Batak communities
For communities on the frontlines of pulp and paper plantation expansion, farming their traditionally-owned land can mean intimidation and arrest.
Toba Pulp Lestari is Indonesia’s largest producer of wood pulp for fabric, and its intimidation tactics and the arrests of local activists have created an atmosphere where communities live in fear that using their traditionally-owned farms and forests will result in unwelcome encounters with security guards or police, violence, and unjust incarceration.
On paper, Toba Pulp Lestari has a policy committing to respect the rights of communities, but this type of intimidation and criminalization demonstrates that the company is not acting on its promises.
Sign this petition to demand that Toba Pulp Lestari keep its promise to respect the rights of the Indigenous Batak people to farm their traditionally owned land and protest their rights.
“Ada pembukaan jalan yang disampaikan oleh kontraktor perusahaan, alasannya untuk membuka atau mengangkut kayu-kayu yang mereka kelola. Tetapi setelah jalan dibuka, malah lahan-lahan masyarakat yang digusur, malah peladangan-peladangan masyarakat yang digusur. Dampaknya begitu nyata sampai pada eksistensi terhadap wilayah kelola mereka, tanaman mereka, itu habis ditumbang oleh perusahaan. Saya melihat hadirnya APP di situ malah menghilangkan tatanan sosial masyarakat, menghilangkan identitas masyarakat terhadap pertanian-pertanian masyarakat sendiri.”
Truk besar melalui perkampungan masyarakat secara rutin untuk mengangkut kayu hasil panen dari HTI. Truk tersebut melaju cepat di jalan dan membahayakan warga yang berjalan kaki atau mengendarai sepeda motor.
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