Over the past three decades, 50 percent of the 544,150 square kilometres that comprise Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, has been taken over by the palm oil industry.
Disregarding the rights of indigenous people to their traditional lands is costing companies millions of dollars each year, and costing communities themselves their lives.
When she talks about the forests in her native Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, Maridiana Deren’s facial expression changes. The calm, almost shy person is transformed into an emotionally charged woman, her fists clench and she stares wide-eyed at whoever is listening to her.
Starting next year, a new grant-making initiative will aim to fill what organisers say has been a longstanding gap in international coordination and funding around the recognition of community land rights.
The international community is failing to take advantage of a potent opportunity to counter climate change by strengthening local land tenure rights and laws worldwide, new data suggests.
Global trends towards a strengthening of legal rights over land for local and indigenous communities appear to have slowed significantly in recent years, leading some analysts to warn that the fight for local control over forests has reached an inflection point with a new danger of backtracking on previous progress.