- Once covered in vast tropical forests, East Kalimantan, in the Indonesian half of Borneo Island, is today the most intensively mined province in Indonesia.
- Surface mining for coal has left behind vast expanses of barren land across the province.
Main photo: young oil palms await planting on land deforested by South Korea’s Korindo in the Indonesian province of Papua (Image: Mighty Earth)
BAN SABWAI, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For three generations, the family of Suwit Rattanachaisi has farmed a plot of land in a forest in northeastern Thailand’s Chaiyaphum province, growing cassava and maize while living in a modest home a few miles away.
- Experts have warned that a controversial deregulation act will serve as a springboard for greater corruption in Indonesia’s forestry sector.
- They say a pervasive lack of transparency will allow companies such as plantation operators to whitewash their illegal occupation of forests or take control of larger swaths of land than permitted, among other risks.
- A report by Global Witness has found that more than 100 Indonesian palm oil mills supplying agribusiness giants ADM and Bunge have been accused of land and human rights violations and environmental destruction.
The people of the village of Aasikulam, Vavuniya stressed the hardships caused by the Sri Lankan Forest Department seizing their land earlier this month, with around 50 families stating they had been affected.
One of the villagers said, “We depend on the agriculture to maintain our livelihoods and we make our living through the means of Chena cultivation.”
Environment, forest and climate change minister Md Shahab Uddin on Sunday directed the country’s eight divisional commissioners for taking measures not to lease out forestlands to individuals and businesses and to evict the grabbers of forestlands.
- Indonesia’s environment ministry has issued a new regulation allowing protected forest areas to be cleared for a “food estate” program.
- The program is aimed at boosting domestic crop supplies, but critics say it prioritizes the interests of agribusiness at the expense of small farmers and the environment.
BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thai authorities have reached an agreement with a landless community that will allow villagers to live in a mangrove forest if they help protect the area, a unique collaboration that could work across the country, land rights groups said.
A Korean palm oil giant has been buying up swathes of Asia's largest remaining rainforests. A visual investigation published today suggests fires have been deliberately set on the land
Petrus Kinggo walks through the thick lowland rainforest in the Boven Digoel Regency.
Can Sri Lanka live up to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s environmental commitments?