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Jimmy Simanjuntak, Nagasaribu, North Sumatra, Indonesia

“We are fighting for our traditionally-owned land. We will continue to fight but have yet to see any results. We want to get our land back so we can live off our land.”


For generations, Indigenous Batak communities have planted endemic benzoin (a resin similar to frankincense) trees in the forests on their traditionally-owned lands and have sustainably harvested the tree’s resin for incense. For many community members, this is a significant cultural practice and the primary source of their income. Pulp giant Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) has taken over many of the benzoin forests, clearing them for eucalyptus pulp plantations and directly threatening the livelihoods of many communities.

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