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Rusmedia Lumban Gaol, Pandumaan-Sipituhuta, North Sumatra, Indonesia

“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 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?

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