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Pungka Simamora, Aek Lung, North Sumatra, Indonesia

“Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) came [onto our land] and planted eucalyptustrees for its plantation. After 6 years they harvested the eucalyptustrees, and the Indigenous communities united to fight the company on our traditionally-owned land. That was the beginning of our resistance to protect our land. Our resistance has been ongoing for about 10 years.”


Over three decades ago, Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL) took traditionally-owned land across the Lake Toba region of Indonesia from Indigenous Batak communities without their consent. TPL transformed their land into pulp plantations, used to make material for everyday fabrics like rayon, viscose, and modal. This photo is a typical view of a TPL plantation, stretching for miles.

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