Where the Forest Ends

EoF News / 15 December 2009

PEKANBARU (EoF News)-- Where the Forest Ends, a radio show aired by Living on Earth (LoE) program of Public Radio International in week of 11 December 2009. The story highlighted deforestation occurred in peat swamp forest Kerumutan and Kampar Peninsula, Riau Province, where communities land taken over by forestry companies. Human and Sumatran tiger conflict escalates due to shrinkage of natural forest in the province.

Villagers of Teluk Kabung, Indragiri Hilir district, fight against PT Bina Duta Laksana, an Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) associated company due to their coconut plantations died out following the forest clearing conducted by the company.

“As soon as they cut down the trees in the forest, the pests swarmed in, and ate our coconut trees,” said a villager.

“It makes me want to cry the only reason I'm not crying is because I'm holding back. We have nothing else. Sometimes I can't even look at this land, because I have no hope. I can't compare what it's like seeing this to anything else,” said Manata, a coconut farmer who failed to send his son to college due to his economy’s collapse.

“We have no land left for the next generation. The land has been taken by the company. None of it is owned by the community anymore,” he complained.

Maharum Ibrahim, the sub-village leader says, “Ever since the company came in and cut down the trees, more and more people have been hearing the tiger, lurking in the village.

Listen to Where the Forest Ends story

Another story on Riau peat forest, Kampar Peninsula, APRIL and Greenpeace, Paper Trees in Precious Ground at www.loe.org