Target: Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry
Goal: Stop energy company from destroying rainforest that provides vital resources for indigenous peoples and shelter for rare wildlife.
The rainforest of Siberut, Indonesia is under attack. After decades of defending their natural resources from palm oil and logging companies, the indigenous peoples of Siberut are now fighting against a new threat. Biomas Andalan Energi, a subsidiary of the Kayubaka Group, is planning to clear 20,875 hectares of forest for a new biomass energy plant. This project has been proposed without any consideration for the livelihood of indigenous peoples nor the wildlife that call the rainforest of Siberut home. Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry, Dr. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, must refuse Biomas Andalan Energi’s permit request for a facility in the Siberut rainforest.
This rainforest has long provided vital resources, from food to materials for housing, to approximately 11 different local groups on the island of Siberut. The rainforest is so important to their way of life that the federal government of Indonesia, in trying to squash these multiple indigenous cultures, has previously attempted to seize this land under the banner of state property. However, that course of action was finally reversed in 2015, thus granting the local people the right to community forests. Allowing Biomas Andalan Energi to steal 20,875 hectares of the Siberut rainforest would be a huge, unacceptable step backwards for the rights of indigenous peoples.
It would also present significant dangers to the ecosystem of the Siberut rainforest, which consists of numerous endemic species. Ninety percent of the mammals living in Siberut, including the Siberut macaque and the pig-tailed langu, can be found nowhere else on Earth. Biomas Andalan Energi’s project would require the building of more roads and the planting of fast-growing, non-local flora to fuel the plant. These decisions and more would disrupt the plants and wildlife in the Siberut rainforest.
It is imperative that we support the rights of local indigenous groups and protect the world’s natural resources in the face of greedy corporate exploitation. Sign the petition below to urge Minister Bakar to block Biomas Andalan Energi’s biomass plant in the Siberut rainforest.
Dear Minister Bakar,
The Siberut rainforest must be protected. Indigenous peoples rely on the rainforest for responsibly preserving their way of life. Endemic species need the rainforest to remain healthy and stable in order to survive.
Moreover, Biomas Andalan Energi does not have the right to steal land that belongs to these local people. The rainforest is community-owned and should remain that way. If they do not wish to sell their land off into corporate hands, then these groups should not be forced to.
Simply put, giving up 20,875 hectares of rainforest for corporate exploitation would be a huge mistake. I urge you to block Biomas Andalan Energi’s permit request for their proposed biomass plant in the Siberut rainforest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Intercultural Multimedia Center in Siberut