Right to be involved

True story accompanying image

“People were not consulted. They have a right to be involved.”

As Alpian was growing up in Bereng Benkel, a village in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, he witnessed the lush rainforest of his childhood get destroyed by reckless loggers.

According to those living there, no-one in the community was warned. They don’t know who took the decision, and say they had no chance to object.

 

 

Today, his thoughts turn to future generations. For their sake, he’s fighting to find out who is making these decisions, and ensure the voices in his community are heard.

Alpian drives his fishing boat on the waterways, surveying a barren landscape.

“They cleared about 10,000 hectares, from here to there,” he continues, pointing to the horizon.

Livelihoods destroyed

The deforestation led to a loss of biodiversity – the fish that fed in the rivers have “moved away”, as one local put it.

Fishermen now have to find work in mines and palm oil plantations.

The people were not consulted. But I feel they have a right to be involved.”
– Alpian, community campaigner

High corruption risks: “The system isn’t transparent”

Transparency International’s local chapter works to support local communities across the country, helping them to enjoy their legal rights to information.

Lack of transparency in the forest sector creates risks of corruption: there is no supervision from the people and the system is not transparent.”
– Dadang Trisasongko, Executive Director, Transparency International Indonesia

The fight continues

Alpian received training on how to use Indonesia’s Access to Information Act. Twice, he’s asked for details about logging in his local area.

“Twice, the government refused,” he says. Alpian is still fighting for this information.

“We want to strengthen Alpian’s community so they can access the information they need,” says Dadang, “and use this information as a tool to influence the policymaking process for Indonesia’s forests.”

I intend to share the information with the communities who need it. My hope is that, in future, we can be fully involved.”
– Alpian, community campaigner


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