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Growing demand for natural resources is pushing companies onto Indigenous Peoples’ and rural communities’ land. These communities, who collectively hold at least half the world’s land but legally own only a small portion, are losing their homes to palm oil plantations, loggers and more.
Some indigenous groups are trying to protect their land by obtaining legal titles to it. But in many countries, the processes for communities to formalize land rights are significantly more complex than for companies. Communities can spend decades navigating government-ordered procedures. Wealthy corporations can secure rights to the same land in 30 days to five years.
The infographic below allows you to navigate the process for a community seeking formal land rights in Indonesia, versus for a company securing an oil palm concession.
Although Indonesia has made progress, including a landmark 2013 court case that opened the door for formalizing indigenous forest rights, hurdles remain. Only about 20 indigenous groups have secured formal land rights to about 20,000 hectares. Palm oil plantations cover 14 million hectares.