Author(s): Larsen, R. K., M. Osbeck, N. Jiwan, A. Rompas, J. Nito and A. Tarigan
In: SEI Working Paper 2012-6: Stockholm, Sweden.
Type: Working paper
Link to SEI authors:
Competing Water Claims in Biofuel Feedstock Operations in Central Kalimantan
This SEI working paper gauges the impacts of palm oil plantations from the perspective of local communities in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, and identifies governance issues. It finds that local communities in Central Kalimantan Province have severe grievances, reporting that plantations pollute local rivers, lakes and aquifers, harming their drinking water and killing fish, and also dry up community wells.
Existing governance mechanisms largely do not address these grievances, and there are several weaknesses in how the province regulates water resources. There are also conflicts of interest between different levels of government over forest resources that affect how palm-oil cultivation is governed.
The paper also notes that there is an urgent need for solid data on how water is used in palm oil plantations, and on the impacts of plantations on water supplies. Because public agencies are under-resourced they cannot adequately monitor water flows and quality. To meet this need, new and cost-effective impact-assessments are required. These assessments also need to be credible in the eyes of stakeholders.
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