Sophia lives in a small village in Puncak, along the river Ciliwung, around 500 km upstream from Jakarta where it flows into the ocean. The river is her life: she drinks from it, cleans in it, cooks with it and uses it to water the crops on her small plot. But many others want to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the cool climate as well. The forests and land surrounding Sophia’s village are being cleared for villa’s, restaurants, tea plantations and new settlements. The increased amount of waste and a lack of sanitation have polluted the river. For Sophia it’s getting harder and harder to find any clean water nowadays. People in the villages further down the stream are complaining about the plastic waste that ends up on their riverbanks, the reduced
Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
Palm oil production is widely associated with land grabs, human rights violations, large scale monoculture and severe environmental damage. Positive examples in the palm oil sector are rarely highlighted, but fortunately they do exist. Companies like Musim Mas and Bumitama in Indonesia are leading a much needed shift to a more environmentally and socially responsible way of palm oil production. Recently, Ms. Lim Sian Choo, Head of Corporate Secretarial Services and of Corporate Social Responsibility of Bumitama was in the Netherlands for an informal meeting organised by AidEnvironment and Both ENDS. Representatives from the private sector, NGOs and government were also present to discuss concrete steps taken by Bumitama to achieve sustainability in real time.