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How International Investors & REDD+ Donors Profit from Deforestation in West Papua

Indigenous landowners in Sorong, West Papua province, are being exploited by the Kayu Lapis Indonesia Group (KLI) for plantations development – at great cost to them and their forests.

Documents obtained by EIA/Telapak reveal “land rental” agreements provide Moi landowners with as little as US$ 0.65 per hectare – land projected to be worth US$ 5,000 per hectare once developed.

Timber payments are equally bad: KLI has paid landowners as little as US $2.8 per cubic metre of merbau – wood KLI sells for US$ 875 on export.

Legal norms in permit allocation and timber harvesting have been routinely flouted, with little to no law enforcement by either the national or provincial government.

International investors – including Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – are profiting from the situation. This highlights a failure to incorporate commodity and investment market reforms into the REDD+ agenda, resulting in the perverse financial incentives of those markets continuing to undermine efforts to reduce deforestation and deliver sustainable development for Indonesia’s indigenous peoples.

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