“Our people were given rights to this land by our ancestors. It is our duty to protect those rights and this land so it can be passed on to our children. Do you understand?”
Pak Datuk is a village elder on the tropical island of Sumatra in Indonesia. This summer, he stood before a group of fellow community members gathered to plan the reclamation of their ancestral land.
For these last few hours of 2011, every single donation to Rainforest Action Network will be matched dollar for dollar so you can DOUBLE your impact for Indigenous rights in Indonesia.
Pak Datuk’s community understood what he said all too well. Their rainforest gardens once overflowed with cassava, banana, chile, durian, jack fruit, rubber trees, and vegetables of all shapes and sizes. Tragically, where the wealthy ecosystem of the Melayu people once thrived, there is now a sterile sea of wood pulp plantations, crudely dug canals, and dry, exposed earth as far as the eye can see.
The Melayu are struggling to reclaim this stolen land, to replant their forest gardens and to raise their children by the same riverside they grew up by. It is their right. Their greatest obstacle? A decades-long land dispute with infamous rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp & Paper (APP).
This summer, Pak Datuk asked RAN’s forest team to bring his story to North America and convince APP’s corporate customers to stop buying from the company until it respects his people’s ancestral land rights.
By making a tax-deductible donation to Rainforest Action Network, you can make sure that Asia Pulp & Paper and other corporations standing in the way of Indigenous rights in Indonesia will be confronted head on.
RAN has successfully challenged nine of the biggest children’s book publishers in the U.S. to commit to protecting Indonesia’s rainforests. We are currently in serious negotiations with The Walt Disney Company—the biggest children’s book and magazine publisher in the world—to pass a groundbreaking paper policy that protects rainforests and respects Indigenous rights.
Sadly, Pak Datuk's story is all too common in Indonesia. Over 80 percent of this tropical archipelago was once covered by lush rainforest. Today, less than half that forest cover remains, and unchecked industrial deforestation continues to displace local communities and ravage once-pristine ecosystems.
That’s why RAN is in this fight. That’s also why, until midnight tonight, a small, determined group of donors is willing to match your year-end donation dollar for dollar. Indonesia’s rainforests and forest communities need us NOW.
With your support today, RAN will continue to stand with the best defenders of the rainforest—the communities who’ve lived in and stewarded the forests for countless generations—to transform the corporations that threaten their livelihoods, culture and survival.
Make a donation to RAN before midnight tonight and double your impact for Indigenous rights in the rainforests of Indonesia.
Thank you for all that you do to stand with Indigenous communities around the world.