The Palm Scribe

Deforestation threatens Punan Batu people

Kompas, 20 October 2018

Deforestation and expansion of oil palm plantations are threatening the livelihood of hunting and gathering tribe Punan Batu in Bulungan regency, North Kalimantan. Punan Batu tribe member Maruf on Thursday (October 18) said his people may die from starvation because deforestation drives animals away and destroys agarwood plants, on which they rely primarily for living. Furthermore, Punan Batu youth figure Sandi said Punan Batu people need identity, health insurance, and education.

North Kalimantan Social Office Head Sugiono said his office received a letter from the Social Ministry’s Indigenous Community Directorate to collect data on and prove assistance to Punan Batu people. However, he said, the office finds difficulties in collecting data because Punan Batu people constantly move.

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