How does legislation affect oil palm smallholders in the Sanggau district of Kalimantan, Indonesia?

Piers Gillespie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The past 25 years has seen extraordinary growth in global demand for the myriad products obtained from the processing of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) crop. Most of the land conversion required to grow the oil palm crop has occurred in Southeast Asia, predominantly in Indonesia and Malaysia. To date, attention on palm oil has primarily focused on the environmental consequences of the land conversion required to keep pace with such a boom. Analysis of the effects of such growth on frontier communities and oil palm smallholders has been more limited, and there has been little critical examination of the role that legislation plays at the plantation/company-smallholder interface in Indonesia.1 Based on an analysis of relevant plantation legislation and multi-site fieldwork in Indonesia, this article considers how national and district oil palm legislation influences processes at the plantation-smallholder interface in the Sanggau district of West Kalimantan. The article provides an overview of the most relevant plantation legislation and how this legislation affects smallholders at the district and plantation level. The article argues that plantation legislation not only underpins the national pro oil palm narrative but in doing so directly influences many of the outcomes felt by oil palm smallholders in West Kalimantan.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-37
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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