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The Knasaimos People
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The Knasaimos People
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Indonesian Civil Society

The Knasaimos people in Indonesia have been severely affected by an illegal logging trade that has destroyed the livelihoods and social structure of their villages. Recent government enforcement action has clamped down on this illicit trade, and now the local communities are benefiting from having increased control over their ancestral forestland.

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Directed by Paul Redman.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

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Segment 1

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The Knasaimos People
FREDRICK SAGISOLO [Tribal Council Chairman]
For us, we don't see nature as something to be destroyed. To fulfill our basic needs, all the people here would go to the forest. The relationship between people and nature gives us pride. The traditional wisdom of the indigenous people is to value our natural resources. It is our main asset, that is why we use this resource in a simple way.
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In 2002, illegal logging companies entered the Knasaimos tribal land. Life began to change.
FREDRICK SAGISOLO
Before the company came, we lived in harmony, very close to each other. But after the company came here, a different necessity and competition arose. Then some new values appeared: I must get things like he or she has; I have to be like him or her. This led to a motivation to give value to things, with no respect for the values we already have. They bring the company here without considering the loss. Our concern is that the Knasaimos area is very small and in about five years there will be only grass left, no trees will be left.
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In March 2005, the Indonesian government launched an enforcement operation to stop the companies operating illegally in the area.
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Enforcement brought the chance of a new beginning for the village.
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The villagers are now discussing what to do next.
CORNELIUS KEMESRAR [Melaswat Church Assembly Chairman]
As the head of village, with the people, we should manage the forest by ourselves. We can then make it sustainable and cut to a strict quote of timber. We are now asking for support from the government so we can manage our forest. The community can then fulfill their basic needs, develop our village, and improve living conditions. This will motivate us to get better health and education.
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The villagers are now measuring trees and mapping their land, so they can finally have a stake in a sustainable logging program.
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[end credits]