A Forest of Fortune: Picking Community over Corporations

July 18, 2015

Profile photo of Swati


## corporations, with help from governments, continue aquire precious, even ancient either forcefully or through manipulation of forest and land right laws in developing countries. They offer hundreds and thousands of dollars to forest dependent communities, just to take over and destroy the forests. The question is, can you really put a price on forests?

Communities in countries like Indonesia, India, regions around the Amazon rainforest continue to resist the full force of government and corporate take over of their revered forests. They suffer all kinds of injustices that never make it to the news, but it doesn’t break their spirit. They know the value of what they protect more than those who want to destroy it.

The story of Ayal Kasal from Borneo is an example of this spirit. As a chief of his , Ayal was offered $200,000 for the community land by one of Indonesia’s largest coal mining companies. He refused because he had seen other communities that had sold their land and heard their stories.

In Forest of Fortune, Ayal tells us why he refused to give away his land to the coal mining company. Only if our so-called world leaders had the courage and wisdom of Ayal.

Watch A Forest of Fortune by The Source Project.

A Forest of Fortune ~ Borneo, IndonesiaA Forest of Fortune is a film about managed agro-forestry in Borneo where coal mines are ripping through the island.Ayal Kasal chief of a community was offered $200,000 for the community land by one of Indonesia’s largest coal mining companies. Ayal knew better. He had seen other communities that had sold their land and heard their stories. In this short film, he explains the reasoning behind his decision and his philosophy that puts his community and their future generations at the centre of his planning.The Source Project tweet

Posted by The Rules on Friday, 17 July 2015 tweet

Be the first to add your opinion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Login / Create account

Trump: Join us in connecting the dots

The election of Donald Trump has left millions, maybe even billions of us in shock. Although we may be looking with bewilderment at the US today, we should remember that he is not an isolated phenomenon. He is a symptom of a sickness that is raging all around the world. People are hurting, disillusioned with mainstream politics and increasingly angry at a neoliberal economic system that is destroying lives and the planet with increasing ferocity. And in their desperation they are willing to consider extreme measures to make themselves heard.

Demagogues thrive amid fear and insecurity, which is why they paint the world in such dark terms. It’s a strategy that has put right-wing populist leaders in power in an Axis of Egos: from Brazil to Turkey, the Philippines to Russia, authoritarian strongmen like Trump are on the rise. Meanwhile, many centrist liberals, like the Democratic Party in the US, have been so intent on rejecting left-wing populist solutions, and so sure of their ability to beat anyone running on a white supremacy platform with its misogyny and homophobia, that they opened the door for Mr. Trump to walk straight through. Their preference is always to maintain the status quo that has served them so well.

As dangerous as the election of Trump is for the world, we can also see in this moment the truth that we simply cannot rely on the electoral political system to save us, because it is designed to prevent the fundamental change we need. Its own survival is at stake and it will marshal all its champions and resources to defend itself and stop the emergence of a new system. But when we work, or continue working for change from the ground up; when we build or keep on building new ways of living and being with each other where we live; when we construct or keep constructing the future we know is possible with our own hands, rather than hoping distant leaders will build it for us, we find our true power. Finally, when we combine that with the unbending hope that has powered change through the ages, we know our power has meaning.

A 400-year-old economic system is dying and another is struggling to be born. Change on this scale is not going to be smooth or easy. We should not be surprised, then, that moments like this — where the establishment is dealt a body blow — become more and more common. We can despair when that blow comes in the form of right-wing extremists, or we can step-up. We are the ones we are looking for, who can and must grasp the opportunities in these crises that are undoubtedly there.

So it’s time to come together, taking time to remember the earth. Remember all the successful struggles for justice that came before us, and imagine all those to come. Remember that social movements are growing all over the world and realising the common struggle. Remember life. Then, organise. Find each other and help midwife the inevitable transition that brings forth from the ashes of neoliberal capitalism a system that works for the good of all life on Mother Earth. This is not just activism; this is our responsibility as human beings alive as this all unfolds.

This is why we are here.