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Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Native to the world’s third-largest tropical rainforest, the indigenous people of West Papua, known as Papuan, have experienced substantial changes to their ecosystem over the last several decades, primarily to their water resources. As surface water has been a primary asset for drinking water consumption and their livelihoods for generations, the increase in pollution from expanding oil palm plantations impacts many lives. Receiving limited attention, disentangling this water injustice from power relations as a byproduct of the state-backed development, corporate-driven expansions, and consumer demand become pivotal to advocating for the indigenous community and their livelihoods. Therefore, this study explores integrating physical evidence of agricultural runoff from oil palm plantations and indigenous perceptions using hydro-social territories in a remote area in West Papua, Indonesia. Due to the lack of long-term investigations of the impact of water contamination in West Papua, a hydrological model will be used to assess the nature of the oil palm impact within the watershed. As deterioration in water quality is expected due to landscape changes, the indigenous perception of hydrological changes is crucial to determine how significant the impact is on local livelihoods. Semi-structured interviews will be used to study the perception of indigenous communities on water resources and threats of oil palm to their livelihood. The synthesis of those results will later be concluded using the hydro-social approach, involving a multi-scale analysis that includes Indonesian state and corporate actors through literature reviews from various sources (e.g., official documentation, corporate reports, and journals). This research will develop strategies to protect indigenous communities not yet impacted by large-scale changes in the watershed resulting from palm oil plantations.
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Asmara, Briantama, "HYDRO-SOCIAL TERRITORIES AND OIL PALM PLANTATIONS: INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, AGRIBUSINESS, AND SAFE WATER ACCESS UNDER POWER RELATIONS IN KAIS, WEST PAPUA, INDONESIA" (2023). Masters Theses. 1327.
Available for download on Friday, November 17, 2023