In a community hall, a group of men sit cross-legged on mats, poring over documents and maps marked with forests, farmland, a river and the village of Gajah Bertalut on Indonesia's Sumatra island.

They are gathered to work on their claim to legal rights and a collective title to 4,414 hectares (17 square miles) of land on which they have lived and farmed for years.

Holding a sheaf of papers, Rakhmat Hidayat of the research organization World Resources Institute (WRI) explained: "This is proof that you have lived here and used the forest land, and that you have customary rights over it as indigenous people. Once you get the title, you will have more control over the land, and you need not worry about the land being taken for mining or palm oil plantations against your wishes."