Masyarakat Mentawai bertahun-tahun melawan eksploitasi hutan dan tanah adatnya oleh negara. Terakhir, izin HTI di Pulau Siberut dikeluarkan pemerintah pada tahun 2017. Masyarakat menilai pemerintah memberikan izin secara sepihak.
Gerson Merari is an indigenous journalist from the Mentawai Islands, West Sumatera. He started his journalism career when he joined Puailiggoubat, a local media outlet, in 2002, which is now known as Mentawaikita.com. Gerson wishes to see the stories of Mentawai indigenous communities and their environment to reach a wider audience beyond the West Sumatera province. In 2021, Gerson received a grant from Internews’ Earth Journalism Network to report on the impacts of legal recognition and industrialization on Menwatai indigenous communities.