PRESS RELEASE : Investigation result from REDD+ Task Force in Tripa

PRESS RELEASE
Investigation Team of REDD+ Task Force
Report on Findings in Rawa Tripa

Jakarta – Towards the end of March 2012 the government of Indonesia was alerted over reports from the province of Aceh about deliberate and systematic attempts at land clearance through forest fires in a certain area of Rawa Tripa that appeared to be not only in direct violation of the two-year suspension or moratorium on new forest concessions but also included, more alarmingly, the deep peat land area of Leuser Ecosystem (KEL) close to the Leuser National Park.

“The incident also resulted in national and international public outrage and concern at the wanton destruction caused to the ecosystem. This is based on the awareness on the importance of peatland conservation in prevention of disasters due to climate change that has negative impacts to mankind” said the Head of Presidential Work Unit for Supervision and Development Monitoring (UKP4) and Chairman of Task Force for the Preparation of REDD+ Agency explained that Rawa Tripa is an important habitat for the protected and nearly extinct animal species which include Sumatran orangutan. In a short period of time, an online petition successfully collected almost 10,000 supporters who demanded that the government of Indonesia, in Particular President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Ministry of Forestry, the Head of Police Department of Indonesia as well as the Head of Task Force for the Preparation of REDD+ Agency Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, to take serious action in law enforcement and peatland protection in Kuala Tripa as well as protection of the orangutan within. Additionally, this petition was also addressed to the Ambassador of Normay and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia.

The Head of Task Force for the Preparation of REDD+ Agency has immediately instructed a holistic investigation to decide whether the land allocation has been made in accordance with the prevalent laws and governance systems, and to find whether the activities carried our by the plantation company is in line with the relevant national laws of the land. The finding of the investigation includes:

1. There is a forest fires in the area of PT. Kalista Alam (PT.KA) and PT. Surya Panen Subur 2 located in the area that is adjacent with the concession area of PT.KA. From a naked eye observation, it appears that the forest fire has been ignited in a systematic and well-planned manner causing direct negative effect to the ecosystem. In our opinion, this activity voilates Law number 18/2004 concerning plantation as well as Regulation of Ministry of Agriculture number 26/Permentan/OT140/2/2007 concerning Guidance of Plantation Business Licensing, and Law number 32/2009 concerning Living Environment Protection and Management.

2. We also found that the plantation area of PT. Kallista Alam (PT. KA) of 1.605 hectares is located in the Area of Leuser Ecosystem (KEL). Some parts of the area have already been planted with Palm Oil and some are ready to be planted while some other parts are forested area. Hence, potentially, it will violate Law number 26/2007 concerning Spatial Planning as well as Government Regulation number 26/2008 concerning National Spatial Planning.

3. According to UKL?UPL (Environment Monitoring Action/Environment Management Actions), the activity of PT. KA is located within thick peatland forbidden for development (from the 6 sampling points, the thickness of 2 sampling points are less than 3 meters, one point has 3 meters thickness and three other points have more than 3 meter thickness). We will need to scrutinize carefully whether 70% of the licensed area mentioned above contains peat deposit. If that is confirmed, then the activity voilates Law number 26/2007 concerning Spatial Planning as well as Presidential Decree number 32/1990 concerning Protected Area Management and Regulation of Ministry of Agriculture number 14/2009 concerning Guidance of Utilizing Peatland for Palm Oil Cultivation.

4. There is a report that indicates that PT.KA has initiated activities in the area prior to the issuance of Permit for Plantation (IUP) and Cultivation Rights Title (HGU) by the authorized agency. In this regard, the images form satellite taken on June 11, 2009 show the clearance in the area of PT. KA had already taken place, and on the images from satellite taken on October 20, 2010 the land clearance is getting wider. This potentially violated Law number 18/2004 concerning Plantation and Law number 32/2009 concerning Living Environment Protection and Management, as well as Presidential Instruction Number 10/2011 concerning Moratorium on New License on Primary Natural Forest and Peatland and the attachment Indicative Map on Moratorium on New License (PIPIB)

5. From the facts mentioned in the four points above, a technical team of PIPIB has been established as part of the Presidential instruction Number 10/2011 which will include the area of PT. KA in the area of PIPIB in its second revision which will be published on May 20, 2012.

From the findings, the Head of Task Force for the Preparation of REDD+ Agency believes that there are indications of violations of laws as follow:
1. Law number 18/2004 concerning Plantation
2. Law number 32/2009 concerning Living Environment Protection and Management
3. Law number 26/2007 concerning Spatial planning as well as Presidential Decree number 32/1990 concerning Protected Area Management.

The head of the task force for the preparation of REDD+ Agency demands that the Ministry of Environment and the Head of the Indonesian Police conduct further investigation. Once legal evidence are found, he expects that the Ministry of Environment and the Police Department of Republis of Indonesia will take appropriate actions to bring a halt to these activities and to penalize and recover the loss caused by the ecosystem degradation in the Area of Leuser Ecosystem (KEL).

For further information please contact:
Chandra Kirana, Leader of WG on communication and stakeholder engagement
kirana.chandra@gmail.com

To download the press release in English: REDD+ Task Force Press Release

Untuk mengunduh dalam bahasa Indonesia : Press Release: Temuan Rawa Tripa oleh Satgas REDD+

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About endoftheicons

Tripa peat swamps, once hosting the largest density of orangutan population in the world are now being exterminated by palm oil company working illegally. The last bits of the peat swamp forest are being smashed and sumatran orangutan are forced towards local extinction. are we witnessing the end of the icons? what are we doing about it?

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