Archive | September 2012

Aceh Pulls Plug on Kallista Plantation

 

Nurdin Hasan | September 28, 2012

Banda Aceh. Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah has revoked the business permit for a palm oil plantation in Rawa Dipa, a lush forest and peatland region in the province’s Nagan Raya district.

The move to close the estate, which is owned by plantation firm Kallista Alam, was hailed as a victory by environmentalists, who have sought to see the stretch of land protected.

Makmur Ibrahim, the Aceh administration’s legal and public relations bureau head, said that the governor signed the revocation letter on Thursday to comply with a ruling issued by the Medan High Court on Aug. 30, ordering the permit to be pulled.

“It’s not possible to file an appeal on the High Court’s ruling and that’s the basis of [our decision],” Makmur said on Friday. “All of PT Kallista’s activity on the 1,605-hectare plantation must stop. It will be a violation of the law if it continues to operate.”

He added that Aceh’s Forestry and Plantation Agency will monitor the company to ensure that it complies with the order.

The company obtained the permit to open the plantation from then governor Irwandi Yusuf in August 2011.

But the governor’s decision was met with protests by environmental activists who said that the area was the habitat of Sumatran orangutans, which are critically endangered, and other rare animals.

The Aceh chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) dragged the governor to the Aceh state administrative court but the court rejected Walhi’s suit on April 3. Walhi then appealed the ruling to the Medan High Court.

Walhi Aceh praised the governor’s willingness to comply with the law.

“The order from the Medan High Court is clear that the Aceh governor has to revoke the permit for PT Kallista’s 1,605 hectare plantation in Rawa Tripa,” Walhi Aceh director T. Muhammad Zulfikar said. “The Aceh administration has to execute the ruling because if not, it will be in violation of the law.”

Zulfikar said that Rawa Tripa is part of the Leuser Ecosystem Area, which is considered a strategic national zone that is protected.

The permit originally allowed the firm to set up shop in the Tripa peat area, which was within the boundary of a deforestation moratorium area on a map that had been published in 2011. Critics claim that the permit should not have been issued because companies aren’t allowed to do damage to protected areas.

A government-formed task force later concluded that Kallista Alam had violated regulations by turning the swamp forest into a plantation.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/nvironment/aceh-pulls-plug-on-kallista-plantation/547143

 

Indonesia’s Aceh revokes palm permit after legal challenge

 

September 28, 2012|Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Aceh province has revoked a controversial permit issued to a palm oil firm accused of breaching a ban on forest clearing, a spokesman said on Friday, in a rare climbdown following a legal challenge by environmental groups.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has set a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by saving Indonesia’s dwindling tropical rainforests, the world’s third-largest, a pledge that won the promise of $1 billion from Norway should he succeed.

But the effort is being hampered by soaring global demand for palm oil, used in everything from biscuits to biofuel. Indonesia is the world’s top producer of the edible oil, whose exports earn the country $20 billion a year.

Last year, the governor of Aceh breached a two-year ban on issuing permits to log and convert forests by giving permission for PT Kallista Alam develop 1,605 hectares (4,000 acres) of swamp, which includes protected peatlands.

The Aceh governor’s move prompted legal action from environmental groups and probes by the police and government bodies, which led to the permit being revoked this week.

A spokesman for the Aceh province said the permit had been revoked on Thursday, and notification sent to Kallista Alam.

“It is important that there is rule of law in business and investing in Aceh, which provides benefits to the community,” Muhammad Zulfikar, director of the Aceh chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), said in a statement.

Officials of PT Kallista Alam could not immediately be reached for comment.

Former Aceh governor Irwandi Yusuf issued the permit to open 1,605 hectares of land for palm oil in the Tripa peatland area in August last year.

In the last few years, Indonesia has seen rapid growth in production of palm oil, with output this year expected to be between 23 million and 25 million metric tons (27.6 million tons), with around 18 million metric tons exported.

(Reporting by Reza Munawir in Aceh; Writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-28/business/sns-rt-us-indonesia-forests-palmbre88r09t-20120927_1_palm-oil-aceh-province-reza-munawir

 

Indonesian palm oil company loses permit on illegal logging

Indonesia’s Aceh province revoked a permit from a palm oil company found to be logging illegally, a spokesman said Friday, in a case seen as a test of the nation’s commitment to a deforestation ban.

The Indonesian palm oil company Kallista Alam was accused of clearing 1,605 hectares (3,966 acres) of protected carbon-rich peatland on the island of Sumatra, where tropical rainforests have fallen to rampant logging.

“We revoked Kallista Alam’s permit on Thursday. The Aceh government has gone through a long process of evaluation and found the company’s logging permit was illegal,” Aceh government spokesman Makmur Ibrahim told AFP.

Former Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf issued the permit more than three months after Indonesia implemented a two-year moratorium on logging peatland and other high-conservation-value forests in May 2011.

The ban is the centrepiece of a $1 billion bilateral agreement with Norway aimed at significantly reducing Indonesia’s carbon emissions.

The court decision to revoke the permit earlier this month came after intense campaigning by environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth Indonesia (Walhi).

“We hope this is the beginning of a cleaner more transparent process to forestry in Indonesia’s future,” Walhi national executive director Abet Nego said.

The land cleared was in the Tripa peatswamp, an area measuring over 60,000 hectares with the highest density of critically endangered orangutans in the world, according to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest palm oil producer and growing demand has put pressure on the nation’s already threatened tropical rainforests.

Before Indonesia’s logging moratorium, 80 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions came from deforestation, UN data showed, making it the one of the world’s top emitters.

WALHI Aceh Appreciates The Withdrawal of Plantation License in Tripa

Banda Aceh – Almost a month after the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan ordering the Governor of Aceh to withdraw the Plantation Permit issued to PT Kalista Alam, the Government of Aceh has officially issued the Letter of Revocation cancelling the controversial permit.
On September 27 2012, the Governor of Aceh issued Decree No. 525/BP2T/5078/2012, revoking Governor’s Permit No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 to PT Kalista Alam for a Plantation covering 1,605 Ha in the village Pulo Kruet, in Darul Makmur Sub-district, Nagan Raya District.
The Decree stated that the revocation was executed based on the Article 45A of the Law No. 5/2004 on the Amendment of the Law No. 14/1985 on the Supreme Court, which states that in an administrative lawsuit, which covers a decision of a regional official that applies within the official’s region of jurisdiction, is not eligible for appeal to the Supreme Court.
WALHI Aceh extends its appreciation to the Government of Aceh for demonstrating its compliance with the law. “The ruling of the Administrative High Court of Medan is clear, namely that the Governor had to revoke the permit of PT Kalista Alam covering 1,605 ha in Tripa Peat Swamp, so it had to be done. If not, the Government of Aceh would have been in violation of the law,” said the Executive Director of WALHI Aceh, T. Muhammad Zulfikar.
Tripa Peat Swamp is part of the Leuser Ecosystem, established as National Strategic Area for Environmental Protection in the Law No. 26/2007 on Spatial Plan and in the Government Regulation No. 26/2008 on National Spatial Planning.
The withdrawal of the license is a warning to unscrupulous entrepreneurs not to flout the law and regulations in Aceh. “This is important for maintaining legal certainty in conducting business and in investing in Aceh, and thus benefits the common people,” said T. Muhammad Zulfikar.
According to WALHI Aceh, there were several reasons to revoke the controversial plantation permit without the need for action in the courts. One of them is the failure of PT Kalista Alam to establish the required community-based “plasma” plantation in 30% of their total plantation area. Also, PT Kalista Alam has never submitted the required regular monthly report on the physical development of its plantation to the Government of Aceh, either to the relevant offices at district or provincial level.
WALHI Aceh believes that each and every plantation company that flouts existing laws and regulations must be firmly sanctioned. “It should not be necessary to have to resort to the courts for permits to be revoked. If companies do not comply with what is agreed and inflict losses for Aceh, they must be sanctioned,” he said.
According to WALHI’s records, other there are many other problem plantation companies besides PT Kalista Alam, with violations such as illicit land grabbing, conducting development operations prior to receiving a permit, failure to develop community plasma plantations, and clearing by burning.
WALHI Aceh requests the Government of Aceh to thoroughly and firmly evaluate all the companies in the Tripa Peat Swamps. “The results of these evaluations will determine the direction of future policy in this peatland, especially related to its environmental protection,” said T Muhammad Zulfikar []

 

Aceh Government Officially Withdraw Kalista Alam’s License

 

Thursday, September 27, 2012 19:52 WIB
MURDANI ABDULLAH | Free Translation by Adji Darsoyo

BANDA ACEH – The Government of Aceh has officially revoked the plantation permit of PT Kalista Alam in Tripa Peat Swamp. The withdrawal was marked through the issuance of a Governor Decree No. 525/BP2T/5087/2012 signed by the Governor of Aceh, Zaini Abdullah, on September 27, 2012.
“Correct, we have revoked the permit of Kalista Alam. We hope that this decision can be accepted by all parties,” said the Head of the Legal and PR Office of the Aceh Regional Secretariat, Makmur Ibrahim.
According to him, the revoked permit is for an area within Pulo Kruet village, Sub district of Darul Makmur in Nagan Raya, covering 1,605 ha.
The reason of the withdrawal, add Makmur, is that, because PT Kalista Alam was considered violating the existing legal regulation.
The Article 45A Point c of the Law No. 5/2004 on the Supreme Court declares restriction for state administrative cases, which can only be appealed to Administrative High Court, but not to cassation at the Supreme Court.
Besides, PT Kalista Alam also violated the agreement to establish plasma plantation covering 30% of the total of 1,605 ha.
“Based on this we withdraw the permit of Kalista Alam, which also has never submitted any midterm report on their business development to the Governor of Aceh,” he said.(bna)

http://atjehpost.com/read/2012/09/27/22389/15/5/Pemerintah-Aceh-Resmi-Cabut-Izin-Kalista-Alam

 

WALHI Aceh Appreciates Revocation of Plantation License in Tripa

 

Banda Aceh – Almost a month after the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan ordered the Governor of Aceh to revoke the Plantation Permit issued for PT Kalista Alam, the Government of Aceh has officially issued the Letter of Revocation of the controversial permit.
The Governor of Aceh has issued Decree No. 525/BP2T/5078/2012, dated September 27 2012 revoking Governor’s Permit No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 to PT Kalista Alam for a Plantation covering 1,605 ha, located in Pulo Kruet village within the Sub-district of Darul Makmur, Nagan Raya District.
The Decree stated that the revocation was executed based on the Article 45A of the Law No. 5/2004 on the Amendment of the Law No. 14/1985 on the Supreme Court, which states that in an administrative lawsuit, which covers a decision of a regional official that applies within the official’s region of jurisdiction, is not eligible for appeal to the Supreme Court.
WALHI Aceh extends its appreciation to the Government of Aceh that has shown its compliance with the law. “The ruling of the Administrative High Court of Medan is clear, namely that the Governor had to revoke the permit of PT Kalista Alam covering 1,605 ha in Tripa Peat Swamp, so it had to be done. If not, the Government of Aceh would have been in violation of the law,” said the Executive Director of WALHI Aceh, T. Muhammad Zulfikar.
Tripa Peat Swamp is part of Leuser Ecosystem which has been designated as a National Strategic Area for Environmental Protection, in the Law No. 26/2007 on Spatial Plan and in the Government Regulation No. 26/2008 on National Spatial Planning.
The withdrawal of the license sends a signal to ‘naughty’ entrepreneurs not to play around with the law and regulation in Aceh. “This is important for maintaining legal certainty in conducting business and in investing in Aceh, and thus benefits the common people” said T. Muhammad Zulfikar.
According to WALHI Aceh, there were several reasons to revoke the controversial plantation permit without the need for action in the courts. One of them is the failure of PT Kalista Alam to establish the required community-based “plasma” plantation in 30% of their total plantation area. Also, PT Kalista Alam has never submitted the required regular monthly report on the physical development of its plantation to the Government of Aceh, either to the relevant offices at district or provincial level.
WALHI Aceh believes that each and every plantation company that flouts existing laws and regulations must be firmly sanctioned. “It should not be necessary to have to resort to the courts for permits to be revoked. If companies do not comply with what is agreed and inflict losses for Aceh, they must be sanctioned,” he said.

According to WALHI’s records, other there are many other problem plantation companies besides PT Kalista Alam, with violations such as illicit land grabbing, conducting development operations prior to receiving a permit, failure to develop community plasma plantations, and clearing by burning.
WALHI Aceh requests the Government of Aceh to thoroughly and firmly evaluate all the companies in the Tripa Peat Swamps. “The results of these evaluations will determine the direction of future policy in this peatland, especially related to its environmental protection,” said T Muhammad Zulfikar.[]

 

Rhino kingpins to be put behind bars

 

South African authorities are beginning to dismantle the sophisticated criminal gangs guilty of killing rhinos.

25 September 2012 | JeVanne Gibbs

    

This is according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature’s African rhino programme manager Dr. Joseph Okori concurred by saying “Putting powerful kingpins behind bars for 10 or 20 years will send a strong message to others not to engage in criminal behaviour,” he said.

Under the theme ‘Five Rhino Species Forever’, World Rhino Day on Saturday aimed to mobilise South Africans to take a stand against rhino poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn.

Acting head of communications of the South African National Parks Paul Daphne said the day highlighted the efforts that are being made to fight the scourge of rhino poaching around the world and reduce the demand for rhino horn.

“It is indeed worrying that we are still losing such a high number of rhinos but the increasing number of successful arrests and steeper sentences such as the combined 58 years imprisonment imposed on two suspected rhino poachers recently is encouraging.”

Gauteng Department of Environmental Affairs spokesman Albi Modise said the South African government views the illegal killing of rhinos in a very serious light and its commitment in addressing rhino poaching remains unwavering.

“It is clear we need to continue working with all stakeholders if this war on rhino poaching is to be won.

It is clear that this is an organised crime. And in dealing with organised criminals we need inputs and action from all South Africans in an organised manner.”

The latest statistics on rhinos poached in the country this year stands at 388, with the Kruger National Park having lost a total of 241 rhinos since the beginning of the year.

- jevanneg@citizen.co.za

http://www.citizen.co.za/citizen/content/en/citizen/local-news?oid=321834&sn=Detail&pid=146826&Rhino-kingpins-to-be-put-behind-bars

 

Withdrawal of Kalista’s Permit: First time In The History of Aceh

http://atjehpost.com/read/2012/09/24/22008/40/5/Pencabutan-Izin-Kalista-Pertama-Sepanjang-Sejarah-Aceh-

Senin, 24 September 2012 14:30 WIB

MURDANI ABDULLAH | Free translation by Adji Darsoyo

BANDA  ACEH – Head of the Legal and PR Office of the Aceh Regional Secretariat, Makmur Ibrahim, said that the plan to withdraw Klaista Alam’s permit by the Government of Aceh under Zaini Abdullah is the first within the whole history of Aceh. This is considered important and to show high commitment of the current Government of Aceh to protect forest conservation, especially in Tripa Peat Swamp. “This is the first in the history of the Government of Aceh,” said Makmur on Monday, September 24, 2012. Makmur continued that being staff  member he is ready to implement the Governor’s instruction and will immediately process the plan. He hopes that this will be accepted by all parties in Aceh. As reported earlier, the Governor of Aceh, Zaini Abdullah, requested the head of BP2T on Monday September 24, 2012  to immediately prepare a draft for the revocation of Kalista Alam’s permit, which relates to the recently announced decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan. The Governor of Aceh, through the Head of Legal and PR Office, Makmur Ibrahim, also said that this decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan is final. “We wait for the draft of the revocation from BP2T. If this can be process within 2 days, then we will also withdraw in 2 days,” said Makmur.

BP2T Ready to Follow Up on the Instruction to Revoke Kalista Alam’s Permit

 

http://atjehpost.com/read/2012/09/24/22019/15/5/BP2T-Siap-Tindak-Lanjuti-Instruksi-Pencabutan-Izin-Kalista-Alam

Monday, September 24 2012 16:20 WIB
MURDANI ABDULLAH |  Free translation by Adji Darsoyo

BANDA ACEH – The Head of the Integrated Licensing Office (BP2T) of Banda Aceh, Muhammad Yahya, confirmed ready to follow up the Instruction of Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah on the revocation of Kalist Alam’s permit.
“That is the chief’s policy, so as staff member, we are ready to implement it,” said Muhammad Yahya encountered by the Atjeh Post in his office on Monday, September 24, 2012.
According to him, BP2T is an implementing body of each policy of the Government of Aceh. In other word, every new policy of the Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullan will be followed up by this office.
“The possibly revoked permit is a decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan, which is the permit to Kalista Alam covering 1,605 ha,” said Yahya.
He said that the policy to revoke the permit issued by the Government of Aceh is the first in the whole history of Aceh. This is the follow up on the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan.
“We only withdraw the permit. Concerning any lawsuit filed by the company later on, that will be another problem,” said Yahya.[] (rz)

 

Governor Requested BP2T To Prepare Draft of Kalista Alam’s Permit Revocation

http://atjehpost.com/read/2012/09/24/22005/40/5/Gubernur-Minta-BP2T-Siapkan-Draf-Pencabutan-Izin-Kalista-Alam

Monday, September 24, 2012 13:22 WIB
MURDANI ABDULLAH | Free translation by Adji Darsoyo

BANDA ACEH – Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah has requested the Head of the Integrated Licensing Office (BP2T) of the Aceh Regional Secretariat on Monday, September 24, to immediately prepare a draft of Kalista Alam’s permit revocation. This relates to the recent decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan.
This information was announced by the Head of Legal and PR Office of th Aceh Regional Secretariat, Makmur Ibrahim, to The Atjeh Post on Monday, September 24, 2012.
“We are waiting for the draft of permit revocation from BP2T. If it can be processed within 2 days, than we will also revoke in 2 days,” said Makmur Ibrahim.
According to him, based on existing law, the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan on Kalista Alam is inviolable. This decision is final and has to be accepted by all parties, including the Government of Aceh.
“Therefore, we agree to withdraw and wait for the draft of permit revocation from BP2T for further follow up,” said Makmur.

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