JAKARTA – Deputy V heading the Legal Division of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariono, explained that a team of State Attorney Lawyers will file a lawsuit in the case of the Tripa Peat Swamp this week.
“The plan is at the beginning of this month, and within one to three days, the team of State Attorney Lawyers, as the legal representatives of the Minister of the Environment, will depart for Aceh,” said Sudariono during a press conference after a Coordination Meeting on Environmental Law Enforcement in 2012 in Jakarta, last Tuesday morning, November 6, 2012.
He said, there are two lawsuits to be filed: a criminal case and a civil case related to PT. Kallista Alam (KA) and PT. Surya Panen Subur (SPS) 2. For PT. KA the case will be filed in Nagan Raya, Aceh Barat, namely the District Court of Meulaboh.
While for PT. SPS-2 the case will be filed in the District Court of Jakarta. But, Sudariono did not declare exactly which court. “In accordance with the deed,” he claimed.
Sudariono said that for the criminal case, the team of State Attorney Lawyers is prepared with an Order of Appoinment for the Public Prosecutor to Observe the Development of the Investigation of the Crime, also known as P 16.
“The criminal charges are compiled together with BPLN LH, so hopefully,” added Sudariono.
Currently, the Ministry of Environment ,with the Attorney General and the Supreme Court, are applying a Certification Programme for Environmental Judges.
The goal of this programme is to improve the legal handling of environmental cases at all court levels, including the Administrative Court, to better fulfill the sense of justice for litigants involved, and also to support efforts in environmental protection.
“There are still laws that are unclear, so this certification programme is important in order to build a common perception,” said the Head of the Supreme Court, Hatta Ali.
Hatta Ali said that the enforcement of environmental law so far strictly refers to Law No. 32/ 2009, but there are still obstacles on the field. “Concerning expert witnesses, for example, what is the criteria? Does it fulfill the requirements for filing a “legal standing?” said Ali.
The Ministry of Environment indicated that the Certification Programme for Environmental Judges will be carried out for two months. This programme prioritises the judges in charge in the regions with the most severe envrionmental destruction, namely Sumatera, Java and Kalimantan.(bna)
- Melanie Subono investigates the destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Governor: Protect Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Historic Cancellation of Oil Palm Permit Opens Door for Prosecution of Companies Crimes (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
03 October 2012
INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
Coalition to Save Tripa Peat Swamp Forest
“Historic Cancellation of Oil Palm Permit Opens Door for Prosecution of Companies Crimes
Latest Satellite Image shows company still burning protected peatlands”
JAKARTA – Less than one week after history was made as the Aceh Government revoked the first industrial palm oil permit from the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest, a coalition of NGO’s known as ‘Save Tripa Peat Forest’ highlighted today in a press briefing additional clear breaches of Indonesia’s multi million dollar forest protection agreement with Norway, only kilometers from the first location, and demanded National Police increase their activities to quickly bring these crimes to trial.
Deddy Ratih, Forest Campaigner for Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) explained “This continues to be a the leading test case for a National problem. While the revocation of PT Kallista Alam is a step in the right direction, there is still much more action required by police and Government to resolve the problems in Tripa. The Ministry of Environment continues to investigate a raft of the envrionmental crimes in Tripa with no end in sight, meanwhile, the legal testomonies of local communities to the National Police continue to be ignored”
Kamarrudin, the lawyer representing local people and the environment in the Tripa case, said, “There are strong indications that the enforcement of the law in the Tripa case has been “hijacked” by the financial power of corporations operating in the Tripa peat swamps. This can be seen in the less than optimal work of the provincial and national police, and the investigators of the Ministry of the Environment. We request that the National Police Chief and the Ministry of the Environment immediately evaluate the investigative processes to date, and move forward with a thorough investigation of the criminal crimes against spatial planning, plantation and environmental laws and regulations in the Tripa peat swamps. We hope that this case, that has drawn national and international attention, will not be frozen by those with vested interests in the law enforcement and government agencies. We also hold the Ministry of the Environment to its promise to launch criminal and administrative against companies that have committed serious environmental crimes in the Tripa peat swamps”.
In an impassioned address, Adnan NS, a prominent Community leader from Aceh stressed, “Despite the recent cancellation of the PT Kallista Alam permit, and ongoing investigations into violations of the law by this and other companies in Tripa, on the ground nothing has changed yet. Community livelihoods continue to be destroyed, even though local community leaders travelled all the way to Jakarta to report this to the national police back in November 2011. We are still waiting for action and demand to know why their testimonies have been ignored”.
“Over the last two months I’ve been on speaking tours of both the USA and Australia, and all around the world people are continually asking me about the situation in Tripa.” Said Dr Ian Singleton, Conservation Director of the Sumatran Conservation Programme. “International interest in the governance of Indonesia’s remaining forests and rapidly declining wild species populations is extremely high, and to them my message is clear – anyone with a computer can now check on forest clearance in Indonesia, measure and quantify it, and get daily updates on illegal fires, and circulate that information globally. As individuals we have never before had access to so much quantifiable information in other parts of the world or the ability to share it so widely and people around the world continue to be extremely alarmed and concerned about Tripa, as what they see is that so far nothing has yet changed. Unless the destruction is halted very very quickly, we are still likely to see the local extinction of Sumatran Orangutans from Tripa in the very near future.
“The forest concession known as Dua Perkasa Lestari (DPL) has been marked as off-limits in all three releases of the Government’s moratorium map, a tool designed to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation, but satellite imagery from last week clearly show that burning and illegal clearing of Tripa’s peat swamp forests is still taking place. Furthermore, the DPL area has no clear HGU permit, it clearly lies within the Leuser Ecosystem protected by National Spatial Planning law 26/2007, and it contains peat over 3m deep. There are three companies that have been the major burning culprits, namely PT.SPS2, PT DPL and PT KA. We should pay greater attention to this because it is in violation of Law No. 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management” explained Riswan Zen, a Senior GIS mapping expert from the Univeristy of North Sumatra.
“Over 25,000 people have already signed a petition calling for immediate action to halt the destruction of Tripa’s unique ecosystem, from within Tripa itself, from Aceh, from Indonesia, and from all over the world, contributing to the recent closure of the illegal PT Kallista Alam concession. Now we, together with the local community, are launching a new petition (at http://www.change.org/savetripa2) calling on Indonesia’s National Police to support the findings of the REDD+ Taskforce and the Ministry of Environment, and immediately escalate the cases under investigation to formal prosecutions. Much more still needs to be done to protect the remaining forests of Tripa, Aceh, and Indonesia as a whole. But the recent cancellation of the illegal PT Kallista Alam concession is an historic legal precedent for the country and it now needs to be followed up with the investigation and processing of all law breakers, and prosecution for their offences” Said Usman Hamid of Change.org Indonesia.
Its up to all of us to take action to protect the environment, and it can be as simple as signing a petition online, sharing it with your friends, tweeting and using social media to make our country a better place for all Indonesians,” said Melanie Subono. “I’m proud to have signed the petition to save Tripa and to see our laws finally being enforced. In fact, it is our duty as citizens to demand that our laws be upheld, especially those protecting the environment we all live in. Very soon I plan to visit Tripa and see the Orangutans, the forests, and the destruction still taking place with my own eyes. I’ll be going in close to 4 weeks time, and sincerely hope that before I get there, the National Police will have finally begun to take action on this globally important issue”
For further media comment or information, please contact:
Dr Ian Singleton
Director of Conservation, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
Forest Campaigner, WALHI Indonesia (Friends of the Earth Indonesia)
Political Campaigner, Greenpeace Indonesia
Firman Hidayat | The Globe Journal
Friday, September 14, 2012 01:50 WIB | free translation by Adji Darsoyo
Banda Aceh – The 6th Deputy of the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) covering the Settlement of the Environmental Law, Sudaryono, stated that the Ministry has filed a criminal and civil lawsuit against two companies, PT. Kalista Alam and PT. SPS-2, related to the case of Tripa Peat Swamp.
He explained that the case was handled by the MoE base on a letter from UKP-4 from April 11, 2012, addressed to the MoE and to the National Policem which was followed up with field investigation in coordination with the National Police and the Attorney General.
“We have been conducting several field investigations, during May 3 to 5, June 9 to 10 and July 24 to 25 of 2012, in accordance with the letter of UKP-4,” said Sudaryono to The Globe Journal onThursday afternoon (13/09).
According to him, there are 34 witnesses from both companies called for interrogation, 21 from PT. SPS and 13 from PT. Kalista Alam. “We only look from the perspective of the criminal and civil law upon the case of clearing by burning and there is strong indication of deliberate action in the case of burning,” emphasized Sudaryono.
The civil investigators of the MoE are in the final process of determining the suspect to be handed over to the Attorney General. “The suspect leads to the functional perpetrator and the company, not field personnel,” convinced Sudaryono. This means the person and the company responsible, while the civil lawsuit includes environmental destruction and rehabilitation.
Press release is available for download here
Rilis dalam bahasa indonesia dapat diunduh disini
Jakarta, September 6, 2012 – The REDD+ Task Force welcomes the Medan State Administrative High Court Decision dated August 30, 2012 that accepted the appeal of civil society organizations (WALHI Aceh) and ordered the Aceh Governor to revoke PT Kalista Alam’s plantation permit for 1,605 hectares land in Rawa Tripa, Nagan Raya District, Aceh Province. “This decision is in line with our recommendation because the land utilisation permit granted to PT. Kalista Alam was based on invalidated location permit (izin lokasi) and is included in the Indicative Moratorium Map (IMM). So, we hope there will be no more mismanagement in the process of permit issuance,” said Chair of the Working Group of Legal Review and Law Enforcement of the REDD+ Task Force, Mas Achmad Santosa.
Rawa Tripa is deemed peatland area included in the Indicative Moratorium Map (IMM) located in the Province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. “Peatlands are susceptible to fires when drained, so protecting it means materializing our development goals and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 41 percent,” continued Mas Achmad Santosa. Previously, WALHI Aceh sued the Governor of Aceh and PT. Kalista Alam to revoke the Aceh Governor Permit No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 dated August 25, 2011. WALHI Aceh’s demand to revoke palm oil plantation permit in Rawa Tripa granted by the Governor of Aceh to PT Kalista Alam was rejected in April 2012 by Banda Aceh State Administrative
Court judge panel on the basis that parties involved have not gone through out-of-court settlement efforts. Some 21 villages around Rawa Tripa had also protested that the establishment of PT Kallista Alam had caused their water level in the community’s wells to drop drastically.
On July 4,2012, the Head of the Presidential Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP4), Ministry of Environment, and National Police’s Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim Polri) visited Rawa Tripa after reports of fire in the peatland area. From the visit, the Head of Aceh Police sent a letter to the Governor giving some recommendations to clarify borders of the Rawa Tripa area and revoke all plantation permits within the Rawa Tripa area by compensating them with land in other areas or with equal value.
For further information, please contact:
Chair of Communication and Stakeholders Engagement Working Group
REDD+ Task Force
WALHI Aceh Press Release
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
JUDGES OF HIGHER ADMINISRATIVE COURT IN MEDAN GRANTED WALHI ACEH’S APPEAL
Aceh Governor has to withdraw the Plantation License of PT. Kalista Alam in Tripa and evaluate the entire existing licenses in Tripa Peat Swamp
Banda Aceh – WALHI’s appeal (in this case as the Plaintiff) against Aceh Governor (1st Defendant) and PT. Kalista Alam (2nd Defendant) on the withdrawal of the Governor’s Plantation License No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 to PT. Kalista Alam issued on August 25, 2011 covering 1,605 ha in Tripa Peat Swamp’s Pulo Kruet village has been granted by the High Court in Medan.
The ruling of the High Court of Medan No. 89/B/2012/PT.TUN-MDN has been recited by the Panel of Judges on August 30, 2012.
The ruling contains among others: 1). The granting of Plaintiff’s (WALHI) appeal; 2). Cancellation of the contested license No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 issued by the Governor of Aceh on August 25, 2011; 3). An order to the 1st Defendant (The Governor of Aceh) to withdraw the contested State Administrative Decision of the Governor of Aceh on the No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 on the Plantation Permit to PT. Kalista Alam issued on August 25, 2011; 4). An order to the 1st and 2nd Defendants to jointly cover the cost of both court process of IDR 250,000,-.
(The ruling document in Bahasa Indonesia can be accessed here)
In response to the above mentioned court ruling, WALHI Aceh would like to address the following:
- WALHI Aceh kindly appreciate the ruling of the High Court of Medan. This result is to be taken gratefully, since it is not only a victory for WALHI but aslo for the whole community of Aceh and various national and international groups that have been so far very much and fully concerned about the relief and the protection of Tripa Peat Swamp. This is also a high appreciation for the collaborative struggle, especially of the community of the 21 villages in and around Tripa Peat Swamp. This decision is also proof that the law enforcement in environmental issue became a valuable effort and is expected to be momentum of law enforcement in a broader sense.
- Based on the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan, WALHI Aceh request the Governor of Aceh to immediately follow up on the decision by cancelling the Plantation Permit issued to PT. Kalista Alam in Tripa Peat Swamp. Further, the Governor of Aceh is expected to evaluate all existing permits of various plantation companies in Tripa Peat Swamp, which are allegedly violating the procedures.
- WALHI Aceh also hopes that the entire legal cases, both civil and criminal cases currently undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment against several plantation companies in Tripa Peat Swamp, as well as the reports of the community and the Coalition for the Protection of Tripa (TKPRT) to the police, can be seriously processed and followed up upon.
We thank you very much for all supports and attentions.
Banda Aceh, 5 September 2012
WALHI Aceh Regional Executive,
Teuku Muhammad Zulfikar
Mobile: +62 812 690 128
- Aceh Integrated Licensing and Services Board reported to the Police (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- TKPRT: Immediately Revoke and Prosecute the Issuer of the New Permit in Tripa (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Waiting for The Rescue of Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Roasted in Tripa Peat Swamp | TEMPO Magazine (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Tripa peat swamp facing its death (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Kuntoro Requests The Governor of Aceh to Revoke Plantation Permit in Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- UKP4 requested the withdrawal of palm oil plantation permits in Tripa | KOMPAS (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- The Head of Aceh Police about Tripa Peat Swamp: Not Only Former Governor (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Former Aceh Governor’s story about the Permit in Tripa | The Globe Journal (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- It’s either orangutans or cheap palm oil (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
free translatation by Gunung Gea - original text in Bahasa Indonesia is available here
Banda Aceh – Head of Aceh Integrated Licensing and Service Board (BP2T) M. Yahya was reported to the Aceh Provincial Police in connection with suspected falsification of the data in a position paper prepared for the Governor of Aceh on 27th October 2010. In the said position paper, it was written that the peat depth in the Tripa Peat Swamps was between 0.5 to 1.5 metres.
“As a result of this position paper, the then-Governor of Aceh, Irwandi Yusuf (Governor from 2007 – 2012) issued a ‘permit in principle’ to PT Kallista Alam in the Tripa swamps. Whereas the position paper contradicted PT Kallista Alam’s own 2010 Environmental documentation (UKL/UPL) prepared by their environmental consultation that stated that the peat depth averages over 3 metres (page III-6)” said the spokesperson for the Coaltion Team for Saving the Tripa Swamps (TKPRT), Irsadi Aristora, who was making the report to the police.
He told the Globe Journal in Wednesday (29/8) that investigators from the Ministry of the Environment had also measured the peat depth in Tripa to be greater than 3 metres. The report from TPKRT was recorded by the Aceh Police as report number BL/188/VIII/2012/SPKT, signed by Aipda Khairuddin.
The Globe unsuccessfully tried to contact the head of BP2T, as he did not answer repeated calls to his cell phone. When he finally answered his phone he claimed “I am sorry, I cannot hear you on my cell phone, the Cell phone is not functioning”.
At midday, Gustav Leo from the Public Relations section of the Aceh Police, when contacted, promised to follow-up the report. “I will check the report, I am at ‘SPKT (Sentra Pelayanan Kepolisian Terpadu/Integrated Police Service Centre)’, but it will definitely be followed up” he said.
“It will definitely be followed-up, hopefully members of the public can provide strong evidence” he reiterated.
The Director of Walhi Aceh, TM Zulfikar stated that the head of Aceh Police must pursue this case to its conclusion. The report from TKPRT and the public in the Tripa swamps must follow-up until it goes to court. “Don’t just stop with the report and then there is no follow-up” said Zulfikar, while also saying that Walhi Aceh together with the TKPRT, will continually monitor developments with this case until it goes to court.
The Jakarta Globe | Fidelis E. Satriastanti | July 23, 2012
The Environment Ministry is investigating eight plantation companies in Sumatra for allegedly clearing nearly 4,000 hectares of forest using slash-and-burn methods.
Arief Yuwono, the minister’s deputy for environmental damage control and climate change, said on Sunday that the companies were believed to have burned down more than 3,800 hectares of forest.
“Two of the companies are in Riau, four are in South Sumatra and two are in Aceh,” he said.
He added that the ministry was also investigating some local officials involved in issuing permits to the companies.
The investigation comes as the Environment Ministry prioritizes measures to prevent haze as a result of forest fires on the island and particularly in Riau, which is set to host the 18th National Games in September.
Purwasto Saroprayogi, head of the ministry’s forest fire monitoring department, said the areas of top priority were Pelalawan and Rokan Hilir districts in Riau.
“We’re giving priority to these two regions because the number of forest fire hot spots detected there is quite high,” Purwasto said.
He added that there was a risk of more fires spreading in the province because of the hot spots.
He said that under the ministry’s Fire Danger Rating System, officials now had a better understanding of how the fires were spreading.
“Whereas before we could only monitor once every seven days, now we can do it once every three days,” Purwasto said.
As of July 15, there were 2,643 hot spots detected in Riau this year, or more than half of the 4,876 detected across Indonesia by a US satellite. South Sumatra accounted for 1,180 hot spots, while West Kalimantan had 1,053.
In Riau, most of the hot spots were concentrated in Pelalawan district, with 527, followed by Bengkalis and Rokan Hilir.
Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya warned that the number of fires would increase as the dry season continued, fanned in part by the “El Nino” phenomenon in October.
“Based on the information from the FDRS and predictions of decreased rainfall, there will be a high potential of forest fires in the eight most prone provinces of North and South Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, and [all of] Kalimantan,” he said as quoted by environmental website MongaBay.co.id.
Banda Aceh – The Ministry of Environment and the Nationa Police in Jakarta will be very serious to solve the case related to the slash and burn activity as well as to concession permits in Tripa Peat Swamp. Deputy V of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariyono, said to The Globe Journal on Friday (06/07) that the Ministry of Environment only concentrates on two cases occurred in Tripa Peat Swamp.
He explained that those two cases relate to peat burning filed as crime lawsuit and to environmental destruction filed as civil lawsuit. “The National and Provincial Police concentrate in the Law No. 18/2008 on Plantation, thus relates to permits,” said Sudaryono.
“So, the domain of the Ministry of Forestry is to concentrate in the two cases only, that will be handed over to the Attorney General as soon as possible,” he added To date, the Ministry of Environment has interrogated 32 witnesses for both companies, 19 for PT. Surya Panen Subur and 13 for PT. Kalista Alam.
Still according to Daryono, the interrogation of the witnesses were conducted in three different location, locally, in Banda Aceh and in Jakarta. “From the community directly on site,” he continued.
The Ministry of Forestry only focuses on peat burning, since this already damages the environment. “Currently, no one was named as suspect,” said Daryono ending of the interview.
- Ministry of Environment Will Sue Two Companies in Tripa (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Fires in Protected Peat Forest Have Companies Feeling the Heat (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Graft suspected in palm oil conversion (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
Fidelis E. Satriastanti
The Environment Ministry has found indications of arson in recent fires at the protected Tripa peat forest in Aceh, a senior ministry official said on Sunday.
“It baffles me. We are still investigating, but these fires keep occurring,” said Sudariyono, the ministry’s deputy for legal compliance.
“We have a strong suspicion that the fires are not accidental, judging by how they are shaped. When viewed from above it is very irregular. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a mitigation system, in the sense that no one’s trying to put them out.”
A moratorium map published by the ministry identified Tripa as protected area. Tripa is also part of Leuser Ecosystem, a national strategic area for environmental protection. There is also a law in place that is meant to prohibit the issuance of new concessions on land with peat layers more than three meters deep.
Despite this, two companies, Kallista Alam and Surya Panen Subur 2, received concessions in Tripa.
Kallista’s permit, issued by former Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf, is currently the subject of a legal challenge by activists.
Sudariyono said Surya Panen “was suspected of burning some 1,183 hectares” of land inside the Tripa peat swamp from March 19 to 24 this year.
Kallista, he said, was believed to have burned some 30 hectares of its 1,605-hectare concession in the peat swamp.
The ministry has not concluded its investigation but Sudariyono said his office was already mulling legal action against Kallista and Surya Panen. The companies “could be charged in criminal court over the fires and they could face lawsuits for damaging the forest,” he said.
The Environment Ministry has questioned witnesses from the two companies, nongovernmental organizations, residents and local government offices.
- The Condition of Tripa Peat Swamp Is Critical, All Drainage Canals Should Be Blocked (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Fires threaten to ‘extinguish’ critical Indonesian orangutan population (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
The Atjeh Post
Muhajir Abdul Aziz - Free translation by Adji Darsoyo
BANDA ACEH – The restoration of destroyed ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp has been requested by the Presidential Working Unit and the Ministry of Environment to the Governor of Aceh.
This was said by Mas Achmad Santosa, Head of the Working Group for Regulation and Law Enforcement Analysis of the Task Force REDD+ in Banda Aceh on Wednesday, July 4, 2012.
According to Mas Achmad, restoration means the reorganisation of the spatial plan of Aceh as well as the bio-ecosystem of and moratorium of land use on Tripa Peat Swamp. Moratorium, he said, is very important to stop the on-going destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp.
“The restoration of the ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp is necessary for the sustainability of biological existence, scientific analysis about Tripa Peat Swamp ecosystem is also needed,” said Mas Achmad Santosa, who also known as Okta.
Besides, this team, he said, also requested the regional government to restore local community’s trust towards law enforcement officials in Aceh.
“We hoped that continuous discussion will be held in regards to the legal process in the case of Tripa Peat Swamp,” said Okta.
Before departing to Nagan Raya tomorrow to directly visit the ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp, the team met with the Governor of Aceh Zaini Abdullah in his official office room on Wednesday afternoon, July 4, 2012. 
- Kuntoro Requests The Governor of Aceh to Revoke Plantation Permit in Tripa Peat Swamp (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- UKP4 requested the withdrawal of palm oil plantation permits in Tripa | KOMPAS (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Tripa Peat Swamp Re-Included in the Moratorium (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)
- Clearing of Tripa Peat Swamp Forest Threatening Orangutan | Koran Tempo (endoftheicons.wordpress.com)