Waiting for The Rescue of Tripa Peat Swamp

The Globe Journal,Firman Hidayat

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The countdown on the status of the large scale oil palm companies operating on this highly carbon absorbing swamp has started. At last, the Government of Aceh is involved through the establishment of an internal investigation team. In one step, Tripa Peat Swamp will either be restored or destroyed. The commitment of the Governor of Aceh will decide.

“The Governor of Aceh has the authority to withdraw all permits in Tripa Peat Swamp if those companies are still clearing by burning,” said the Head of the Legal Office of the Province Secretariat of Aceh, Makmur Ibrahim SH M Hum.

Interviewed by The Globe Journal after attending an internal meeting related to Tripa Peat Swamp on Tuesday afternoon (31/7), Makmur said that the meeting decide to send a joint team on Thursday (2/8) consisting of different offices such as Bapedal, BP2T, Government Offices of Aceh, the Police, Provincial Office of Forestry and Plantation,” he said.

“If companies in Tripa Peat Swamp are violating their permits, if there is any clauses within the permits, e.g. Operation and implementation not in accordance to the permits, both technically and administratively alligned with the existing regulation, as well as the Regulation of the Ministry of Agriculture No. 62/2007 containing statement forbidding clearing by burning, Which is also written in the Environmental Law,” added  Makmur.

The clause stated that if companies conduct land clearing by burning, this is clearly violating the regulation and the permit could get revoked.

Further, all companies in Tripa Peat Swamp are obliged to frequently submit physical report. “Concerning the report, there is none up to now,” said Makmur convincing.

According to Makmur, the leter from UKP4 and from WALHI Aceh about the withdrawal of the permits of two companies in Tripa Peat Swamp can only be used as additional references. “If there is no violation, the letter is not strong enough, except it is decided through a legal process,” he said.

Currently, the Government of Aceh only focuses on the withdrawal of the permits of PT. Kalista Alam. “We will finalise one by one. PT. SPS-2 is also in our investigation list. This means, the team will submit their recommendation regarding the withdrawal of companies’ permits in Tripa Peat Swamp,” he said.

According to a liable source to The Globe Journal after the meeting, the Governor of Aceh, Zaini Abdullah, stated that the permits of two companies are to be withdrawn, since they have violated the law through clearing by burning. I addition, those companies in Tripa Peat Swamp have never submitted  their report, which is frequently due every six months.

Related to the burning, whether it is deliberately or accidentally, it is clear that the companies are obliged to control the fire, but the companies seem to be incapable to control the wide spreading fire. “So the permits of those companies in Tripa Peat Swamp will be withdrawn,” said the source to The Globe Journal, who also attended the meeting,

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About endoftheicons

The Leuser Ecosystem on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia is in grave danger. Local politicians want to allow logging, mining and palm oil plantations in this vulnerable area. Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers are already hanging on by a thread. They will not survive the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem.

6 responses to “Waiting for The Rescue of Tripa Peat Swamp”

  1. Olivier Watkins says :

    Could everyone also please go to http://www.schoolnetfortheforests.org
    It is an awesome website created by a school student to go worldwide to help save the forests. After checking it out, please forward it to any school students and/or teachers that you know so their school can sign it. GO SCHOOLNET FOR THE FORESTS!

    • Chitra says :

      Love this! Have visited the site and shared…

      • Olivier Watkins says :

        Wow! So glad you have shared the SCHOOLNETFORTHEFORESTS site… it looks like if it hit a critical mass – it could go around the world and raise awareness of the forest crises for students who will be voting in the not to distant future…

  2. Judy says :

    This should be so clear cut-all the physical evidence is there,you can’t hide the destuction caused by burning down Tripa-its obvious who is responsible for it.Lack of physical reports which should be submitted every 6 months,correct permits not signed,regulations violated,complete disregard for the law-need I go on?No,but the way Indonesian Goverment behaves leaves me with more than a slight taste of suspicion that this will not be dealt with accordingly.I hope that Aceh’s Governor has seen sense & realised the only thing he can do is revoke this and the many other permits that have been given to several Palm oil companies.Tripa is a protected peat swamp and as such must return to PROTECTED with ALL palm oil companies evicted immediately.Please let this be a happy ending and soon……..

    • Guenter Heinze says :

      I’m quite pessimistic and share your suspicion! At the end they will just withdraw permissions for one or two of the smaller palm oil companies to evidence that they have taken actions but nothing else and the deforestation will continue. There is to much money involved.

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