Tuesday, 19 June, 2012 | 17:43 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Banda Aceh:It is predicted that there are now only 200 orang utan left at Rawa Tripa areas. In 1990, almost 2,000 orang utan were registered.
This was stated by Conservation Director of SOCP, Dr Ian Singleton, in his press release Monday, June 18, 2012. The Rawa Tripa areas in the Nagan Raya Regency and in West Aceh have a size of 61,03 hectares. According to Ian Singleton, the decreasing number of orang utan population in the said areas is caused by the ongoing forest conversion into palm oil plantations. “To think that Tripa used to be a territory with the highest numbers of orang utan population in the world,” he said.
On June 16, Singleton’s side saved a male orang utan baby from the people who tried to sell the baby to a member of the investigating team. “This rescue constitutes a great success of the extraordinary collaboration between police and various institutions involved,” said Ian Singleton.
“At present our team in the field discovered the still ongoing burning of land for plantation areas in the Leuser ecosystem,” reported Ian Singleton. Aerial photos show that over the last six months more than 1,500 hectares of Raw Tripa land areas have been converted [to plantations]. An investigation team from the central government has got down to investigate these illegal activities.
Tue, May 15, 2012 | Analisa Daily
Banda Aceh, (Analisa). The Head of REDD+ Task Force, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, emphasized that the government will take assertive action to both the companies and certain party within the governmental bureaucracy involved in the legal violation in Tripa Peat Swamp in Nagan Raya District.
REDD+ Task Force has also appreciated all ministries and law enforcement institutions to firmly and effectively process the case in Tripa.
“With such good work, we hope that the case can be processed properly to appropriately enforce the law. If legal violation is proven, there will be prosecution,” emphasized Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, in a press conference received by Analisa on Monday (14/5).
It is said that being a peat swamp and habitat for scarce species such as orangutan, it is necessary to preserve Tripa Peat Swamp. In this connection, the government responded seriously all inputs related to the controversy of the oil palm plantation of PT Kalista Alam (PT KA) within the Moratorium Map I. The area was then burning at the same time with the fire in the concession area of PT Surya Panen Subur 2 (PT SPS2).
Based on the incident and in respond to the reports by the community, the Ministry of Environment together with a team from the National Police and the Attorney General in the beginning of May has sent a team to the site to conduct investigation.
The result, indications of various legal violations has been identified, such as clearing of 1,605 ha of land prior to the issuance of the licence for cultivation plantation by the Governor. Then, there was indication of clearing by burning.
Based on those indications, the team concluded that there is legal violations. Therefore, there is strong indication that the combustion within the area of PT SPS 2 and of PT KA was suspiciously conducted systematically. This means that the legal prosecution would not affect only individual actor but also the related companies.
To Be Punished
Therefore, said Kuntoro, in accordance with the Article 69 point h of the Law No 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management, company or company director is liable to sanctions if the crime act was conducted on behalf of or for the company.
Besides the crime process, continued Kuntoro, civil process is compulsory to be carried out in the form of compensation to the loss caused by the fire. The Ministry of Environment on behalf of the State can file civil law suit demanding compensation without having to wait for the final court verdict.
Clearing and planting of oil palm without licence and land concession by PT KA in the majority of the area of 1,605 ha has been verified based on existing documents and confession of the company in the presence of the Forestry Minister and the Deputy Chairman of the People Consultative Assembly/Senator Farhan Hamid, an Aceh origin, on May 6, 2012.
According to the Law No.18/2004 on Plantation, in the legal process conducting land clearing and planting of oil palm without licence, the business actor is liable to crime sanctions. Therefore, the legal process has to continue.
Related to the peat depth, both in the burned area of PT SPS2 and PT KA, existing data shows that those areas are peat with more than 3 meters depth. Any licence for oil palm plantation in areas under such condition violates the Decree of the Minister of Agriculture No. 14/Permentan/PL.110/2/2009 on the Guidelines of the Utilisation of Peatlands for Oil Palm Cultivation as well as some other regulation on peatland utilisation.
Kuntoro continued, the Governor of Aceh needed therefore to review the licence for PT SPS2, especially in the burned area, as well as the licence for PT KA. Besides, the clearing by burning conducted by both companies is prohibited and is liable to administrative sanction, the withdrawal of the permit, in accordance with the Article 39 jo. Article 34 Point d of the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture No. 26/2007 on the Guidelines of Plantation Business.
Related to the Moratorium Map, concerning that PT KA has not yet possess any concession permit for the 1,605 ha, then based on the Presidential Instruction No. 10/2011 the area should be included in the Moratorium Map.
To guarantee legal protection of forest and areas with protecting function within an “Other Land Use” as well as to secure business certainty for entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Forestry, District Regents and other related agency needs to re-analyse the conditions and procedures in the issuance of licence for plantation. (irn)