Tag Archive | Forest Fires

Tripa Field Update June/July 2012

Baby sumatran orangutan confiscated from wildlife traders and field updates june/july 2012

stay involve, stay active #savetripa

sign the latest petition: http://tinyurl.com/endoftheicons

donate to keep the campaign alive via The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program: http://tinyurl.com/savetripa

Charred Footprints | TEMPO

TEMPO InteractiveJakarta 

The Tripa peat swamp, one with the largest capacity to store carbon in Aceh, is near complete ruin. Investigations carried out by a joint team continue to scour for criminal violations that destroyed the once rich peatland forest.

IN the middle of a vast, burned down forest littered with charred, blackened tree trunks, Basuki Wasis instructs one of his staffers to stick a pipe into the ground. One enters right through and stops at a meter deep. A second and then a third pipe sinks easily into the swamp land. The fourth sinks, and then stops at just forty centimeters deep.

After taking ground samples, Basuki records his findings in a pocket notebook – this was land with peat layers of 3.6 meters deep. “This is evidence of a violation committed via planting on peatland,” Basuki told Tempo, who accompanied the researcher from the Bogor Agricultural Institute during the drilling of pipes into the burned swamp land two weeks ago.

On this burned land controlled by palm oil plantation company Kallista Alam, they also gathered samples of charred trees and mounds of ash. “This is further proof to take Kallista Alam to court,” said Bayu Hardjanto, an investigator from the Ministry of Environment.

This land used to be the lush Tripa peatland forest, located within the protected Leuser Ecosystem, and referred to as the country’s lungs in the heart of the tsunami-plagued Aceh province. Tripa used to be teeming with one of the world’s populations of critically-endangered Sumatran orangutans. Tripa had the largest and the most critical capacity to store carbon in Aceh. A permit to convert the peat swamp had been issued to Kallista Alam by then Aceh Governor Irwandy Yusuf on August 25, 2011 – three months following the issuance of an indicative map for protected forests, identifying Tripa as a protected zone.

The license granted to Kallista involved 1,605 hectares of the peat swamp.

The indicative map of protected forests was drawn up in May 2011 and used in line with a ban on new clearing permits for an area of about 60 million hectares of forests and peatlands, launched under President Yudhoyono’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) program. The presidential instruction on the ban was issued on May 20 of 2011. There is also a law in place prohibiting the issuance of new concessions on land with peat layers more than three meters deep.

Despite this, Kallista Alam and Surya Panen Subur (SPS) 2, another plantation company, received concessions in Tripa. A lawsuit filed by Indonesia’s largest environmental group, Walhi, on November 23 of last year to have that license revoked was thrown out on April 2
this year by the Banda Aceh Administrative Court. Walhi has since appealed.

Ground checks and investigations carried out this year by a joint team from the Ministry of Forestry, REDD+ Task Force and the Ministry of Environment found evidence that Tripa had not just been cleared out and replanted with palm oil plantations, it had been burned,
slashed and thoroughly drained, thus gradually releasing carbon dioxide.

This joint team first flew into Aceh for the Tripa investigation on May 4. They had been accompanied by investigators from the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office.

The team works under the guidance of REDD+ task force chief Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who heads the Presidential Unit for Development, Supervision and Oversight (UKP4),
The Tripa peatland forest is now on the brink of ruin. In the 1980s, this forest covered no less than 62 thousand hectares. Today, it extends to no more than 17 thousand hectares – and it continues to be razed off. There have been indications of arson in recent fires at the protected peat forest, according to the Environment Ministry, with strong indications that the culprits are companies waiting to convert the forested regions into palm oil plantations.

This is despite the fact that Tripa has been slotted back into the indicative map, better known as the moratorium map, this year. On May 21, UKP4 announced that an additional 379 thousand hectares had been added to the map. The protected area covered in the revision
– which is the second since the ban came into effect – amounts to 65.75 million hectares of peatlands, primary forests and conservation areas.

The first revision of the map occurred on November 20, 2011 and had come under intense media scrutiny – it had scrapped the Tripa forest off it. This was a reason used by Kallista Alam to point out that since Tripa had been scrapped off the map, converting the forest into a plantation on the basis of a permit issued by the Aceh Governor was consistent with existing regulations. However, the joint team investigating the Tripa case learned eventually that forest clearing activities by Kallista Alam dated back to years before 2011.

A broader investigative piece on the Tripa forest devastation is featured in this week’s TEMPO English Edition magazine.

Untung Widyanto (Aceh), Jajang Jamaluddin, Gita Lal (Jakarta)

Lets get tweeting!

untuk bahasa indonesia klik disini

Dear everyone,

Over the past weeks you have helped us gather more than 3500 signatures at www.change.org/endoftheicons and it has prompted authorities to take action to #savetripa. Fires are still raging, drainage canals are still operating on behalf of the companies to drain the life of Tripa peat swamp, slowly and steadily killing the remaining forest and making the peat susceptible to fires. This must be stopped, all companies should receive order to halt all activities and those drainage canals must be blocked. All concession must be revoked and Tripa should be rehabilitated and restored.

Your support have made the difference and push the authorities to take action, now we need to remind them that a short overflight over Tripa is not enough to solve the problem. Tweet them and tell them what you want them to do.

Rainforest Action Network is helping us with twitter and facebook message to spread, tweet these and post them on facebook. Send them loud and clear message that we want Tripa restored and rehabilitated. Make #savetripa a trending topic on twitter!

share this on twitter

PHOTO: #Indonesia Prez: “#Forests management requires a reinvention of societies.” But #orangutans are dying now #SaveTripa http://ow.ly/i/L0wx via @RAN & @endoftheicons

post this photo on your facebook

In June, Indonesian President SBY declared that forest management “will require a fundamental reinvention and reorganization of societies throughout the world.” Meanwhile, over the last 2 months, clearing of the Tripa rainforest for palm oil plantations continues with 86 illegal fire hotspots. Send President SBY a message right now asking him to save Tripa  http://ow.ly/i/L0wx

Critically endangered Sumatran orangutans are hovering on the edge of extinction because of the illegal fires raging through Tripa rainforest. Palm oil companies have deforested so much of the habitat orangutans depend on for survival, they literally have nowhere left to go. Help us prevent orangutan extinction.
Photo: RAN

Tell Investigation team from Department of Environment we support the investigation, and we want them to investigate all companies operating in Tripa (PT. Kallista Alam, PT. Surya Panen Subur 2, PT. Cemerlang Abadi, PT. Dua Perkasa Lestari dan PT. Gelora Sawita Makmur) and call for restoration of the whole of Tripa!

Thanks @humasKLH for investigating SPS2 & KA, but we want all the permits revoked & the whole of Tripa restored! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

REDD+ Task Force has received more than 15,000 emails in total and has been pushing for PT. Kallista Alam and PT. SPS 2 to be investigated and their permits to be revoked. However, peat swamp is one connected ecosystem, we need the whole of Tripa restored, and for that to happen we need all the companies investigated and their permit revoked!

@SatgasREDD thanks for your work so far,but we want all the destructive activities to stop & tripa restored http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

President SBY was talking about the “Future we want” and how “deforestation is the thing of the past” yet Tripa peatswamp continues to drained and burned. We want him to order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa, save the remaining forest and restore the rest.

Dear President @soesilobambang order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa! Restore and #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

Dear President @presidentSBY order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa! Restore and #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

The Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan is responsible on deciding for what forests to stays and what forests get cut down by whom. He have stated that he wants Tripa restored and rehabilitated, but destruction still continues! Remind him again that problem is not yet solved!

Dear @zul_hasan you have to make sure all destructive activities in Tripa halted & the peatswamp restored! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

Agus Purnomo is the Chairman of National Council of Climate Change, Tripa peatswamp destruction is a climate disaster, burning and drying of peat through the drainage canals emits thousands tons of carbon to the atmosphere. These palm oil companies are undermining Indonesian government efforts to reduce emissions. Tell them to stop!

@AgusPurnomo order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa! Demand for the canals to be blocked! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

UNDP and UN-REDD oversee the financial flow of Norway REDD+ funds to Indonesia, tell them about what had happened in Tripa and we want the Tripa peat swamp rehabilitated and restored!

@UNDP ensure the laws are being enforced & moratorium respected http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

@unredd ensure the laws are being enforced & moratorium respected http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

Executive director of UNEP was with SBY during Rio 20+ meeting as Indonesia President delivering sweet words on Indonesia achievement to reduce deforestation and picturing the “Future We Want”. In addition to that, GRASP UNEP has designated Tripa as priority site for great apes conservation. GRASP patron has historically support this campaign and request SBY to save tripa. Tell them the truth, laws still need to be enforced in Tripa!

@UNEP ensure the laws are being enforced and moratorium respected http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

@graspunep ensure the laws are being enforced! priority site for great apes conservation should be restored & rehabilitated! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

Zaini Abdullah and Muzakir Manaf is the newly inaugurated governor and vice governor of Aceh, they have the authority to revoked permits of ALL plantations in Tripa. Tell them we want all the permits in Tripa to be revoked and Tripa to be restored to its original state.

@zaini_abdullah order immediate halt on operation & revoke all palm oil plantation permits in Tripa, restore & #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

@MuzakirManaf order immediate halt on operation & revoke all palm oil plantation permits in Tripa, restore & #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

BPKEL: at least 187 hotspots in Tripa Peat Swamp since March 2012

The Atjeh Post

Muhajir Abdul Aziz – free translation by Adji Darsoyo

Hotspots detected by MODIS satellite in Tripa Peat Swamp between 17-26 June 2012. Plotted on LANDSAT imagery 7 dated June 3rd, 2012

BANDA ACEH – At least 187 hotspots identified since March 2012 until June 2012 within the ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp in Nagan Raya. This has been told by Farwiza, PR of BPKEL, to The Atjeh Post on Thursday, July 5, 2012.

According to Farwiza, the observation of BPKEL identified more than 100 hotpots, while in May and June around 87 hotspots were detected. According to Farwiza, all those hotspots were observed within the concession areas of PT Kalistsa Alam, PT Surya Panen Subur and PT Dua Perkasa Lestari in Tripa Peat Swamp.

“It appear to be set on fire by the companies during land clearing,” she said.

According to Farwiza, BPKEL currently urge the Government of Aceh to stop the burning process immediately. “We have sent a recommendation to the Governor of Aceh to immediately solve the case of Tripa Peat Swamp before everything is destroyed,” she explained.

Fires in Protected Peat Forest Have Companies Feeling the Heat

Fires continued to be set in Tripa’s peat forestl, 13 June 2012, Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia. According to a field team from the coalition of NGO’s to protect Tripa, that visited the area. Fires are continuing to be lit in the highly threatened Tripa Peat Forest for palm oil plantations despite assurances from the Indonesian central government that ‘triple track’ legal action was underway and a small area of the Peat Forest had returned to the moratorium map central to the multibillion agreement between Indonesia and Norway to reduce carbon emission from burning the carbon dense Peat Forests. Photo: Paul Hilton/SOCP/YEL (HANDOUT PHOTO, EDITORIAL USE ONLY)

The Jakarta Globe

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.”

The Tripa swamp is a key habitat of the Sumatran orangutan, a critically endangered species, with 200 individuals believed to be living in the area.

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.

Task Force REDD+ Requests Restoration of Tripa Peat Swamp

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. []

Ministry of Environment Will Sue Two Companies in Tripa

The Atjeh Post
MUHAJIR ABDUL AZIZ, free translation by Adji Darsoyo

BANDA ACEH – Head of the Sectorial Deputy V on the Structuring of Environmental Law of the Environmental Ministry, Dariono, stated that the ministry will file a civil lawsuit against two companies operating within the ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp.

This lawsuit was to file, since both companies has conducted environmental destruction within the ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp.

Dariono addressed this to The Atjeh Post during the Discussion on The Rescue of Tripa Peat Swamp in Banda Aceh, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. The two companies mentioned by Darionnno  were PT Kalista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur II.

“This civil lawsuit will force the companies to cover the loss resulted through fire etc.,” said Dariono.

Besides, Dariono also stated that the ministry was in coordination with the Attorney General to prosecute the act of Environmental Crime carried out by the two companies.

“We also work together with a team of experts from Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), witnesses from the ground was kept invited, so we hope this will be finalised as soon as possible,” said Dariono.[]