Archive | May 2012

Blind Orangutan Leuser, father of twins, in Guardian Online

Blind Orangutan Leuser, father of twins, in Guardian Online

Story and photos about Leuser, a blind orangutan shot 62 times with an air rifle now residing at Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) orangutan quarantine centre near Medan, Pictures by Paul Hilton

Government Applies Triple Track to Stop Permit on Tripa Peat Swamp | Berita Satu

The Government has filed lawsuit, both civil law and criminal law, based on the indication of violently issued permit on Aceh’s Tripa Peat Swamp.

“For the case in Tripa, we apply triple track, which includes criminal law suitcurrently being in the phase of investigation referring to the Law 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management related to the clearing by burning, the Law on Plantation related to the unpermissive activities. Thirdly, civil investigator of forestry using the Law No. 5/1990 on Conservation in the connection with orangutan habitat,” said the Head of the Law Enforcement Working Group of the Task Force REDD+, Mas Achmad Santosa on Monday (21/5) in Jakarta.

The second track, continued Mas Achmad, who is also the Director of Law Enforcement of UKP4, is through civil lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Environment related to forest rehabilitation.

“There is ecosystem damages resulting in public indemnity, which will be pursuit by the Ministry of Environment referring to the Law No. 32/2009 that has standing rights. The third track, we will file administrative lawsuit, since a violation has been identified, while the issuing authority is requested to withdraw the permit. This is an ultimate remedy to conduct revocation of license,” said Mas Ahmad.

The case of Tripa Peat Swamp emerged based on NGOs report in November 2011 as they presumed that the Government of Aceh has deliberately issued exploration permit for 1,605 peat swamp area in Tripa, which is part of Leuser Ecosystem.

A look at the moratorium map of the Ministry of Forestry, it is visible that they (remarks: Government of Aceh) issued the permit oto PT Kalista Alam.

Based on field findings of the Task Force REDD+, the area has been cleared by burning prior to the issuance of the permit and planted with oil palm.

Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the Head of the Task Force REDD+, said that mengatakan Tripa Peat Swamp is already re-include in the moratorium map, means that no permit can be issued.

“The primary is that all activities have to be ceased. The status (of Tripa Peat Swamp) has been determined as a non-convertible status. As for law enforcement and rehabilitation, it will be the next step. For now, the permit is revoked,” said Kuntoro adding that there will be no land swap for PT Kalista Alam.

Written by: Fidelis E Satriastanti/ Kristantyo Wisnubroto

The Case of Tripa Peat Swamp: Peat Rehabilitation Is the Responsibility of the Company | KOMPAS

as published in KOMPAS, 23 May 2012

Jakarta, KOMPAS – Restoration of Tripa Peat Swamp Forest within the Aceh’s Leuser Ecosystem, which is damaged through clearing by burning, is the responsibility of the company operating in the area. The damage is currently being calculated by the Ministry of Environment and experts from Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB).
“The result from the lab is estimated to be finalised,” said Basuki Wasuki from the Lab of Forest Influence of the forest ecology of IPB, Tuesday (22/5) in Jakarta.
Together with Hero Suharjo (Dean of the Faculty of Forestry and Head of the Lab for Forest Fire and Agriculural Land), he (remarks: Basuki) was requested by the Ministry of Environment to join the analysis of the case of Tripa Peat Swamp.
Basuki explained that he took some samples several weeks ago from and conducted observation in Tripa. He concluded that peat fires of more than 500 ha occurred for the purpose of oil palm plantation.
Visual observation was then continued with lab analysis to support legal evidence and environmental damage calculation.
Through lab analysis, the rate of peat dryness, loss of flora and fauna as well as other damage can by concluded. The reference for the calculation is the Regulation of the Minister of Environment No. 13/2011 on the Financial Indemnity for Damage caused by Pollution and/or Environmental Destruction.
Details of the value are the indemnity for damage caused by unfulfilled responsibility, indemnity to verification and environmental observation cost(survey and lab), indemnity to rehabilitation cost and environmental damage.
Deputy of Environmental Planning, Sudariyono, explained that the cost and the effort for the rehabilitation of Tripa Peat Swamp, according to the laws, are the responsibility of the company or of the company’s individual. This is based on the Article 116 and 108 of the Law No. 32/2009 on the Protection and Management of the Environment.
“The risk for the perpetrator of environmental destruction is the deprivation of profits and withdrawal of the concession permit as well as cessation of palm oil activities.
Besides indemnity to the environmental damage and recovery cost, crime lawsuit is also to be filed. Last Tuesday, two persons, each representing one company, have been interrogated by civil investigator.

Hearing of Witnesses | KOMPAS

Translation of bahasa news item in KOMPAS newspaper:

KOMPAS/MOHAMAD BURHANUDIN Stumps spread within thousands of ha of Tripa Peat Swamp area turned into charcoal caused by clearing by burning for oil palm plantation in the village of Pulo Kruet, Sub district of Darul Makmur in Aceh’s Nagan Raya District.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Civil investigator from the Ministry of Environment on Tuesday (22/05) afternoon started hearing of witnesses of the burning of Leuser Ecosystem’s Tripa Peat Swamp in Aceh’s Nagan Raya District. The witnesses are from the management of PT Kalista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur 2.

“This hearing is the follow-up on the onsite investigation conducted several times ago. Two witnesses from the companies attended the hearing. Next week we are going to invite witnesses from the local government, such as from the District Office of Forestry, Agriculture and other related offices,” said Deputy of Environmental Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariyono, in Jakarta.

While in Nagan Raya, the team has interview the witnesses from local community, filed to strengthen the findings of the investigator.

Sudariyono put forward that the investigator team has found that area of Tripa Peat Swamp was cleared by burning for oil palm plantation. The burning violates the Article 108 of the Law No. 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management, charge with the minimum of 3 years up to 10 years in prison and fined with the minimum of IDR 3 billion up to 10 billion.

Besides the criminal aspect, the investigator also applied civil rights, as there is environmental destruction caused by the fire resulting in state loss. “The indemnity is still being calculated. The civil process is in parallel to the criminal lawsuit,” said Sudariyono.

The case emerged after WALHI and several others NGOs in Aceh filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Aceh based on the issuance of a permit for 1,605 ha within the area of LEuser Ecosystem. The Administrative Court in Banda Aceh rejected to make a verdict.

The awkwardness of the permit issuance alerted the Development Supervision and Control Division of the Presidential Working Unit (UKP4).

Meanwhile, the Director of PT Surya Panen Subur, Eddy Sutjahyo Busiri, said that his company did not set the fire, but was a victim of the fire set by the neighbouring plantation. “We reported directly to the police and local environmentalists to witness the fire themselves,” he said

Next Week, Hearing of Witnesses | KOMPAS

Next Week, Hearing of Witnesses 

Jakarta, Kompas – Joint investigator consisting of Ministry of Environment, Police and Attorney General on Monday (21/5) were scheduled to start collecting information from witnesses on the case of clearing by burning in Tripa Peat Swamp within the Aceh’s Leuser Ecosystem. The witnesses are from the companies PT Kalista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur 2. This is the follow up on the site investigation sometimes ago.

“Now is the first call for witnesses from both companies. Other witnesses are also from government agencies, such as Provincial Government of Aceh and the National Land Agency,” said Sudariyono, Deputy of Environmental Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Environment, last Friday in Jakarta.

Currently, the team has collect information from local community in Nagan Raya, filed to strengthen the findings of the investigators.

On site, the team of investigators found evidence of clearing by burning of Tripa Peat Swamp area for the purpose of oil palm plantation. Burning of land violates the Article 108 of the Law No. 32/2009 on the Protection and the Management of the Environment, with the minimum sentence of 3 years up to 10 years in prison and fine of between IDR 1 to 10 billion.

Besides criminal law, investigators also apply civil law based on the environmental destruction caused by fire, which is defined as state loss. “We are currently calculating the damage. The civil process runs in parallel to the legal process of the crime suit,” he said.

The case of Tripa emerged after WALHI and some other NGOs in Aceh filed a law suit against the Governor of Aceh on the issuance of permit for 1,605 ha within the Leuser Ecosystem. The law suit was rejected by the panel of judges of the administrative court in Banda Aceh.

The odd decision on the case has reached the Presidential Working Unit of Development Supervision and Control  (UKP4), which is also the Task Force REDD+. The Head of UKP4 Kuntoro Mangkusubroto recommended that the investigators of the Ministry of Environment, the Police and the Attorney General take over the case.

Over the phone on Friday afternoon, the Director of PT Surya Panen Subur, Eddy Sutjahyo Busiri, has received the summon for hearing. “It is scheduled for Tuesday. We will certainly attend and bring evidence and data,” he said.

He said that his company did not burn but was victim of burning by its neighbouring plantation. Thursday afternoon his staffs in Tripa Peat Swamp were on alert based on fire within the area of PT Kalista Alam.

”We alerted directly the police and Local Office of Environment to witness the fire themselves,” he said.

Improving Coordination

Separately, Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi, the Coordinator of the Moratorium Monitoring Work Group of the Task Force REDD+, agreed that the case on Tripa opened the path for the review on the areas within the moratorium map.

He recommended that various government agencies coordinate with each other and monitor. (ICH)

Indonesia forest moratorium won’t meet climate pledge – Norway

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/05/22/indonesia-emissions-norway-idINDEE84L07S20120522

(Reuters) – Indonesia’s progress in reforming its forestry sector will not be sufficient to meet its pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020, Norway’s environment minister said on Tuesday.

Indonesia imposed a two-year moratorium on clearing forest last May under a $1 billion climate deal with Norway aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation, despite resistance from some government departments and from resource firms looking to expand in the archipelago.

Norway has been impressed by what Indonesia has achieved in terms of transparency in the forest sector and by a change towards being more pro-environment in policy debates around land use, said its environment minister, Bård Vegar Solhjell.

However, deforestation continues in areas not covered by the moratorium as well as illegally in the country’s carbon-rich tropical forests and peatlands. Permits to clear land are often given out by local governors and there is a lack of central government enforcement.

“We know that the moratorium itself is not sufficient to reach the climate mitigation pledged, or to stop deforestation in the speed that is necessary,” Solhjell told Reuters in an interview.

It was the first time Norway indicated the moratorium may not be working.

Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed up to the Norway deal and moratorium as part of his pledge to slash emissions this decade, but there have been few other policy steps to curb emissions in the fast-growing G20 economy.

“It’s a very progressive pledge but it’s also very challenging to actually put it into place,” said Solhjell.

The country is attracting increasing foreign investment in manufacturing industries such as steel, cement and power that are all heavy emitters of greenhouse gases, while sales of energy-guzzling SUV cars, mobile phones and flights are surging.

Higher energy demand from power use, mainly produced from coal, will boost carbon emissions. Indonesia does not provide annual emissions data, though the World Bank rated it as the world’s third largest emitter in 2005 because of deforestation.

SELLING PERMITS

The $1 billion Norway has promised under the deal is contingent on policy change and proven emissions reductions from the forestry sector. The forestry ministry makes billions of dollars from selling permits to use forests each year.

Only months after Yudhoyono signed the forest moratorium, the former governor of the country’s westernmost Aceh province breached the ban by issuing a permit to a palm oil firm to develop carbon-rich peatland.

The permit prompted legal action from environmental groups and investigations by the police and several government bodies, making the case a test of the country’s commitment to halt deforestation in the world’s largest exporter of palm oil.

After the investigation, the government said on Monday that the permit was issued to palm oil firm Kallista Alam without following proper procedures, and that it would protect the strip of peatland in Aceh.

The forest, home to endangered orangutans, was partly cleared by burning even before the permit was issued, said Mas Achmad Santosa, a government official.

“The case of Kallista Alam in Aceh is the typical problem we are facing … some parts have been turned to palm oil plantations, some have been burned, and it turned out the permit does not exist,” said Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who is in charge of overseeing forestry sector reform.

(Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Neil Chatterjee and Robert Birsel)