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.
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