Jikalahari reveals “new alleged violation” by APP's supplier

EoF News / 29 September 2014
Digging peat in MSK concession (APP's supplier). Photo (c)Jikalahari

PEKANBARU (EoF News)—A local environmental organization accused Asia Pulp & Paper (APP/Sinar Mas) breached its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) and forestry law following a new finding on its pulpwood supplier’s concession that found operating excavator draining peat canal and construct road.

An investigation by Jikalahari (Riau Forest Rescue NGO Network) in August 2014 and a report released this month revealing that PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa, APP’s  timber supplier in Kerumutan forest block, “had cleared natural forest and drained deep peat for canal.”

Muslim Rasyid, coordinator of Jikalahari, said that PT MSK claimed the area where excavator found operating dubbed as “community use.”

Jikalahari said there is an operation of a palm oil plantation belong to Singapore-based First Resources palm oil plantation, PT Setia Agrindo Lestari, inside the APP’s PT MSK concession.

The overlapping area of these two companies has size of 2,000 hectares where the palm oil plantation granted license from Indragiri Hilir district head, Indra Mukhlis Adnan, in October 2013.

“Community use are is a camouflage by APP/SMG’s PT MSK to shift the forest to palm oil plantation, therefore natural forest clearance can be done, whereas we reckon this process is much long-time designated before APP’ FCP commitment launched,” Muslim said.

Jikalahari said despite the area is allocated for community use, the fact says the overlapping area has still forest and deep peat that must be included in APP’s FCP.

The NGO who is a member of Eyes on the Forest coalition said that APP also breached Forestry Law number 41 year 1999 and Government Regulation number 45 year 2004.

“APP failed to perform its obligation in protecting forest inside its timber supplier’s working area,” said Muslim.