Jikalahari said industrial timber plantations also drove forest and land burnings, not only palm oil plantations and minings.
Jikalahari, Riau NGOs for Forest Rescue, criticized Head of National Disaster Mitigation, Doni Monardo, who told a hearing session in House of Representatives on 17 June, that forest-land fires were mainly caused by land clearing for palm oil plantations and human errors.
“However, field data and fire hotspots showed wild burnings also occur frequently in areas of industrial timber plantation (HTI) corporate, Made Ali, Jikalahari coordinator, said on 24 June.
During ten-years monitoring of fire hotspots by Jikalahari, 20,129 out of 52,721 high-confident hotspots found in HTI concessions, while only 3,835 hotspots on palm oil plantations, he said.
The most fire hotspots detected in pulpwood suppliers as follows: PT Sumatera Riang Lestari (2,334), PT Arara Abadi (2,097), PT Satria Perkasa Agung (1,951), PT RAPP (1,562), PT Sekato Pratama Makmur (1,114), PT Rimba Rokan Perkasa (1,069), PT Rokan Permai Timber (958), PT Hutani Sola Lestari (786), PT Rimba Rokan Lestari (786) and PT Siak Raya Timber (647).
Meanwhile palm oil plantations whom detected by most hotspots are: PT Alam Sari Lestari (165), PT Teguh Karsawana Lestari (153), PT Riau Makmur Sentosa (149), PT Trisetia Usaha Mandiri (128), PT Uni Seraya (126), PT Triomas FDI (124), PT Multi Gambut Industri (90), PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa (81), PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo (78) and PT Raja Garudamas Sejati (73).
Retiring concessions for reducing social conflict
Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar said that in an attempt to reduce land conflict, 13 forestry concession holders proposed to retire their working area in total of 66,000 hectares nationwide.
Minister said, the action was one of schemes in resolution conflict initiated by the forestry industry sector as the Government targeted to solve 167 agrarian conflicts where 52 of them situated in forest area, Bisnis Indonesia reported (13 June 2019).
“So, agrarian conflict occurs nowadays have caused unhealthy [climate] to businesspeople, then they have initiative themselves to propose to the Ministry do undertake addendum to reduce the size of working area,” Nurbaya said adding that 13 industrial timber plantations voluntarily will hand the management of land to communities.
Thirteen pulpwood suppliers are: PT Ruas Utama Jaya (Riau, from 44,129 ha reduced to 39,810 ha), PT Bina Duta Laksana (Riau, 28,885 ha to 24,058 ha), PT Balai Kayang Mandiri (Riau, 22,250 ha to 16,514 ha), PT Tebo Multi Agro (Jambi, 19,770 ha to 19,200 ha), PT Bumi Mekar Hijau (South Sumatra, 253,593 ha to 249,650 ha, PT Bumi Andalas Permai (South Sumatra, 192,700 ha to 190,415 ha), PT Sumalindo Hutani Jaya 2 (East Kalimantan, 70,300 ha to 54,490 ha), PT Acacia Andalan Utama (East Kalimantan, 39,620 ha to 38,880 ha), PT Kelawit Wana Lestari (East Kalimantan, 22,065 ha to 17.850 ha), PT Daya Tani Kalbar (West Kalimantan) 56,060 ha to 44,530 ha, PT Bangun Rimba Sejahtera (Bangka Belitung, 66,460 ha to 57,235 ha, and PT Wirakarya Sakti (Jambi, 293,812 to 290.378 ha)
As data by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry are revealed to media, the total size of the 13 companies is 1,11 million hectares which reduced to 1,05 million hectares, so around 100,000 hectares of land would be handed to communities impacted by conflicts against the concessions respectively.
1-million hectare illegal plantations
Jikalahari, issued an online petition to urge Riau Governor to curb illegal operation of palm oil plantations. “Governor of Riau should not be doubtful as this curb is supported by KPK, DPRD [Riau legislative council], and public. This is also a step to upgrade palm oil plantation management in Riau toward Green Riau [Riau Hijau] concept that promoted by the Governor,” the petitioner, Alpiyan Sagita alias Aldo, said in the introduction of the online petition.
The petition at change.org (www.change.org/mangkirpajak), Gubernur Riau Syamsuar, Dukung KPK RI Segera Tertibkan Perusahaan Sawit Ilegal has been voted by nearly 145,000 netizens.
Deputy Chairman of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Alexander Marwata said, "From our note, there is over one million hectares of land and forest in Riau are controlled by people, and the largest one was done by companies without [holding] licenses.”
The companies did not pay tax while they occupied the forest, he added as reported by Tempo.co (2 May 2019). Many companies had no taxpayer registration number, meaning there is no tax paid to the country during their operation occupying forest areas, he said.
"Imagine, they [companies] have exploited our natural resources that have been for people’s welfare, but they enjoy themselves, and they do not pay tax,” Marwata said.
Palm oil corruption revealed
In April, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named owner of palm oil plantation Darmex Group, a legal manager and a subsidiary company for graft case relating to revision of spatial plan for forest area in 2014 that had jailed Riau Governor Annas Maamun and two palm oil businessmen.
“After [we] found preliminary evidence, KPK proceeded the case to probe and decided that three sides as suspects,” said Laode Muhammad Syarif, deputy chairman of KPK, to media on Monday (29 April).
Three suspects named by KPK are Surya Darmadi, owner of Darmex Group or Duta Palma Group, Suheri Terta, Legal Manager of Duta Palma, and PT Palma Satu, a subsidiary of Darmex Group.
Based on investigation conducted by Eyes on the Forest coalition in November 2017 and the report published in April 2018, 10 plantation companies found operating in forest area. Six out of ten companies linked to Darmex Group which also known as Duta Palma group where Darmadi lead the group.
EoF analysed that 40,005 hectares out of 73,047 hectares that hold HGU permit despite some of them have operated in forest area.