08 June 2018 / EoF Investigative Report
Eyes on the Forest (EoF) Investigation in September 2006 has found that about 50 hectares of natural forests had been clearcut in an Industrial Timber Plantation (HTI) concession of PT Triomas FDI, associated with Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL). The logging in this concession started in July 2006.
This EoF investigation did not identify any company which sourced the felled timber. However, EoF believes that PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), a pulp mill belonging to APRIL, has been sourcing the timber clearcut by PT Triomas FDI based on other field observations.
PT Triomas FDI is a partner of APRIL as EoF analyzed a PT RAPP’s Letter Number 26/RAPP-J/V/2006 dated 8 May 2006, on ”Dispensation Study on Annual Working Plan (RKT) Year 2006 to IUPHHKHT license of PT RAPP’s partners” which the company submitted to Ministry of Forestry through Director General of Forestry Production Management.
Based on EoF’s investigation, the concession license of PT Triomas FDI was a Principal license issued by the Head of Pelalawan District:
• PT Triomas FDI has an IUPHHK-HT (Industrial Timber Plantation) license by Decree Number 522.21/IUPHHKHT/I/2003/012 dated 29 January 2003. The size of the concession where logging is happening is 9,625 hectares.
• This IUPHHK-HT license is issued based on Ministry of Forestry Decree number 10.1/2000 and 21/2001 where the Central Government delegated authority to Governor and District Head/ Mayor to issue such a license.
However, since the Government Regulation Number 34/2002 dated 8 June 2002 has come into effect, IUPHHKHT license can be issued only by Minister of Forestry based upon recommendation given by District Heads or Mayors or Governors (clause 42 Government Regulation 34/2002). This is also reaffirmed in clause 102 of Government Regulation Number 34/2002. Therefore, referred to Government Regulation number 34/2002, Provincial Governors and District Heads/Mayors have no more authority to issue IUPHHKHT licenses, such as the one issued for this concession, although Ministry of Forestry Decrees number 10.1/2000 and 21/2001 have not been revoked.
The Ministry of Forestry (MoF) has been in the process of reviewing validity of IUPHHKHT licenses issued by Provincial Governors or District Heads (Forestry Minister Decree No P.03/Menhut-II/2005 dated 18 January 2005) and banning Provincial Governors and District Heads to issue any more IUPHHKHT licenses.
Since 25 July 2005, Eyes on the Forest has been calling on all companies that are clearcutting natural forests based on such licenses to immediately issue a moratorium on all forest clearance operations. The coalition also called on all companies sourcing timber from such activities to immediately stop all deliveries (see EoF PR on 27 July 2005).
EoF’s call for moratorium above is in line with a recommendation from Director General of Forestry Production Management of Ministry of Forestry, Hadi S. Pasaribu, through his letter dated 13 June 2006, regarding relaxation of the rules for RKT (annual working plan) Study year 2006 for PT. RAPP. The letter recommended that, in a bid to ensure both legal and business certainties, the RKT administrative service for eleven IUPHHKHT licenses (including this particular concession) should await verification approval from Minister of Forestry. Until the making of this report, PT Triomas FDI is under verification and has no such approval and dispensation yet from Minister of Forestry for its license.
Through a similar letter Number ND.130/VI-BPHP/2006 dated 13 June 2006, the Director General of Forestry Production Management said that the Ministry has not verified yet the IUPHHKHT license of PT Triomas FDI that allegedly overlaps its own selective cutting license (HPH) Number 476/Menhut-IV/1998 dated 28 March 1998 with size 97,500 hectares.
Based upon Minister of Forestry through Letter number S.439/MENHUT-VI/2006 dated 17 July 2006, PT Triomas FDI is not allowed to obtain administrative recognition service such as a logging license. The Minister reaffirmed the recommendation made by the Director General of Forestry Production Management as PT Triomas FDI has not been verified and its operation allegedly overlaps to other function.