Koalisi Eyes on the Forest menerbitkan laporan analisis dan investigatif terhadap 26 lokasi kebun sawit di Provinsi Riau yang merupakan bagian kecil dari 1,6 juta hektar kawasan hutan yang diubah menjadi kawasan bukan hutan berdasarkan Keputusan Menteri Kehutanan
EoF News (PEKANBARU)— Eyes on the Forest published NASA’s FIRMS MODIS fire hotspots data and satellite images on its interactive map to allow easy monitoring of current and past fires in Sumatran concessions of the Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp & Paper and others.
Sinar Mas Group (SMG) and Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) last week denied publicly that their companies are involved in ongoing forest and land fires. Eyes on the Forest coalition said that media stunt by the giant company is ridiculous and hard to trust.
Eyes on the Forest found two Landsat images showing fires in and around concessions of four Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) suppliers in peat areas in Jambi and South Sumatra provinces and heavy smokes from them.
PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), major concession of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), was found clearing natural forest in its concession of district/sector Ukui, Tesso Nilo landscape, Riau province.
Analysis by Eyes on the Forest coalition finds that Bengkalis district hit the most fire hotspots during March 2015 and PT Riau Rokan Lestari (RRL), a non-affiliated timber supplier concession got the most along with APRIL-affiliated PT Sumatera Riang Lestari (SRL).
Eyes on the Forest analyzed that 290 fires hotspots accumulatively detected in period of 11 January - 11 February 2015 where Bengkalis district has got 160 of it, the most among the district in Riau Province.
The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, accompanied by the Minister of Forestry and Environment Siti Nurbaya, came to Riau province last week to monitor the burned forest areas that caused haze in Sungai Tohor village, Meranti Islands District, media reported.
National Joint Team from some Government agencies revealed that 17 timber and plantation companies in Riau province failed to perform Compliance Audit in preventing forest and land fires, a joint inter-department task force said Friday.
EoF warns today that purchasing screens need to be installed urgently at all transfer points in the chain-of-custody from the production of oil palm fruit (fresh fruit bunches/FFB) to the final product. Illegally produced FFB appears to enter national and global supply chains much too easily.
Field investigator team set up by Ministry of Environment (MoE) found strong evidences of the involvement of 23 plantations and industrial timber plantation (HTI) companies of a total of 43 firms investigated in forest and land fires case which had caused severe haze in the beginning of this year, media reported.
Eyes on the Forest coalition publishes latest investigative report as a consistency in monitoring deforestation in Sumatra, Riau in particular, as this edition highlights natural forest clearing in high conservation value forest (HCVF) by PT Triomas Forestry Development Indonesia, a supplier to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL).
The result of corruption trial of former governor of Riau Rusli Zainal (RZ) which was held on Wednesday (12/3) at Pekanbaru State Court sentenced RZ to 14 years in prison and a liability to pay a fine of Rp 1 billion subsidiary of 6 months imprisonment after being pleaded guilty for corruption on forestry sector and National Games (PON) 2012, media reported.
A number of environmental communities and organizations participated in ‘Melawan Asap’ (Fighting against Smoke) action and made speech along their protest in the front of Zapin Monument and Riau Governor Office, Pekanbaru, on Monday (10/3). On this seventeenth ‘anniversary’ of Riau fires and smog disaster, they demanded immediate and serious handling from the central government and the provincial government of Riau.
After being free from haze and fires since September 2013, Riau’s annual problem, haze and wildfires, returns to Riau since the end of January 2014. The increasing hotspots which are found in plantations’ concessions as well as outside concessions which have caused the worsening air quality in the province, as schools closed and thousands people infected by respiratory infections.
Jikalahari and Walhi (Friends of the Earth) Riau suspect the launch of Sustainable Forest Management Policy by APRIL today (Tuesday, 28 January 2014) in Jakarta, as a trick to destroy the remaining natural forest embedded with their illegal and problematic permits in Riau province.
As their villages are affected by the climate change, eight suburbans of Pelalawan district and Rohil along with Forest Rescue Network Riau (Jikalahari) and Indonesia Centre of Environmental Law (ICEL) officially lay their protest toward the President of RI, Minister of Forestry, Minister of the Environment and Riau Governor at the State Court of Central Jakarta today which is located at Gajah Mada street No 17, Central Jakarta.
As the man-made catastrophe of forest fire and haze returns to Riau, citizens of Pelalawan have to leave their homes and be on the alert to prevent fire coming to their remaining land, while some students fainted as schools closed in the district and the province’s capital city.
A monitoring on corruption trial by a university in Jakarta concluded yesterday that there was allegedly discrimination by judges of corruption court in taking a punishment to a defendant on forestry graft case in Riau province.
People living in Siak riverside protested pulp mill belonging to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), PT Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper, due to waste pollution caused by the mill for over nearly four months they have been suffering, media reports said.
Last month’s Riau forest fire catastrophe apparently comes to re-occur in this month. Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) of Pekanbaru recorded a significant increase on the numbers of hotspots detected in Riau Province in the last five days which reached to 230 hotspots.
Eyes on the Forest today published photos from field verification trips on 17, 27 and 28 June 2013 in its Google Earth based online Sumatra database. NASA’s FIRMS MODIS fire locations data recorded 9,236 hotspots in Sumatra between 1 and 28 June. 89% were recorded in Riau province (8,229). Majority of the hotspots were recorded on peat soil, suggesting massive carbon emissions.
Greenpeace, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and WWF have claimed that the pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is dodging an independent enquiry into its deforestation practices in Indonesia by withdrawing from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Sumatra’s Riau province is suffering Indonesia’s worst fire season in recent years with serious smoke choking the region and neighboring Singapore and southern Malaysia. Eyes on the Forest has been tracking forest and land cover change and those who drive it in Riau since the early 1990s.
Riau Governor Rusli Zainal finally was detained by Corruption Eradicatio Commission (KPK) yesterday for allegedly “abusing power to make money for himself and other people or a corporation” by legalizing five-yearly logging plans to some timber suppliers in Pelalawan and Siak Districts between 2001 – 2007, KPK press release said.
A recent estimation by WWF- Indonesia shows that there have been over 100 dead elephants found in Riau, Sumatra, since 2004, where truly law enforcement is needed urgently, the environmental NGO said last week.
Police have saved eight children working for main supplier of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) in Pulau Muda, Pelalawan district, and nabbed a contractor recruiting the children from North Sumatra province, media report said.
Despite a restoration program organized by a company affiliated to pulp giant in Kampar Peninsula, Riau province, launched and endorsed by the Ministry of Forestry, environmentalists criticized it as a manuoevre by wo-faced company which merely seek benefit from credit carbon scheme.
Eyes on the Forest investigation last month found natural forest clearing in concession of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) supplier, PT Riau Indo Agropalma (RIA), in Kerumutan forest block, an important Sumatran tiger habitat in Riau province.
In attempt to mitigate the corporates’ forest crimes, some activists demand Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to immediately seize the company assets of the listed names alleged for corporate crimes involvement.
Students association in Pelalawan district where Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) office and mill located protested the company’s main supplier PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) over ignorance in providing employment for locals as well as intransparency in handling industrial waste management.
Following last week’s announcement by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) to stop clearing Indonesian forests and peatlands, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) urged Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) to “change their unsustainable business model” immediately.
Three local government officials and one staff of PT Sumatera Riang Lestari, timber supplier for Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), were detained by Riau Prosecutors Office for allegedly embezzling the state’s income from forestry tax.
Despite promising to its customers that they would only use plantation fiber to feed its pulp mill by 2009. Wood supply to global pulp giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), has resulted natural forest loss double the size of Singapore, in Riau Province since that deadline.
National Human Rights Commission concluded temporarily that a farmer died near concession of PT Suntara Gaja Pati (SGP), a timber supplier associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), in improper manner and needed further investigation.
Eyes on the Forest coalition says that over 1.2 million hectares of remaining forests in Riau are in danger of being cleared by Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp & Paper’s “independent suppliers” who can continue to deliver natural forest wood to the company’s mills. EoF published its latest report today analyzing “sustainability roadmap” that announced by SMG/APP recently.
Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)’s announcement on Tuesday (May 15th) that it would stop clearing natural forest on its own concessions represents very little gains for natural forest and tiger protection in Sumatra, and represents another example of the company’s greenwashing, WWF said. In Riau, these are areas that the company must protect anyway.
Non-governmental organization coalition called Anti-Forest Mafia Coalition lodged a petition to Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Tuesday to urge it name those involved in graft cases suspects.
A former Forestry Service head in Riau province was charged of five year imprisonment by Anti-corruption Court in Pekanbaru on Wednesday for found guilty of receiving bribery and fee from companies as he issued logging licenses for several timber companies.
Our team was thrilled to discover 47 tiger images in our camera traps, from which we identified six unique individuals," said Karmila Parakkasi, who leads WWF's tiger research team in Sumatra. "That was the highest number of tigers and tiger images obtained in the first month of sampling we've ever experienced.
According to the report, the company has been responsible for about 80,000 hectares of natural forest loss every year, equivalent to roughly one-half of the Indonesia province of Riau’s annual forest loss since 2002.
Today Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of Sumatran environmental NGOs, called on all companies who are clearcutting natural forests based on Industrial Timber Plantation Licenses (IUPHHK-HT) issued by Governors or Heads of Districts to immediately issue a moratorium on all such operations.