District Administration stops APP subsidiary's operation

EoF News / 13 June 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)-- Rokan Hilir district administration told PT Ruas Utama Jaya, a company associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), to stop its questionable logging operations that protested by communities from three sub-districts. Meanwhile, the local environmental agency says that PT RUJ did not comply with the procedure in conducting the environment assessment analysis (Amdal).

Riau Pos daily reported today that PT RUJ addressed their presentation Tuesday before the Rokan Hilir district government following widespread protest lodged by local communities that the APP's timber supplier allegedly operate in their tenure land.

Local community leaders from three sub-districts, Tanahputih Tanjungmelawan, Rimbamelintang and Tanahputih, attended the meeting facilitated by the district administration.   "On this presentation, there are several agreement points that we recognize as an attempt to mitigate escalating problems between PT Ruas Utama Jaya and communities," said Wan Achmad Syaiful, the head of Rokan Hilir forestry service.

One of the points is concerning to alleged land occupation and intimidation to villagers conducted by  the APP subsidiary.

Achmad Syaiful said any kinds of operation conducted by the company on troubled land temporarily should be halted by both sides. The local administration will set up a team including from BPN (the national agrarian body) to solve this land dispute.

He said that the company should report the Amdal analysis of the logging operation comprehensively, where the APP partner only submitted items of water and river management.

On the meeting PT Arara Abadi/PT Ruas Utama Jaya's President Director Didi Harsa admitted that his company have shortcomings and weaknesses during the operation in the three sub-districts.

Didi Harsa said that the inadequate Amdal analysis report should not only include plans and land dispute with community should be tackled by a multistakeholder team including local parliament.

Despite the company holds industrial timber plantation license issued by the Minister of Forestry, local communities claimed that PT RUJ annexed their 8,000-ha land for logging operation.

The logging operations conducted by some APP subsidiaries are situated inside Senepis forest block which is a potential habitat of endangered Sumatran tiger. The fate of local proposal initiating Senepis as a Sumatran tiger conservation area remains uncertain.

Find Vilagers protest APP's company logging operation