Jikalahari: APRIL’s PT RAPP drains protected peat in Siak

EoF News / 09 September 2020

In July 2020, Jikalahari NGOs network was informed by locals of Desa Dayun, Siak District, that Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) supplier, PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP)  sector Pelalawan, drained peat canal, conducted land clearing and replant Acacia mangium in the formerly burned area of 2015 and 2019 forest fires.

In July-August 2020 Jikalahari investigated the area to do ground check and found PT RAPP cleared the peatland in area of more than three-meter depth. The company cut off five-year old palm oil plantation and young shrub and drained new peat canals and expanded old canals.

Jikalahari said some areas were peat restoration priority as they were burned areas of 2015-2017. Based on Sentinel satellite images in August 2020, the land clearing by the company reaches 675 hectares. In the area that cleared by the company, Acacia mangium young trees were planted.

The land clearing was conducted from May to July 2020, locals of Desa Siberuk, Siak District, said Jikalahari, who predicted that palm oil trees and young shrubs near canals will be cut off too by PT RAPP in the future.

Jikalahari analysed based on satellite images, area of PT RAPP Sector Pelalawan-Siak which included in restoration priority zone following forest fires is 699 hectares where 71.3 hectares had been cleared by the APRIL’s main supplier.  

The NGOs network recommended the Minister of Environment and Forestry to revoke license of PT RAPP sector Pelalawan-Siak due to it breached the Minister’s regulation which caused relentless forest fires.