NGOs leave APP-backed conflict resolution forum

EoF News / 09 December 2019
PT TMA concession, a supplier of APP/Sinar Mas in Jambi. (c) Eyes on the Forest, 2011

Some stakeholders quit Jambi Regional Social Working Group (KKSR), multi-stakeholders forum initiated by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), to resolve social conflict involving the corporate against communities in Jambi. They leave the working group due to disappointment on lack of progress and performance of APP-funded forum which consist of civil society organizations and government agencies, website reported in October.

KKSR Jambi was part of APP’s Forest Conversion Policy in efforts to ending long-standing social conflicts involving the company’s suppliers and communities. Econusantara and Jambi’s facilitator Jaya Novandri led the mission to facilitate and accelerate conflict resolution in APP/Sinar Mas’concession in the province that started in May 2017.

WARSI objected that APP still try to “expand” plantation or commodities APP used through People Plantation Forest (Hutan Tanaman Rakyat/HTR) scheme. WARSI regretted that there was no ambition from APP to empower communities living in surround of APP supplier’s concession.

WARSI also criticized KKSR Forum was too slow to resolve six social conflict cases as targeted in 2019 that occurred in Jambi province despite APP got benefit from the forum while the community got nothing.

”In our view, APP should not have used Social Forestry scheme to get land and to plan commodity they need as we think they have sufficient land to build their business,” Rudy Syaf, director of WARSI, said. “We should altogether promote social forestry scheme to develop program where commodities are more directly used by communities themselves.”

WARSI is not only the one to leave the forum, but also Persatuan Petani Jambi (PPJ) and some individuals. Erijal, chairman of Persatuan Petani Jambi (PPJ), revealed the association was the first one who quit the working group due to it just bought time to resolve the conflicts.

PPJ said KKSR could find solution for conflicts in the province as they were long-standing dispute and the multi-stakeholders had database on the issues. APP/Sinar Mas  has three timber plantation concessions in Jambi in total of 364,840 hectares. They are PT Wirakarya Sakti, PT Rimba Hutani Mas, and PT Tebo Multi Agro.