Indonesia green news: 70% of Indonesia’s coral reefs damaged; Authorities exploring corruption charges in Tripa

July 15, 2012

Strangler fig in Java

A wrap-up of some of the stories that appeared last week on the Indonesian-language version of mongabay.com (mongabay.co.id).

70% of Indonesia’s coral reefs damaged
70 percent of Indonesia’s coral reefs have some degree of damage found an assessment by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia or LIPI). Coral reef monitoring carried out in 77 regions across Indonesia found only 30 percent of the archipelago’s coral reefs are in good condition. 37 percent have low levels of damage, while a third are severely damaged. Reef damage is caused by a variety of factors including explosive fishing, mining waste, and bleaching driven by global warming.

Authorities exploring corruption charges in Tripa peat swamp case
Authorities are looking into possible corruption around the issuing of a oil palm development permit in a contested area of the Tripa peat swamp in Aceh Province on the island of Sumatra. Field studies by the special presidential unit UKP4 and Indonesian police found that palm oil company PT Kallista Alam is still burning Tripa’s peat swamp, a violation of Law No.18/2004. Investigators also found that former Aceh Governor, Irwandi Yusuf, failed to follow standard procedure when he issued a permit to open the peat swamp. Indonesian police and UKP4 will continue their investigation.

Government bans use of river water in East Kalimantan after tests find mining waste
Authorities in Kutai Kertanegara in East Kalimantan have issued a ban on the consumption of water from the Tenggarong River after they found high concentrations of contaminants from mining. Kutai Kertanegara environment agency chief Akhmad Taufik Hidayat said a team is investigating upstream mines to determine if companies are following proper waste management procedures. Several major coal-mining companies operate in the upstream areas of the Tenggarong River, including Multi Harapan Utama and Tanito Harum. The local branch of state water company, PDAM, is now importing clean water from neighboring areas.

Jambi Forest Will Shrink by 25,000 ha
Jambi forest is likely to shrink in the near future, after the Jambi Provincial Government granted 25,000 ha for mining, oil exploration, and natural gas projects. This change is set out in the Jambi government’s spatial plan.

PT SCP Change the Peat Swamp to Palm Oil Plantation Illegally
PT Suryamas Cipta Perkasa (SCP) has violated is establishing an oil palm plantation in Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan, alleges a report issued by the Environment Investigation Agency and Telapak. The report, Testing The Law: Carbon, Crime and Impunity in Indonesia’s Plantation Sector, says that PT SCP failed to secure a proper environment analysis from local authorities, lacks a forest release permit from Ministry of Forestry, cleared forest areas using fire, and operates in peat swamp area more than 3 meters deep. The report says that PT SCP’s operations threaten the habitat of 200 endangered Bornean orangutans.

Proposed forest conversion reaches 20 M ha
By June 2012 proposals submitted to convert forest to other usage in Indonesia have reached nearly 20 million hectares, according Muhammad Said, the Forest Planning Director, Directorate General of Forestry Planning at Ministry of Forestry. He said the proposals have come local governments, which includes 19,944,978 hectares of forest area and 11,511,988 hectares changes in function area—still forest but utilized for other purposes, like shifting an area zoned as watershed to a logging concession.

East Aceh residents seize oil palm plantation in land dispute
A land dispute between villagers and a palm oil plantation escalated in East Aceh last week. The villagers occupied a palm oil plantation, owned PT Padang Palma Permai in Blang Simpo village. Hundreds of villagers claim the land as their own.

22 forest concessions may be suspended
The Ministry of Forestry threatened to close down 22 forest concessions that had had failed to submit business work plans that include their forest inventories. The deadline for submitting their business plans is August 3.

Villager found dead on APP supplier’s plantation
SUPRATMIN, a Buluhala resident in Dumai, was found dead in a canal of PT Suntara Gaja Pati, a company that supplies wood to PT Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of Indonesia’s two largest pulp companies. Muslim Rasyid of the Pekanbaru-based Jikalahari environmental group said Buluhala villagers suspect the wood supplier is involved in the death.

Indigenous rights often overlook on REDD+ in Central Borneo
Rights of indigenous peoples and local communities are often overlooked in the implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) projects in Central Kalimantan, claims a local community member. In an interview, Misradi, a resident of Mantangai, Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, asserted that the concept of Free Prior Inform Consent (FPIC) is often not respected.

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mongabay.com (July 15, 2012).

Indonesia green news: 70% of Indonesia’s coral reefs damaged; Authorities exploring corruption charges in Tripa.