PRESS RELEASE: Actions from around the world calling on Indonesian president SBY to publicly support enforcing Indonesian law.
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From: Coalition to Save Tripa Peat Forest
Actions from around the world calling on Indonesian president SBY to publicly support enforcing Indonesian law.
[JAKARTA / INDONESIA] Today actions took place in 7 countries from around the world calling on Indonesian President SBY to publicly add his voice to current demands by others within Indonesia’s government for an urgent legal investigation and enforcement of Indonesian laws to punish criminal activities resulting in the illegal destruction of the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest.
Participants in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, USA, UK, Germany, and Brazil, among others have created protest messages calling for Indonesia to “enforce the law, save tripa” as part of growing pressure that the Government and Police uphold National Laws.
“Five months ago, a criminal report was filed with Indonesia’s National Police” said Acehnese lawyer, Kamarrudin, “an order was then made by the National Police to the Provincial Police in Aceh to investigate the illegal issuance of a new palm oil permit to the company PT Kallista Alam by the then Governor of Aceh, Irwandi Yusuf, that clearly violates National Spatial Planning law No 26/ 2007.
The Central Police order confirmed that the case meets the requirements for a criminal investigation and was a clear direction to the Aceh Police to investigate. But 5 months later, we have seen no evidence of any attempt at an investigation by police at any level. On the contrary, it appears that the Aceh Police are even working for the company in question. We see the continued destruction of Tripa through ongoing land clearing, drainage of the swamps via illegally cut canals, and huge fires, which according to the Indonesian Government’s REDD+ taskforce were illegally lit by the companies to burn and clear land. The inability of the police to offer any results of an investigation, even after 5 months, is not only allowing the destruction of Tripa to continue unabated, but also seriously undermining the credibility of Indonesia in the international spotlight to uphold and enforce its own national laws” he continued.
“Furthermore, we have now also seen Indonesia’s own REDD+ taskforce release a report highlighting the ongoing destruction, noting violations of several additional laws, and calling on the national police to take immediate action. In addition to the National Spatial Planning Laws, they consider there is ample evidence of infractions by several companies with oil palm plantations in Tripa. Laws broken include Law No.18/2004 concerning Plantations, Law No.32/2009 concerning Living Environment Protection and Management, and Presidential Decree No. 32/1990 concerning Protected Area Management.”
Last year, at a Conference hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia President SBY addressed leaders of Indonesia’s government, the business community and civil society, as well as foreign donors, including Norway and the UK. He publicly declared “I will continue my work and dedicate the last three years of my term as President to deliver enduring results that will sustain and enhance the environment and forests of Indonesia. If it weren’t for the benefits that our forests provide, then our way of life, our people, our economy, our environment and our society would be so much the poorer”.
But what we see on the ground instead is more like the neglect of the Indonesian people, local communities and the environment. Local communities see almost no benefits of the conversion of their environment to large scale oil palm plantations. Instead they only lose their livelihoods, based on the many natural resources and ecosystem services provided by an environment like Tripa. Hence local leaders filed their report of the criminal case to the National Police. Surprisingly, the official map associated with the President’s moratorium on new plantations in primary forests and peatlands showing areas “off limits to new plantations” had millions of hectares removed in a revision published in November 2011, long after the new Kallista Alam plantation was granted, allegedly only because of “lobbying by large companies”, often operating outside the law, with no other explanation offered. The situation in Tripa is a classic example of what is taking place all across the country. Deddy Ratih, a forest campaigner at WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) pointed out “President SBY also publicly stated the need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. The question now remains, is he a man of action or a man of hollow words?.”
For further comments, please contact:
Walhi / Friends of the Earth Indonesia Forest Campaigner:
Mobile: +62 81250 8077 57
Acehnesse Lawyer representing Community and Environment in Tripa Case
Mobile: +62 8116 7001 18
Note to editors:
President SBY (CIFOR) press statement available here:
REDD+ Taskforce Report Press Release available here:
Photos from Actions around the Globe available here: