Press Release: Call for Enforcement of Law against illegal activity destroying Tripa’s Peat Swamps continues to escalate

24/04/12

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

 For Immediate Distribution

Call for Enforcement of Law against illegal activity destroying Tripa’s Peat Swamps continues to escalate

FROM: Alliance of Environmental and Human Rights NGOs

NGOs:

WALHI

Greenpeace

Sawit Watch

Wetlands International Indonesia Program

Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari

Yayasan Ekosistem Sigom Aceh

PanEco Foundation – Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari –OIC

The Nature Conservancy

Profauna Indonesia LASA

Orangutan Foundation International

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation

Flora and Fauna International

FORINA

PERHAPPI

HUMA

Kehati

Centre for Orangutan Protection

Yayasan Palung

Burung Indonesia

OU-TROP

Yayasan IAR Indonesia

Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trusts

Forum Konservasi Orangutan Sumatera

VESSWIC

WWF

 

Academic institutions:

Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB)

Universitas Indonesia (UI)

RCCC-UI

Universitas Nasional (UNAS)

Environmental and Human Rights NGO’s are increasing their campaign to save the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest.

Human rights and Environmental NGOs, Academic and other Civil Society groups met today at a meeting hosted by the Research Centre for Climate Change, University of Indonesia, in the campaign to save Rawa Tripa, following reports of increased intimidation of local villagers by palm oil companies and of health problems associated with smoke from fires illegally set to clear peat lands, with some villagers from communities surrounding Tripa requiring medical treatment. Local people have already lost their livelihoods due to the massive clearance of this unique wetland forest for oil palm, which is now threatening its total destruction. Numerous huge fires were reported by ground and aerial observers at the end of March, and over 100 fire hotspots were recorded by satellite in a period of only 10 days, the highest frequency of hotspots recorded in Tripa since records began in 2001. The head of the President’s Satgas REDD+ team, Ir. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, in a press release of 13 April reported that his investigation team found fires had been deliberately set in the concessions of PT Kallista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur 2, breaking several laws and regulations and causing negative environmental impacts. These fires caught the world’s attention when Sumatran orangutan experts warned of the imminent extinction of the species in Tripa, a UNEP/UNESCO GRASP global priority site for the species, before the end of 2012.

Pak Ibduh a village head representing the local communities of Tripa added, “The communities are living in fear of the companies. They use brimob (Indonesia’s mobile police brigade) as a private security force, evicting people from their land, preventing access across plantations and clearing local landowners farms for palm oil. The palm oil companies seem to operate as if they are above the law and we see the results every day. Clean water supplies are vanishing and it is increasingly difficult to catch fish and obtain other natural resources as the forests are cleared and drained by the many canals. Our people are suffering and we want immediate action to stop this and restore Tripa’s forests”.

Pak Ibduh joined lawyer, Kamaruddin, and former senator of Aceh, Adnan NS, in Jakarta in late November last year to file a report of a criminal offence with the National Police. “The central police then issued a letter to the police of Aceh to investigate the case, in which they confirmed that it does meet the criteria for a criminal investigation, but as of now, nearly 5 months later, we have not seen any attempt at an investigation from the Aceh Provincial Police” stated Kamaruddin

In the press release of April 13, Ir. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, also announced that his investigation team reported indications of several other violations such as the converting of peat swamp forests inside the Leuser Ecosystem, converting peat swamp forest on deep peat, and converting forest before a permit had been issued. He has formally requested an immediate investigation by the Ministry of the Environment and the National Police. Four days later, on April 17th, the Jakarta Globe newspaper reported that the Environment Ministry said it will launch an investigation into the issuance of a plantation concession inside the Tripa peat swamp forest in Aceh province.

We the NGO’s gathered here today at the Research Center for Climate Change, University of Indonesia, fully support the call of the Satgas REDD+ for an immediate investigation into the crimes committed in Tripa, including the criminal case filed with the National Police by Pak Ibduh in November last year and request an explanation of why it has not yet been properly followed up. We also express our full support to WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) in their legal challenge against the concession issued to PT Kallista Alam by the former Governor of Aceh in their appeal at the high court in Medan, North Sumatra.

We request that the responsible National Ministries, namely the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Ministry of Forestry order an immediate halt to all deforestation and land degradation in the Tripa peat swamps. We request that these Ministries assist the National Police to quickly implement a thorough investigation of all illegal activities and dealings that have been perpetrated in the Tripa peat swamps, including the illegal PT. Kallista Alam concession permit and land use practices that contravene laws on National Spatial Planning, and those protecting the Leuser Ecosystem, the environment, peatlands, endangered species, and that forbid the burning of land.

In the face of such blatant and widely publicized law-breaking it is imperative that the laws of Indonesia be upheld openly and transparently, and that guilty parties be held accountable to the full extent of the law. Failure to do so will further damage the credibility of Indonesia’s law enforcement and legal system, its commitment to GHG emissions reduction, and its attempt to develop sustainable palm oil,and without urgent and immediate action, if current destruction is allowed by President SBY and the Indonesian Government, then the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan population is likely to become extinct this year.

We simply want to see Indonesia’s laws enforced. We support and encourage the forthcoming International Day of Action on April 26th, where supporters and partners from around the world will be taking action calling on Indonesian President SBY to publicly state his support to enforce Indonesian laws, protecting Tripa, the community of the region, and its Sumatran Orangutan population. Without immediate action, then Tripa’s unique population of the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan, at this continued rate of destruction, will be gone by the end of this year.

Notes for Editors:

The press release following the report delivered by REDD+ Taskforce is

available for download, with contact details here:

https://endoftheicons.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/press-release-investigation-result-from-redd-task-force-in-tripa/

For further comment or contact,

Teguh Surya: Walhi / Friends of the Earth Indonesia; Mobile: +62-8118204362 Email: teguh.surya@gmail.com

Yuyun Indradi, Greenpeace / Forest Political Campaigner; Mobile: +62-812 2616 1759 Email: yuyun.indradi@greenpeace.org

Dr Ian Singleton, Director of Conservation / Sumatran Orangutan Conservation programme. Mobile: +62-811650491 Email mokko123@gmail.com

Final Press Release NGO Summit in Jakarta (English Version)

Rilis Pers NGO Summit (Bahasa Indonesia)

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About endoftheicons

The Leuser Ecosystem on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia is in grave danger. Local politicians want to allow logging, mining and palm oil plantations in this vulnerable area. Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers are already hanging on by a thread. They will not survive the destruction of the Leuser Ecosystem.

10 responses to “Press Release: Call for Enforcement of Law against illegal activity destroying Tripa’s Peat Swamps continues to escalate”

  1. Sabine Yenen says :

    We can see worldwide that environmentalists are still too weak. Must we change our methods. I am extremely upset about all the bad news.

    • fifi says :

      its too cruel in indonesia. corruption destroy everything. the government didnt care about indonesian people how they care about environment or animals?
      maybe my words too rude, but that is happend in indonesia now. when greenpeace come to indonesia and again palm oil with their devorestation, parlement member just gave weird comments that againts greenpeace. on their eyes just how to earn money especially for their own with the name of economic growth…..
      its complicated to solve this problem but not imposible if everyone work hard together to push the corrupt government.

  2. Gary Shapiro says :

    ORANG UTAN REPUBLIK Foundation supports this call for action and is actively working to build international support to end the destruction of the Tripa.

    • Lesa Miller says :

      Applause! I’m glad to be part of an organization which is playing a part in seeking justice for the wildlife, rainforest, & indigenous people of Indonesia.

  3. You have got says :

    You’ve got astonishing information listed here.

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