Hearing of Witnesses | KOMPAS

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KOMPAS/MOHAMAD BURHANUDIN Stumps spread within thousands of ha of Tripa Peat Swamp area turned into charcoal caused by clearing by burning for oil palm plantation in the village of Pulo Kruet, Sub district of Darul Makmur in Aceh’s Nagan Raya District.

JAKARTA, KOMPAS – Civil investigator from the Ministry of Environment on Tuesday (22/05) afternoon started hearing of witnesses of the burning of Leuser Ecosystem’s Tripa Peat Swamp in Aceh’s Nagan Raya District. The witnesses are from the management of PT Kalista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur 2.

“This hearing is the follow-up on the onsite investigation conducted several times ago. Two witnesses from the companies attended the hearing. Next week we are going to invite witnesses from the local government, such as from the District Office of Forestry, Agriculture and other related offices,” said Deputy of Environmental Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Environment, Sudariyono, in Jakarta.

While in Nagan Raya, the team has interview the witnesses from local community, filed to strengthen the findings of the investigator.

Sudariyono put forward that the investigator team has found that area of Tripa Peat Swamp was cleared by burning for oil palm plantation. The burning violates the Article 108 of the Law No. 32/2009 on the Environmental Protection and Management, charge with the minimum of 3 years up to 10 years in prison and fined with the minimum of IDR 3 billion up to 10 billion.

Besides the criminal aspect, the investigator also applied civil rights, as there is environmental destruction caused by the fire resulting in state loss. “The indemnity is still being calculated. The civil process is in parallel to the criminal lawsuit,” said Sudariyono.

The case emerged after WALHI and several others NGOs in Aceh filed a lawsuit against the Governor of Aceh based on the issuance of a permit for 1,605 ha within the area of LEuser Ecosystem. The Administrative Court in Banda Aceh rejected to make a verdict.

The awkwardness of the permit issuance alerted the Development Supervision and Control Division of the Presidential Working Unit (UKP4).

Meanwhile, the Director of PT Surya Panen Subur, Eddy Sutjahyo Busiri, said that his company did not set the fire, but was a victim of the fire set by the neighbouring plantation. “We reported directly to the police and local environmentalists to witness the fire themselves,” he said

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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.

One response to “Hearing of Witnesses | KOMPAS”

  1. PH says :

    It is imperative if the courts are serious about this… to designate the entire Leuser Ecosystem area a no go area for environmentally unsustainable commercial interests and leave the swamp forest to regenerate. The Plant oil concerns have always tried to cause a fait acomplis and kill the apes off then clain there were non.. destroy the habitat and claim it is ecologically useless to get their concessions… I hope they will not be let of with a slap on the wrists and then carry on developing their plantation in the Tripa swamp forest area!
    This should be a turning point for the Indonesian government and provides a chance to address their tarnished reputation for being in the pocket of the big national and international corporations . See also their attitude to the destruction of forests in Borneo and to mining in Papua Newguinea.
    Thanks for raising my awareness of this issue!

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