Aceh Government Requested To Withdraw All Existing Plantation Permits.
Kamis, 20 September 2012 16:42 WIB
Banda Aceh –Tripa is a peat swamp forest area located within the Districts of Nagan Raya and Aceh Barat Daya covering approx. 61,803 ha. Sadly, the Tripa Peat Swamps have suffered under more than 70% deforestation, mainly through conversion into oil palm plantations.
The Administrative High Court of Medan decided in its ruling to withdraw the Plantation Permit of PT Kalista Alam is a new stage in the rescue of Tripa Peat Swamp. The Coalition for Saving Tripa Swamp (TKPRT) requested all permits within Tripa Peat Swamp to be revoked.
WALHI’s legal appeal against the Governor of Aceh and PT Kalista Alam for the withdrawal of Aceh Governor’s Permit No. 525/BP2T/5322/2011 on the Plantation Permit for PT Kalista Alam issued on August 25, 2011, covering 1,605 ha in the village of Pulo Kruet, Sub District of Darul Makmur in Nagan Raya, has been granted by the Administrative High Court of Medan.
This decision is welcomed by the TKPRT. The victory in this legal case is a victory for the people of, especially to those living in the 21 villages around the Tripa Peat Swamps. This decision also proves that law enforcement is very valuable tool for achieving environmental protection.
TKPRT requests that the Governor of Aceh immediately revoke the Plantation Permit of PT Kallista Alam in Tripa Peat Swamps. It is also hoped that Governor of Aceh will immediately evaluate all the plantation permits in Tripa Peat Swamps that have caused so many problems, especially considering that the National REDD+ Task Force’s Unit for the Evaluation and Law Enforcement has declared Tripa as a peat swamp area included in the Indicative Moratorium Map in Aceh.
Once drained, peat swamp areas are vulnerable to fires, so that the protection of peat swamp areas ensure the development goal to reduce greenhouse gas emission by up to 41%.
TKPRT also hopes that the criminal and civil lawsuits being pursued by the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and that the reports by local people and TKPRT to the police related to various violations in Tripa Peat Swamps will be followed up seriously.
During a meeting with the Indonesian Regional Council several days ago, TKPRT firmly requested the Governor to revoke the controversial permit. Moreover, TKPRT recommended that the Governor of Aceh establish an integrated team to conduct evaluation over the management of Tripa Peat Swamp area, both from the aspect of the licensing procedures as well as of the environmental, physical and social impacts.
This evaluation and review requires an integrated team involving the Central Government, MoE, Ministry of Forestry (MoF) and Spatial Planning. This team has to come up with a recommendation on the management of the whole 61,803 ha of Tripa Peat Swamp.
TKPRT considers that the decision of the Administrative High Court of Medan is the beginning of a new stage in the rescue of Tripa Peat Swamp forest. The withdrawal of the oil palm concession for 1,605 ha is certainly not the main issue, since the area of forest and occupied by the companies in Tripa is much larger.
The 1,605 ha is very small compared to the total 61,803 ha of the Tripa Peat Swamps. It remains a long struggle here to save this area and its environmental services so important for us all.
The TKPRT wants the government to to formally declare this area as a protection area through a governmental decree. This way, the boundary will explicitly be defined, so that there will be no question on the status of Tripa Peat Swamp. Otherwise, the threat and destruction towards Tripa Peat Swamp through various elements will continue.
Tripa Peat Swamp is known for its hydrological functions, as a buffer zone protecting surrounding areas from disaster, as home for both people and wildlife, and as a regulator of the local micro climate control.
(007)The Globe Journal