Tag Archive | Peat swamp forest

Melanie Subono investigates the destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp


Wednesday, October 3, 2012 16:21 WIB | Free translation by Adji Darsoyo

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Melanie Subono, an artis and environmental activist as well as observer of gender issues, volunteered to join in the investigation of the destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp forest.

“I volunteered to conduct visit and investigation. I would like to eye-witness the destruction so far and to mediate,” said Melanie.

Melanie joins actively the Save Tripa Action through the petition launched by Change.org urging the protection of Tripa. Melanie is convinced that the petition leads to big impact and changes.

“I believe in the voice of the community. I believe, everything God created has right to live, including the biodiversity in Tripa Peat Swamp threatened by land conversion,” said Melanie.

Change.org, a leading web platform for social changes has again launched a new petition for the protection of Tripa Peat Swamp on the west coast of Sumatra.

“This petition is the second part of the first petition that has successfully triggered the withdrawal of the permit of PT. Kalista Alam. This time we launch the petition titled Save Tripa Two,” said the Director of Change.org, Usman Hamid.

Usman said that this time the petition urged for investigation, arrests and prosecution of the perpetrators of the destruction of Leuser Ecosystem’s peatland declared as National Strategic Area for Environmental Conservation.

Tripa Peat Swamp covers approx. 61,803 ha of peatland, on which 5 companies conduct palm oil cultivation.

One of the palm oil companies is PT Kalista Alam, which permit was revoked by Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah after the ruling of Administrative High Court of Medan.

The decision of the High Court granted WALHI Aceh’s appeal upon the issuance of the controversial permit by the former Governor of Aceh on August 25, 2011.

Besides legal lawsuit filed by WALHI Aceh, the movement for the protection of Tripa Peat Swamp was also supported by a petition for the protection of Tripa Peat Swamp resulting in 25,000 signatures.

According to Usman, expression of support through petition is important for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the destruction of Tripa Peat Swamp.

He also added that all signed petitions will be sent electronically to the officials in Aceh.
Editor: Desy Saputra



Sumatran Orangutan Species on the Brink as 3,950 Acre Tripa Peat Swamp Decimated



SBS Dateline last night reported on the mission to rescue Critically Endangered orangutans left with nowhere to go on the Indonesian island of Sumatra due to large-scale dramatic deforestation for palm oil plantations. A huge swathe of destruction has occurred in the last 12 months in the Tripa Peat Swamp.

Tripa is the northernmost Peat Swamp within the protected Leuser Ecosystem in the Province of Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia. Tripa is famous for being one of the few remaining peat swamp forest habitats with the highest densities of orangutans in the world. Experts are warning that if the current wave of illegal palm oil expansion in Tripa is not halted immediately, its unique Sumatran orangutan population could be extinct before the end of 2012.

In 1990 there were almost 2,000 Orangutans in the Tripa Peat forest, and now today it could be less than 200 due to the ongoing and often illegal clearance of forest through the conversion to palm oil plantations. Satellite imagery obtained shows over 1,500 hectares of conversion in the last 6 months in Tripa alone, and ground project teams have reported ongoing fires and illegal activity of operations in palm oil concessions despite a central government investigation into their behavior.

The Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots on earth, and the Tripa Peat Swamp Forest is a key part of it. Tripa has become an important test case for Indonesian authorities as International pressure for its protection has skyrocketed. A multi?billion dollar REDD+ agreement between Indonesia and Norway has been severely tested. The UNEP/UNESCO Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) has requested Tripa be saved and a global petition generated over 15,000 signatures, demanding that Indonesia’s President SBY enforce Indonesian law in Tripa, with the prosecution of offenders, and the restoration of the full 61,000 ha of Tripa’s original forest. As a direct result of this pressure the Indonesian Government, via the Ministry of the Environment and National Police, are now conducting a detailed investigation into the illegal destruction taking place and legal action is imminent.

The Chairman of Indonesia’s REDD+ Taskforce, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, recently wrote to the newly elected Governor of Aceh, Zaini Abdullah, requesting that two palm oil plantation permits in Tripa be immediately revoked, and at the same time verbally indicated the need for all plantation permits in Tripa to be withdrawn, and for Tripa’s peat swamp forest ecosystem to be fully restored. To do this, an additional three palm oil plantation companies urgently need to be placed under investigation and fully included in forthcoming legal action.

The next 6 months requires a serious investment of energy and funds. Indonesian National Law has clearly been violated. Now comes the absolutely critical stage of ensuring the courts uphold justice in this landmark case.

There will be no more chances for Tripa and its orangutans if this campaign were to falter now; The Orangutan Project is calling for public support of the Tripa Swamp project leader Dr. Ian Singleton on this campaign athttp://www.orangutan.org.au/donations/donation-tripa-swamp-appeal

“The destruction of the of the orangutan’s rainforest is not only driving the extinction of the orangutans, but is also is a major contributor to global warming, the loss of biodiversity, the violation of the rights of indigenous communities and destruction of key environmental services needed for both quality of life of local communities and long-term sustainability,” says Leif Cocks, the Founder and President of The Orangutan Project.

As an individual or an organization, your support is urgently needed now.

“Indonesia’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, protect its tropical forests and save threatened species have never been under such intense international scrutiny. Success in Tripa will set a hugely important precedent that will help forests throughout the country. Failure in Tripa, on the other hand, will simply reiterate the fact that none of Indonesia’s forests, or magnificent wildlife are safe.” Dr. Ian Singleton, Director of Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

Please view the following video on the Tripa Swamp ecosystem: http://youtu.be/ICBxZ4zg8y8

Public donations to the Tripa Swamp Appeal can be made at http://www.orangutan.org.au/donations/donation-tripa-swamp-appeal


Lets get tweeting!

untuk bahasa indonesia klik disini

Dear everyone,

Over the past weeks you have helped us gather more than 3500 signatures at www.change.org/endoftheicons and it has prompted authorities to take action to #savetripa. Fires are still raging, drainage canals are still operating on behalf of the companies to drain the life of Tripa peat swamp, slowly and steadily killing the remaining forest and making the peat susceptible to fires. This must be stopped, all companies should receive order to halt all activities and those drainage canals must be blocked. All concession must be revoked and Tripa should be rehabilitated and restored.

Your support have made the difference and push the authorities to take action, now we need to remind them that a short overflight over Tripa is not enough to solve the problem. Tweet them and tell them what you want them to do.

Rainforest Action Network is helping us with twitter and facebook message to spread, tweet these and post them on facebook. Send them loud and clear message that we want Tripa restored and rehabilitated. Make #savetripa a trending topic on twitter!

share this on twitter

PHOTO: #Indonesia Prez: “#Forests management requires a reinvention of societies.” But #orangutans are dying now #SaveTripa http://ow.ly/i/L0wx via @RAN & @endoftheicons

post this photo on your facebook

In June, Indonesian President SBY declared that forest management “will require a fundamental reinvention and reorganization of societies throughout the world.” Meanwhile, over the last 2 months, clearing of the Tripa rainforest for palm oil plantations continues with 86 illegal fire hotspots. Send President SBY a message right now asking him to save Tripa  http://ow.ly/i/L0wx

Critically endangered Sumatran orangutans are hovering on the edge of extinction because of the illegal fires raging through Tripa rainforest. Palm oil companies have deforested so much of the habitat orangutans depend on for survival, they literally have nowhere left to go. Help us prevent orangutan extinction.
Photo: RAN

Tell Investigation team from Department of Environment we support the investigation, and we want them to investigate all companies operating in Tripa (PT. Kallista Alam, PT. Surya Panen Subur 2, PT. Cemerlang Abadi, PT. Dua Perkasa Lestari dan PT. Gelora Sawita Makmur) and call for restoration of the whole of Tripa!

Thanks @humasKLH for investigating SPS2 & KA, but we want all the permits revoked & the whole of Tripa restored! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

REDD+ Task Force has received more than 15,000 emails in total and has been pushing for PT. Kallista Alam and PT. SPS 2 to be investigated and their permits to be revoked. However, peat swamp is one connected ecosystem, we need the whole of Tripa restored, and for that to happen we need all the companies investigated and their permit revoked!

@SatgasREDD thanks for your work so far,but we want all the destructive activities to stop & tripa restored http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

President SBY was talking about the “Future we want” and how “deforestation is the thing of the past” yet Tripa peatswamp continues to drained and burned. We want him to order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa, save the remaining forest and restore the rest.

Dear President @soesilobambang order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa! Restore and #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

Dear President @presidentSBY order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa! Restore and #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

The Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan is responsible on deciding for what forests to stays and what forests get cut down by whom. He have stated that he wants Tripa restored and rehabilitated, but destruction still continues! Remind him again that problem is not yet solved!

Dear @zul_hasan you have to make sure all destructive activities in Tripa halted & the peatswamp restored! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

Agus Purnomo is the Chairman of National Council of Climate Change, Tripa peatswamp destruction is a climate disaster, burning and drying of peat through the drainage canals emits thousands tons of carbon to the atmosphere. These palm oil companies are undermining Indonesian government efforts to reduce emissions. Tell them to stop!

@AgusPurnomo order immediate halt on all destructive activities in Tripa! Demand for the canals to be blocked! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

UNDP and UN-REDD oversee the financial flow of Norway REDD+ funds to Indonesia, tell them about what had happened in Tripa and we want the Tripa peat swamp rehabilitated and restored!

@UNDP ensure the laws are being enforced & moratorium respected http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

@unredd ensure the laws are being enforced & moratorium respected http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

Executive director of UNEP was with SBY during Rio 20+ meeting as Indonesia President delivering sweet words on Indonesia achievement to reduce deforestation and picturing the “Future We Want”. In addition to that, GRASP UNEP has designated Tripa as priority site for great apes conservation. GRASP patron has historically support this campaign and request SBY to save tripa. Tell them the truth, laws still need to be enforced in Tripa!

@UNEP ensure the laws are being enforced and moratorium respected http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

@graspunep ensure the laws are being enforced! priority site for great apes conservation should be restored & rehabilitated! http://ow.ly/c6UM0 #savetripa

Zaini Abdullah and Muzakir Manaf is the newly inaugurated governor and vice governor of Aceh, they have the authority to revoked permits of ALL plantations in Tripa. Tell them we want all the permits in Tripa to be revoked and Tripa to be restored to its original state.

@zaini_abdullah order immediate halt on operation & revoke all palm oil plantation permits in Tripa, restore & #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

@MuzakirManaf order immediate halt on operation & revoke all palm oil plantation permits in Tripa, restore & #savetripa http://ow.ly/c6UM0

BPKEL: at least 187 hotspots in Tripa Peat Swamp since March 2012

The Atjeh Post

Muhajir Abdul Aziz – free translation by Adji Darsoyo

Hotspots detected by MODIS satellite in Tripa Peat Swamp between 17-26 June 2012. Plotted on LANDSAT imagery 7 dated June 3rd, 2012

BANDA ACEH – At least 187 hotspots identified since March 2012 until June 2012 within the ecosystem of Tripa Peat Swamp in Nagan Raya. This has been told by Farwiza, PR of BPKEL, to The Atjeh Post on Thursday, July 5, 2012.

According to Farwiza, the observation of BPKEL identified more than 100 hotpots, while in May and June around 87 hotspots were detected. According to Farwiza, all those hotspots were observed within the concession areas of PT Kalistsa Alam, PT Surya Panen Subur and PT Dua Perkasa Lestari in Tripa Peat Swamp.

“It appear to be set on fire by the companies during land clearing,” she said.

According to Farwiza, BPKEL currently urge the Government of Aceh to stop the burning process immediately. “We have sent a recommendation to the Governor of Aceh to immediately solve the case of Tripa Peat Swamp before everything is destroyed,” she explained.

Fires in Protected Peat Forest Have Companies Feeling the Heat

Fires continued to be set in Tripa’s peat forestl, 13 June 2012, Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia. According to a field team from the coalition of NGO’s to protect Tripa, that visited the area. Fires are continuing to be lit in the highly threatened Tripa Peat Forest for palm oil plantations despite assurances from the Indonesian central government that ‘triple track’ legal action was underway and a small area of the Peat Forest had returned to the moratorium map central to the multibillion agreement between Indonesia and Norway to reduce carbon emission from burning the carbon dense Peat Forests. Photo: Paul Hilton/SOCP/YEL (HANDOUT PHOTO, EDITORIAL USE ONLY)

The Jakarta Globe

Fidelis E. Satriastanti 

The Environment Ministry has found indications of arson in recent fires at the protected Tripa peat forest in Aceh, a senior ministry official said on Sunday.

“It baffles me. We are still investigating, but these fires keep occurring,” said Sudariyono, the ministry’s deputy for legal compliance.

“We have a strong suspicion that the fires are not accidental, judging by how they are shaped. When viewed from above it is very irregular. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a mitigation system, in the sense that no one’s trying to put them out.”

The Tripa swamp is a key habitat of the Sumatran orangutan, a critically endangered species, with 200 individuals believed to be living in the area.

A moratorium map published by the ministry identified Tripa as protected area. Tripa is also part of Leuser Ecosystem, a national strategic area for environmental protection. There is also a law in place that is meant to prohibit the issuance of new concessions on land with peat layers more than three meters deep.

Despite this, two companies, Kallista Alam and Surya Panen Subur 2, received concessions in Tripa.

Kallista’s permit, issued by former Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf, is currently the subject of a legal challenge by activists.

Sudariyono said Surya Panen “was suspected of burning some 1,183 hectares” of land inside the Tripa peat swamp from March 19 to 24 this year.

Kallista, he said, was believed to have burned some 30 hectares of its 1,605-hectare concession in the peat swamp.

The ministry has not concluded its investigation but Sudariyono said his office was already mulling legal action against Kallista and Surya Panen. The companies “could be charged in criminal court over the fires and they could face lawsuits for damaging the forest,” he said.

The Environment Ministry has questioned witnesses from the two companies, nongovernmental organizations, residents and local government offices.

Fires threaten to ‘extinguish’ critical Indonesian orangutan population

The Guardian UK

Conservationists claim a massive new wave of fires has been set in Tripa peat swamp to make way for palm oil plantationsFires continue to rage across the peat swamp forest of Tripa, Sumatra.

The world’s densest population of orangutans is set to be “extinguished” by a massive new wave of fires that is clearing large tracts of a peat swamp forest in the Indonesian island of Sumatra, conservationists have warned.

Environmentalists claim that satellite images show a huge surge in forest blazes across the Tripa peat swamp in order to create palm oil plantations, including areas that have not been permitted for clearing.Tripa is home to a tight-knit enclave of around 200 critically endangered orangutans. However, this number has plummeted from an estimated population of 3,000.Just 7,000 orangutans remain in Sumatra, with rampant forest clearing for palm oil cultivation blamed for their decline.

Ian Singleton, head of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), said that the Tripa orangutans are being “extinguished.””The situation is indeed extremely dire,” he said. “Every time I have visited Tripa in the last 12 months I have found several orangutans hanging on for their very survival, right at the forest edge.”

“When you see the scale and speed of the current wave of destruction and the condition of the remaining forests, there can be no doubt whatsoever that many have already died in Tripa due to the fires themselves, or due to starvation as a result of the loss of their habitat and food resources.

“Felling trees from Tripa’s carbon-rich peat also triggers the release of large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Indonesia has been named as the third highest emitter of CO2 emissions in the world when deforestation is a factor, although the country disputes this.Environmentalists have lodged a lawsuit against PT Kallista Alam, one of the five palm oil firms operating in Tripa, and Irwandi Yusuf, the former governor of Aceh, over the approval of a permit for the 1,600-hectare (3,950-acre) palm oil plantation.

Irwardi, previously styled as a “green” governor, says he granted the permit due to delays in the UN’s Redd+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programme, which has seen Norway pledge $US1bn to Indonesia to reduce deforestation.”The international community think our forest is a free toilet for their carbon,” Irwandi said in April. “Every day they are saying they want clean air and to protect forests … but they want to inhale our clean air without paying anything.”

“SOCP and lawyers representing Tripa’s local communities have called upon the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to bypass an ongoing government investigation into the forest clearing and immediately halt the razing of the area.”This whole thing makes absolutely no sense at all, not environmentally, nor even economically,” said Singleton.

Forestry Moratorium: Government Prepared Second Revision | KOMPAS

as published in KOMPAS, May 21 2012

Jakarta, KOMPAS – The Government will announce the second revision of the moratorium map on Monday (21/5). The revision combined all data from different agencies.

“We are in coordination with the Coordination Agency of National Survey and Mapping, National Land Agency and Ministry of Agriculture in the compilation of this revision. We collected issued permits and licenses before the Presidential Instruction was published,” said Bambang Soepijanto, Director of Urban Design of the Ministry of Forestry on Saturday (19/5) in Jakarta.

This revision is a mandate of the Presidential Instruction No. 10/2011 on the Moratorium on New Permits and Improvement of Primary Natural and Peat Forest signed by President SBY in May 2011.

The areas in the moratorium maps changes in numbers. When all data are collected and mapped, Bambang continued, the areas of primary natural and peat forest, on which no existing permit, will be identified.

Separately, the Head of the Moratorium Monitoring Working Group of the Task Force REDD+, Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi, said that the map has initially only used data from the Ministry of Forestry. In November 2011, through the inclusion of data from other agencies, the first revision of the moratorium map was established.

According to Nirarta, each point of changes within the second revision would be marked with description on how it has changed. “So it will be traceable, why it has changed and based on what, e.g. permit of what number for the particular area,” he said.

Condition of Peatlands

The second revision would include data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The second revision would reduce the amount of peatlands of 49,000 ha based on various land use scheme. Ground verification identified an increase on the amount of protected/conservation areas of 500,000 ha.

Nirarta requested the public for not to stick on numbers, since the numbers can change based on the synchronisation and on cross checking between ministries.

“Don’t just look at the numbers but at the process of the compilation of the numbers. Through this moratorium map, each ministry is connected and communicate to each other even by heavy argument and hard discussion. I expect that here there is a standard procedure for the issuance of permits,” he said.