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Carbon, Crime and Impunity in Indonesia’s Plantation Sector: New Post On REDD-Monitor

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 08:03 AM
Contributors: Chris Lang
REDD-Monitor
Central Kalimantan is the REDD Pilot Province under the Indonesia-Norway US$1 billion REDD deal. Here, if anywhere, we should see the evidence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s recent statement that “Indonesia has reversed course by committing to sustainable forestry.” Unfortunately, the evidence points to business as usual.

Original Source

A report released this week by the Environmental Investigation Agency and Telapak reveals what business as usual in Central Kalimantan looks like. Six years ago, PT Suryamas Cipta Perkasa (PT SCP), an Indonesia oil palm company, received preliminary approval for a plantation in Central Kalimantan. That should have been the start of a process of licensing and environmental approvals before clearing the forest and planting oil palm could start. Instead, the company just cleared the forest, drained the peat swamp and planted oil palm.

In March 2012, EIA and Telapak submitted evidence to the Indonesian authorities about the various laws that PT SCP had broken. The company has converted more than 23,000 hectares of peatland and peat swamp forest to oil palm, in the process, “destroying the livelihoods of local communities, the habitat of hundreds of endangered orangutans, and generating millions of tonnes of carbon emissions”, EIA and Telapak note.

But four months later, the authorities have taken no action, and trucks laden down with oil palm kernels continue to make the overnight drive from the plantation to PT SCP’s palm oil mill in Sampit. EIA and Telapak note that their meetings with Indonesian officials reveal “a worrying picture … of a bureaucracy struggling to enforce its own laws”.

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