Forest Information: Ministry Gets ‘Trophy’ for Defying Court Order

Jakarta, 20 August 2018 – NGOs took action today in front of the Indonesian ministry responsible for lands to protest its failure to implement a Supreme Court decision ordering forest data be released to the public. Secrecy over the Land Cultivation Right data, (Hak Guna Usaha – HGU), contributes to corruption and mismanagement in the forestry and plantation sector.

For over a year the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) has refused to execute a Supreme Court’s instruction, to release details including maps of land controlled by palm oil plantation companies in Indonesian Borneo. The demonstration and award of a ‘trophy’ to mark this failure was conducted by the Civil Society Coalition for Transparency, comprised of Greenpeace Indonesia, Forest Watch Indonesia, Indonesian Corruption Watch, and PERDU Manokwari.

Greenpeace is highlighting ongoing deforestation in Borneo and Papua, including conversion of endangered species’ habitats by plantation companies [2],[3]. “If we are to halt deforestation and forest fires, we need transparency so that the public knows which companies are still acting irresponsibly,” said Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Asep Komarudin.

Forest Watch Indonesia campaigner Agung Ady stressed the importance of Land Cultivation Right data.  “Between 2013 and 2016, there were cases involving 8.9 million hectares of land subject to overlapping claims between forestry, mining and oil palm plantations. There are also many overlaps with indigenous land rights. ATR/BPN’s recalcitrance means that the government is acting as a brake on settlement of tenurial conflicts.”

Law enforcement in the forest and natural resources sector is rare, leading to massive public losses. “Over the past seven years, over 300 people have been declared suspects in corruption cases in the plantation, forestry and mining sectors. In just seven of these natural resource corruption cases, state losses reached 7.26 trillion rupiah,” said Tama S Langkun, Indonesian Corruption Watch researcher.

Corporate investment in Papua, especially in the plantation and mining sectors, has raised concern among indigenous Papuans for whom forests are central to traditional livelihoods. “Investment without oversight, and a government system with zero transparency has resulted in rapid deforestation and disregard for the rights of indigenous Papuans. If this situation is not turned around, Papua’s forests and people face a grim future,” said Andreas Bernadus from the PERDU Foundation in Manokwari, West Papua.

“ATR/BPN’s refusal to release Land Cultivation Right information has tarnished President Joko Widodo’s public commitment to transparency and freedom of information,” concluded Asep.

***

Photos from the demonstration are available here:
https://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MZIFJWTI4YL

Notes:

[1] Indonesian Supreme Court orders Jokowi administration to hand over palm oil permit data https://bit.ly/2oBpkx3

[2] Over 1000 orangutans threatened by illegal operations in Indonesia https://bit.ly/2HmMS1z

[3] World’s largest palm oil trader linked to rainforest destruction twice the size of Paris  https://bit.ly/2lu2oAm

Media Contacts:

Asep Komarudin, Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner, Tel 081310728770,
email [email protected]
Tama S Lankun, Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW), Tel 08119937669

Agung Adi, Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), Tel  085783517913

Andreas Bernardus Arep, Yayasan PERDU Manokwari, Tel 082199866126

Rully Yuliardi, Greenpeace Indonesia Media Officer, Tel 08118334409,
email [email protected]

By |2018-08-22T19:37:42+00:0020 August 2018|English, Environment, Press Releases|0 Comments

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