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Greenomics Indonesia

Press statement in support of revision of PT Kalista Alam’s palm oil plantation concession in Moratorium Indicative Map

Supporting the Requests of the Chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce to the Minister of Forestry and the Ministry of Forestry to the National Land Agency

(Jakarta, 10 May 2012) – The letter of 18 April 2012 from Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce, to the Minister of Forestry regarding the updating of the status of PT Kalista Alam’s palm oil plantation concession on the Moratorium Indicative Map and the Ministry of Forestry’s response to the said letter are noteworthy as they reflect the extent to which Indonesia’s forestry sector moratorium is being implemented. The moratorium was launched by President Yudhoyono on 20 May 2011.

Greenomics Indonesia is of the view that these two letters are of major significance as regards the updating of the said Moratorium Indicative Map.

First of all, let us consider the letter from the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce to the Minister of Forestry, which commences with a chronology concerning the licensing and status of the PT Kalista Alam concession area as shown on the Moratorium Indicative Map. The sequence of events set out in the said chronology is as follows: 1) On 25 August 2011, the Governor of Aceh issued a palm oil plantation license to PT Kalista Alam covering 1,605 hectares in the Rawa Tripa Aceh area; 2) the said area, as mapped by Minister of Forestry Decree No. 323/2011 (dated 17 June 2011), comes within the area covered by the moratorium map; and 3) the PT Kalista Alam concession is not included in the revised Moratorium Indicative Map adopted by virtue of Minister of Forestry Decree No. 7416/2011 (dated 22 November 2011). The exclusion of the PT Kalista Alam concession was based on confirmation by the National Land Agency (BPN) that Land Title Rights (HGU) had been granted in respect of the concession.

The letter from the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce then stated that the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce had received complaints regarding this situation, and had in consequence conducted a field investigation on 1-3 April 2012, during which it was found that: 1) the 1,605 hectares of the PT Kalista Alam were not subject to HGU granted in the name of PT Kalista Alam or any other company; and 2) PT Kalista Alam had been issued with a Location Permit by the Regent of Nagan Raya – the said permit was valid for 3 years and expired on 5 February 2011.

The letter then pointed out that the findings of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce had been verified with the BPN on 12 April 2012, and the BPN had confirmed the findings.

Regarding land conditions on the ground, the letter said that its field investigations had found that part of the PT Kalista Alam concession had been planted with palms and other parts were ready for planting, while the remainder of the concession was still under forest cover. The Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce then pointed out that based on PT Kalista Alam’s environmental management and monitoring documents (UKL/UPL), the bulk of the concession consisted of peatland. The letter from the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce was accompanied by maps, photographs and relevant documents.

In conclusion, the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce asked the Minister of Forestry to study the matter in the light of the presidential instruction on the moratorium, and to reincorporate the PT Kalista Alam concession as moratorium land.

It is also interesting to study the response of the Director General of Planology – who signed the Moratorium Indicative Map on behalf of the Minister of Forestry – to the letter from the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce, having regard to the Director General’s letter of 4 May 2012 to the Head of the Head of National Land Agency, which was copied to, among other recipients, the Minister of Forestry and the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce.

In the said letter, it is stated that the final discussions on the first revision of the Moratorium Indicative Map were held on 18 November 2011. Among those attending the said discussions were representatives of the UKP4 (Presidential Working Unit for the Supervision and Management of Development), Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture, the National Land Certification Coordinating Board (Bakosurtanal) and the BPN. Following the final discussions, Minister of Forestry Decree No. 7416/2011 (on the first revision of the Moratorium Indicative Map) was issued on 22 November 2011.

In the Director General’s letter, it was stated that, according to the letter from the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce, verification with the BPN had confirmed that no HGU had been issued in respect of the PT Kalista Alam concession area. The Director General’s letter then pointed out that there were differences in the data that had been received by the Ministry of Forestry from the BPN at the time the revised Moratorium Indicative Map was being prepared, and the data that had been supplied by the BPN to the UKP4.

In the light of this, the Director General sought clarification of all of the relevant licensing data and information supplied from the BPN for use in the preparation of the first revision of the Moratorium Indicative Map, and in particular the data on the PT Kalista Alam concession, as input for the preparation of the second revision of the Moratorium Indicative Map, which is due to be issued this month (May 2012).

Greenomics Indonesia views the purport of these two letters as follows:

    1. The Ministry of Forestry wishes to confirm that the excising of the PT Kalista Alam concession from the Moratorium Indicative Map has a valid basis, namely, data supplied by the BPN. In reality, the draft first revision of the Moratorium Indicative Map was determined following discussions with a variety of government-related parties, such as the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce/UKP4, BPN, Ministry of Agriculture, etc., prior to being legally adopted by virtue of Minister of Forestry Decree No. 7416/2011 (dated 22 November 2011).
      1. The acknowledgement by the Ministry of Forestry that there were differences in the data on the PT Kalista Alam concession supplied to the Ministry by the BPN and that supplied by the BPN to the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce gives rise to serious question marks over the credibility and quality of the overall data used in the Moratorium Indicative Map, especially given that the Ministry of Forestry has requested confirmation of all of licensing data and information from the BPN, not just the data that is relevant to PT Kalista Alam.
        1. Strangely, in respect of the excising of 4.8 million hectares of peatland from the first revision of the Moratorium Indicative Map (by virtue of of Minister of Forestry Decree No. 7416/2011), the Ministry of Forestry Decree claimed that this revision was based on a field survey. However, the PT Kalista Alam case clearly shows that the quality or comprehensiveness of this field survey is in serious doubt, particularly as regards the definition of the term “field survey” as employed by the Ministry of Forestry Decree.
        1. As regards the request by the Ministry of Forestry that the BPN clarify all licensing data and information that is being used in the preparation of the second revision to the Moratorium Indicative Map, which is due to be issued this month (May 2012), the question that immediately comes to mind is whether in fact it will be possible to clarify all this data and information in the time available? This is a fundamental question, and is likely to give rise to serious doubts over the accuracy of the second revision to the Moratorium Indicative Map.

        In the light of the above discussion, Greenomics Indonesia fully supports:

          1. The request by the chairman of the Indonesia REDD+ Taskforce to the Minister of Forestry to restore the status of the PT Kalista Alam concession to moratorium land, and for this to be confirmed in the second revision to the Moratorium Indicative Map to be published this May.
          1. The request of the Ministry of Forestry to the BPN to clarify all of the licensing data and information supplied by the BPN as this data and information is crucial to the credibility and quality of the second revision to the Moratorium Indicative Map.

          For further information please contact:
          Elfian Effendi
          Executive Director of Greenomics Indonesia
          elfian@greenomics.org

          Article source: GJEP Climate Connections Blog

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