Riau network urges government to prosecute forest encroachment

16.12.2016

Land cleared for palm plantations in Indonesia. Photo: Mongabay

Analysis of plantations in Riau Province, Indonesia, suggests that the majority of oil palm plantations are operating without permission from the Ministry and Environment and Forestry.

The NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest assessed a sample of plantations through desk-based research and field studies, and arrived at the conclusion that more than 100,000 hectares of forest and land had been exploited in “legally questionable” ways.

In a statement [Indonesian], Riko Kurniawan, Executive Director of WALHI Riau, a member of the coalition, said that it was “incredible to see” that many companies continued to operate, in spite of findings by a provincial parliamentary committee that hundreds of companies were acting illegally.

The coalition has called on the Ministry to cancel a decree, issued in 2014, that it says has retrospectively legalised companies that had occupied the “forest zone” illegally, by changing the designation of areas that had been encroached upon by plantations.

“This cannot be allowed,” said Riko. “We ask the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to investigate this corrupt practice, and cancel the Ministerial Decree.”

The coalition has urged the Ministry and Corruption Eradication Commission to prosecute companies operating illegally, and also urged the National Land Agency to conduct an evaluation of concessions issued by the District Land Office in forest areas.

Eyes on the Forest’s analysis suggests that several major plantation companies with advanced sustainability policies, and palm oil entering global trade, are among those violating the law in Riau.

More from Illegal Deforestation Monitor

The Carbon Lottery /  Europe blind to potentially huge Brazilian beef carbon footprints

Continue reading
Tanah Merah / Sawmill legality certificate revoked in forgery fiasco at heart of Papua oil palm mega-project 

Continue reading
Covid-19 / Pandemic compounds local ire against palm oil firms in West Africa

Continue reading
ISPO / Indonesia's recent “reform” of palm oil sustainability scheme criticised for threatening forests and human rights

Continue reading
UK military / Brazil beef supplier used by Ministry of Defence buys from farmers guilty of illegal deforestation, fires and fraud

Continue reading
Cameroon / Local women fight back against controversial palm oil, rubber firms accused of destroying community way of life 

Continue reading
Mexico / Decline of monarch butterflies shows need for greater forest protections

Continue reading
Cocoa / New report emphasises threats major firms face in not having a full picture of their supply chains

Continue reading
Colniza massacre / Repórter Brasil investigation reveals links between JBS and Marfrig and  farmer accused of brutal 2017 killings

Continue reading
Tanah Merah / Auditor kayu Indonesia akan menyelidiki tuduhan izin-izin palsu bagi kayu senilai $6Milyar



Continue reading

Stay up to date with all Earthsight news & updates

Receive email updates for the latest news and insights from Earthsight and be among the first to read our new investigations.

We keep your data secure and don’t share anything with third parties. Read full terms.