We received some good news from Indonesia, in relation to the industrial tree plantations report and briefing we recently published. The press release below raises hope for environmental justice brought about through a combination of local legal action and international support.
By WALHI (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia – Friends of the Earth Indonesia)
After going through a long trial process, ultimately the State Administrative High Court (PTTUN) Medan is in favor of WALHI related with the issuance of a plantation license issued by the Governor of Aceh on August 25, 2011 to PT. Kalista Alam covering an area of approximately 1,605 hectares in Rawa Tripa peat swamp forest, Nagan Raya district, Aceh. The decision of PTTUN Medan include, among others: 1) PT TUN Medan is in favor of the Plaintiff (WALHI), 2) Cancelling the disputed Administrative Decisions issued by the Governor of Aceh, on August 25, 2011, no. 525/BP2T/5322/2011, of Plantation Permit to PT. Kalista Alam.
Director of WALHI Aceh, Teuku Muhammad Zulfikar said, “WALHI Aceh welcomes the decision of PTTUN Medan and requested that the Governor of Aceh immediately follow up the decision by as soon as possible revoking the business license of PT. Kalista Alam plantation in the Rawa Tripa forests. Besides, the Governor of Aceh is also expected to immediately evaluate all plantation permits given to various companies in the Rawa Tripa area that allegedly have caused much trouble. WALHI Aceh also hoped that all the legal processes/lawsuits that are currently being run either by the Ministry of Environment related with Civil and Criminal cases conducted by some company in the area of Rawa Tripa, or any legal proceedings that have been reported by the Coalition to Save Rawa Tripa (TKPRT) to the Police of the Republic of Indonesia must be carried on seriously. “
WALHI’s National Executive Director, Abetnego Tarigan added, “The decision of PTTUN Medan is a jurisprudence for the enforcement of environmental law and environmental conservation efforts in Indonesia, which has almost never taken side with the environment and the people.” This decision should further be used as reference by the government at the national level by conducting a review of all forest industry licenses in Indonesia, which is an important step in the efforts to improve forest governance in Indonesia.
PTTUN decision is an important victory not just for WALHI, but also for the struggle of the environmental movement, especially a victory for the people who live in more than 21 villages around the area of Rawa Tripa. This victory also can not be achieved without a strong and broad public support and the supports given by various groups, not only in Aceh alone, but also in the national and international levels. One of the efforts came from the mobilization of an online petition “Enforce the Law to Protect Rawa Tripa and its Orang Utan Population”, which was organized by change.org, and disseminated through social media, like Facebook and Twitter, and has been signed by 10.000 people globally.
- Contact persons: Mr. TM. Zulfikar, Director of WALHI Aceh, Mobile: +62812690128 and Mr. Abetnego Tarigan, National Executive Director of WALHI, Mobile: +628159416297
- The PTTUN decision can be accessed on http://pttunmedan.go.id/upload/PUTUSAN%20%2089%20%20PTTUN%20MEDAN%202012.pdf.
- Link Petition http://change.org/saveTripa