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Vast majority of palm oil permits granted by SBY regime Print E-mail


Vast majority of palm oil permits granted by SBY regime

[JAKARTA, 21 MARCH 2018]In relation to his concerns regarding land tenure in Indonesia, National Mandate Party (PAN) Honorary Council Chairman Amien Rais needs to study data on the relinquishment, to a number of business groups, of state forest areas for the development of plantations, particularly over the past 13 years.

Results of a Greenomics Indonesia study show that from 2004-2017, the total relinquishment of state forest areas for plantation permits to certain large-scale business players amounted to more than 2.4 million hectares, or more than 36 times the size of Jakarta.

More than 90% of the plantation permits issued have been granted to businesses for palm oil plantation expansion.

"In fact, plantation permits covering in excess of 2.2 million hectares - in other words more than 91% of the total area relinquished or equal to more than 33 times the size of Jakarta - were granted during the tenure of President SBY. In stark contrast, plantation permits so far granted in the era of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo encompass a mere 200 thousand hectares, or less than 9%," Vanda Mutia Dewi, Executive Director of Greenomics Indonesia, explained.

The study points out that Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Forestry for the period 2009-2014 while also serving as Secretary General of the National Mandate Party (PAN), broke the record for issuing more plantation permits to various businesses than any other forestry minister, totaling a huge area of 1.64 million hectares, or nearly 25 times the size of Jakarta.

As such, the plantation permits granted by Zulkifli Hasan account for almost 70% of the total area allocated for plantation permits for businesses from 2004-2017.

This figure does not include the state forest areas relinquished for palm oil plantations which were 'whitewashed' from the state forest area records while Zulkifli Hasan served as minister of forestry.

Mr Zulkifli's predecessor as forestry minister MS Kaban, who was in the post from 2004-2009, issued plantation permits to businesses covering nearly 600 thousand hectares, or equivalent to nearly 9 times the size of Jakarta. This figure represents almost 24% of the total area for permits granted from 2004-2017.

These figures are far in excess of those recorded under President Jokowi's Minister of the Environment and Forestry. During Minister Siti Nurbaya's tenure, plantation permits issued through the Head of BKPM (Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board) cover an area of 216 thousand hectares, equal to just 3 times the size of Jakarta and only 8.9% of the total area for plantation permits issued to various businesses from 2004-2017.

"Pak Amien Rais should really pay attention to the legal data outlined above, especially seeing that when a PAN cadre served as Minister of Forestry, he set the record in terms of granting plantation permits to businesses, incredibly the equivalent of almost 25 times the size of Jakarta," Vanda emphasized.

Following up on President Jokowi's announcement in mid-April 2016 concerning the moratorium on palm oil expansion in forests which retain good cover, Greenomics has requested that the Presidential Instruction underpinning this moratorium be issued immediately, so that there is a legal basis for all plantation permits, especially those granted from 2004-2017, to be evaluated.***

For further questions please contact:
Vanda Mutia Dewi
Greenomics Indonesia Executive Director
+62 818-944670