Jakarta (Greeners) – Recent forest fires in Indonesia is the result of a bad marriage between organized corporate crime and structured negligence from the government, blasted Greenpeace Indonesia.
The statement was released by forest campaigner of Greenpeace Indonesia Teguh Surya at a discussion “Southeast Asia’s Haze Problems: Integrating Local, National and Regional Approaches”, in Jakarta.
Teguh said lots of companies complained in the media that they suffered losses too with burned lands and acacia and other assets.
However, in reality, he had not seen any good intentions from business people to deal with this land and forest fires for the past 18 years.
“Even based on the audit conducted by UKP4 with REDD+ agency and Riau government in 2013-2014 revealed that companies have done little effort, as so was the government, said Teguh, in Jakarta, on Wednesday (28/10).
Meanwhile, structural negligence by government was through permit issuance to convert peatlands and dried them for two decades.
These permits were given even before Indonesia owned clear map on peatlands.
“We only have indicative maps. How is it possible to issue permits without any references,” he added.
After the 2014 Government Regulation on Peatlands Protection and Management was issued, only then that the government had instructed to map out peatlands areas within two years time. After two years, the map of protected area for peatlands ecosystem must be finalized.
“So, 21 million hectares of peatlands were managed or issued its permits to be converted then dried to be planted palm oil and timber concessions. There was no clear map for those years. Even after disaster occurred every year, there was never any comprehensive evaluation on those permits,” he said.
Secondly, he said that many civilians were arrested under claims “deliberately burned” or “accidentally burned”.
Teguh said that he was curious as lands owned by those allegedly and caught red handed were then given permits.
He cited a case in Nyaru Menteng where Head of Data Information and spokesman of National Agency for Disaster Management Sutopo Purwo Nugroho uploaded picture of burned lands planted with palm oil.
“From our analysis, there has been no good intention from government to solve this problem,” he said.
Report by Danny Kosasih