PALM OIL NEWS
July 5, 2018
Certain companies yet to submit peat recovery documents
JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - After disclosing peat violations committed by two palm oil companies controlled by the Salim Group, which were proven to have no peat recovery legal documents - as previously reported by foresthints.news (Jun 26) - the Indonesian Ministry of the Environment and Forestry is continuing to identify other palm oil companies like these.
According to a recent ministry update as of the end of June this year, a total of 170 palm oil companies have had their peat recovery legal documents approved, while another 30 palm oil companies are in the legal approval process.
On the other hand, some palm oil companies whose permits were obtained from non-state forest relinquishment have yet to prepare and submit their peat recovery legal documents for approval by the ministry.
One such company - which does not yet have a peat recovery legal document and whose permit wasn’t acquired through a state forest release mechanism - is PT DRM, a palm oil concession affiliated to the Salim group located in West Kalimantan’s Sintang regency.
Below are some photos of the massive peat forest clearing and drainage carried out by this Salim-controlled company.
The ministry has recently identified various companies that have yet to prepare and submit their peat recovery legal documents with licensing characteristics the same as those of the two exposed Salim group palm oil companies.
Legally, regardless of whether they have committed peat violations or not, all palm oil companies whose concessions are located in peat ecosystems are required to prepare and submit peat recovery legal documents for approval by the ministry, as has been done by the aforementioned 200 palm oil companies so far.
For palm oil business groups controlling certain companies which have yet to prepare and submit peat recovery legal documents to the ministry, this is tantamount to their sustainability policy not meeting the standards of legal compliance.
The following photos show how PT SKL, another palm oil company controlled by the Salim group, cleared and drained peat forests at a time when it had yet to prepare and submit a peat recovery legal document for approval by the ministry.
Recent ground-based investigations by a ministry team in several spots demonstrated that the PT DRM and PT SKL palm oil concessions are dominated by deep peat, meaning that the ministry's peat ecosystem classification of major parts of these two concessions as peat protection zones is both appropriate and accurate.
In an update discussion with the ministry (Jul 4), it was explained that peat recovery legal documents serve as supervisory documents, used by the ministry to ensure that no more peat fires occur in the future, as well as to ensure that no further new peat development takes place, among other things.
As such, those palm oil companies which have yet to prepare and submit a peat recovery legal document for approval by the ministry are essentially avoiding the responsibility of making sure their concessions are not among the potential sources of future peat fires.
Furthermore, the absence of a peat recovery legal document indicates that these palm oil companies may still have plans for new peat development.
Unquestionably, the companies that have yet to prepare and submit legal peat recovery plans for approval by the ministry are a major source of embarrassment for the group that controls them, given that this group has made a declaration of no peat development and a commitment to peat-related legal compliance.