Peatland Restoration Agency ensure to investigate alleged violations committed by PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper ( RAPP ) in Pulau Padang, Meranti Islands regency, Riau .
“We are very serious, we must build a team with the Ministry of Environment thoroughly to investigate these allegations,” said Head of Peatland Restoration Agency, Nazir Foead to Tempo at his office on Thursday, September 8, 2016
RAPP is a subsidiary company of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings ( APRIL ), member of the Royal Golden Eagle ( RGE ) Group owned by Tanoto. Owners of industrial forest land concessions covering approximately 41 205 hectares were allegedly breaking new ground in the area of peat thickness is estimated at more than 3 meters, alias classified area protection functions. In a surprise inspection last Tuesday, Restoration Agency also found a new canal or drainage .
According to Nazir, the findings were reasonably suspected of violating Government Regulation No. 71 of 2014 on the Protection and Ecosystem Management Peat and outcomes cabinet meeting on October 23, 2015 the decision to prohibit the opening of new hotels throughout the peat. Article 9 of the regulation set peaty area with a depth of more than 3 meters must be protected.
In Article 26 mentioned every person is forbidden to clear land in peatland ecosystems with protection functions. Similarly, make drainage, burning, and perform other activities that result in damage to the ecosystem of peat.
“The sanction could be the revocation of licenses,” he said .
Today, Nazir plans to propose the creation of a joint team of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The team will conduct drilling to measure the depth of peat at RAPP concession. Similarly, the measurement will be made to the concession held by the company.
Because, according to him, the Agency for Restoration has long received complaints about the alleged companies grab land owned by citizens.
“The team will work about two weeks, we will immediately report all findings,” he said .
Alleged violations are also found Riau Peat Community Network ( JMGR ). The Secretary -General expresses his institution JMGR Isnadi Esman found indications RAPP is also working on forest and land owned by citizens Melibur Bagan, Pulau Padang. The region was allegedly not included in the map of forest tenure rights permit industrial plants were bagged RAPP.
“In addition to not respect community rights, peatland clearance and canalization very susceptible to trigger the fire, ” said Isnadi .
JMGR and Riau University had also conducted research in 2014 on land held RAPP. As a result, the thickness of the peat in Pulau Padang reach 5-12 meters. About 90 percent of the island is only 110 thousand hectares are peat.
“The government must take firm action against this company,” he said .
Corporate Communication Manager RAPP Djarot Handoko declined to comment on allegations of violations addressed to the company. But the day before, Djarot said the company’s operating permit in accordance with applicable rules.
“And in carrying out its activities, the company is always in coordination with stakeholders and always refer to the annual work plan, ” he said Wednesday.