Ensuring Smoke Free Value Chain of Agroforestry

By : Aldo Bella Putra | Monday, July 24 2017 - 07:05 IWST

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INDUSTRY.co.id - Jakarta - A question from one of the bank staff in Singapore amid warm talks between different citizens at a round table in Singapore The 4th World Sustainable Tourism Dialogue held by Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) in Singapore on Thursday (6/4), "Who exactly is burning?" If you want to guess whether the question can be easily answered, but if you want to get a real answer would need to wait for legal process of each case of forest and land fires (karhutla) Law in Indonesia.

Law enforcement officers from the Police to Civil Service Investigators (PPNS) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), including judges in Indonesian courts have been arresting, investigating, prosecuting, and sentencing verdicts against karhutla actors. In accordance with President Joko Widodo's order, the cruel acts of the perpetrators of the crime that caused the catastrophic smoke that claimed the loss of life.

Not only dragged the perpetrators to the prison, recently the Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya sanctioned the three companies of Industrial Plantation Forest (HTI) which became the subsidiary of two pulp and paper giants namely Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL).

LHK minister gives administrative sanction for government coercion because they do the preparation and planting in burnt area which based on Law Number 32 Year 2009 on Management and Environmental Protection can no longer be planted. Sanctions are also given because they do not have the optimal facilities and infrastructure for coping karhutla, opening and making new channels.

These companies include PT Bumi Andalas Permai (BAP) in South Sumatra, PT Sekato Pratama Makmur (SPM) in Riau, both of which are timber suppliers for PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper Tbk. Under APP and PT RAPP Pelalawan Estate operate in Riau which become RAPP wood supplier under APRIL.

Director General of Law Enforcement KLHK Rasio Ridho Sani said the three companies must stop all activities at the former site on fire and pull out all the acacia trees that are continuously embedded, stop the canal making and have to hoard it back. If all is not executed then more severe sanctions will be given.

Still in connection with efforts to prevent the re-emergence of karhutla, KLHK also recently instructed all canal construction by PT Mohairson Pawan Khatulistiwa in Sungai Putri peatland area, West Kalimantan, to be stopped because it was included in Indikatif Map of Peat Restoration. The company that owns the Timber Forest Product Utilization Permit (IUPHHK) works in the deep peatlands and becomes the habitat of orangutans.

Holistic collaboration it is no easy matter to ensure that there will be no smoke in the future, even though ASEAN member countries have set smoke-free targets by 2020. However, many actors in Southeast Asia should play a role in supporting government measures to stop the smoke disaster which affects the health and social life of the community.

Commitments from non-government actors, from agroforestry from upstream to downstream, banking and other financial institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research institutes, academia to communities must exist. They should together ensure that the agroeconomic value chain of production in the Southeast Asian region is free of smoke.

Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli is pleased with the progress achieved by various stakeholders in the past year in an effort to encourage sustainable development in the agro-forestry sector.

However, there are many big companies and financial institutions from Singapore that operate and fund agro-forestry business in Indonesia, one of them is Cargill and Temasek.

It is not enough just to declare a commitment to sustainability; he urges the concrete action of these Singaporean firms and financial institutions to secure their upstream supply chain supply given the difficulty of understanding the agro-commodity commodities.

A recent report from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) on illegal activities on UNESCO's UNESCO rainforest world site in Sumatra raised Nestle's concerns about upstream palm oil products, preventing the purchase of supplier products that are suspected of not running sustainable practices.

Only with such vigilance, according to him, will continue to be able to make suppliers accountable, sort out bad players and so on, so that everything can move towards sustainable and reputable agro-forestry sectors.

South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin who also attended the 4th Singapore Dialogue said his government is very open to cooperation with partners to prevent karhutla happening again in the region.

Around 162 villages, according to him, have been trained and equipped with equipment to anticipate karhutla in the early stages. Not immediately satisfied with the success of reducing the number of hotspots in 2016, then the coordination of all sectors, commitment and strong leadership to ensure the fire does not reappear must remain in 2017.

Alex said the 1st Asia Bonn Challenge High Level Roundtable Meeting to be held in South Sumatra on 9 to 10 May 2017 showed his government opening up to restore degraded forest and peatlands in 2015, as well as to prevent the occurrence of karhutla resulting in haze.

Director of World Resources Institute (WRI) Indonesia Nirarta Samadhi said karhutla is closely related to the weakness of land governance which among others caused by inaccurate data information, in this case is the map. The purpose of the map is one of them to improve the quality of information earlier.

If the quality of information is good then many things that, including land governance, according to him, can be improved. "If it is known the point of one belonging to whom and other points who and who is responsible will be easy and quick to overcome karhutla".

And if it is linked to the concession map, it says KLHK has the right to request a 1: 50,000 scale concession map from the company as it becomes one of the requirements in licensing. Borderline determination also needs to be billed to the company so that land overlapping issues can be completed.

If it is all clear then, according to Nirartha, the control over the occurrence of karhutla especially in the concession area will be suppressed.

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