In December 2015 the Indonesian President signed a new regulation regulation on peat protection. The regulation and the related implementation rules issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry forbid any new canal developments on peatlands. Last month, a ministry inspection found that Asia Pulp & paper supplier PT. Sekato Pratama Makmur (PT. SPM) was opening a new canal in peat soil. The PT. SPM concession is in the Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu landscape in Sumatra’s Riau province, a critical area declared UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve
The reserve houses around 189 species of plants, 29 of which are classified as endangered under CITES, Appendix 1 and 3.Several species of animals found in the reserve are classified as endangered under CITES Appendix 1 including the Sumatran elephant and Sumatran tiger.
“This new canal construction is a flagrant violation of the newly-revised government regulation (on peat protection),” Karliansyah, the Ministry’s Director General of Pollution and Environmental Damage Control, said to Foresthints.news.
This is the most blatant violation of peat regulations by an APP supplier, following a list f at least 5 cases of conflicts between APP suppliers an the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry about illegal planting of acacia on burned peat.