Recent observation by Eyes on the Forest coalition had confirmed that PT Sumatera Riang Lestari in block Rupat still clearcut protected species, Ramin tree (Gonystylus sp), similar to the thorough investigation in 2010. In a trip to Rupat Island, of Bengkalis district last week, EoF along with media organizations found that ramin trees felled by this Asian Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) timber supplier.
EoF is going to publish a report of the findings. Ramin species internationally protected since 2003 by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Indonesian Government has banned all products derived from Ramin tree and its processed product. EoF has reported an investigation in concession of PT SRL Blok Rupat last year that the APRIL affiliated company clearcut forest in deep peat of small island which bordered to Malaysia and a critical spot for Raptors migration from Malay Peninsula.
In November 2011, violence broke out in the island as locals burned down excavators of the company due to protest on the logging in peat drainage in the plantations that managed and claimed by the community as their property. â€œWhat we really want PT SRL to do is just leave our managed plantations,â€ said Iskandar, a spokesperson of community in Rupat Island who comes from Pergam village. He also regretted that PT SRL still clearcut the forest despite unsettled conflict was in deadlock as Pergam villagers alone struggle to defend their 5,000 land that taken by the APRILâ€™s timber supplier. Commenting on Ramin destruction, Secretary General of Riau Peat Community Network (JMGR), Irsyadul Halim, condemned PT SRL and urged civil society to file complaint to the police. â€œWhat EoF coalition finds during the trip should be lodged to the authority,â€ he said as quoted by Gurindam12 website as saying (1 April). Zainuri Hasyim of Independent Forestry Monitoring Network of Riau Chapter said that PT SRL has breached the rules and guidelines in managing operation in their concession. He said that based on the finding, certificate of sustainable production forest management (PK-PHPL) that obtained by PT SRL in 2011 could be revoked by the Ministry of Forestry who should take stern measure against the company.