Non governmental organizations and civil society group network to rescue natural forest in Riau, Jikalahari, denounced Pelalawan District Head for ignoring community’s proposal to manage communal forest in Kampar Peninsula and critized his favoritism to pulp giant’s “greenwashing” project. Jikalahari issued a press release last week saying forestry corporate crime remained occur nowadays as the government and pulp company collaborate to foil divine aspiration proposed by residents of Semenanjung Kampar.


Jikalahari said that on May 30, Pelalawan District Head Muhammad Haris rejected a proposal of village forest that proposed by Pulau Muda and Teluk Meranti residents.


Around 12,360 hectares of forest was designated for Village Forest by the Minister of Forestry initially following a proposal submitted by four villages in Pelalawan.


“We call on Pelalawan District Head to be on side of community since the District Head can recommend ending up permit process by PT Gemilang Citra Nusantara [an APRIL affiliated company],” Muslim Rasyid, coordinator of Jikalahari, said last week.


Jikalahari accused PT RAPP, an APRIL subsidiary, of targeting REDD+ ambitiously just for its green wash campaign by running the Ecosystem Restoration project proposed by PT Gemilang Citra Nusantara (GCN).


“As if by implementing RE [Ecosystem Restoration] they have saved Riau’s forest. Whereas PT RAPP is one of companies destroying forest in Riau,” Muslim said.


Meanwhile, Raflis of Transparency International Indonesia of Riau Chapter analyzed that favoritism shown by the District Government over the company possibly drove further corrupt practice.


“The corrupt practice possibly to happen in this case is information manipulation which will benefit to a certain side [in this case is the company], while it will cause loss to another one [community,” Raflis said.


On the other hand, as PT GCN, the APRIL affiliated company, proposed a permit for Restoration Ecosystem forest management by size of 19,674 hectares, the District Head immediately endorsed it by issuing a recommendation letter, Jikalahari said.


“It is suspected that a policy issued by breaching some rules will correlate strongly to corrupt practices accompanying it,” Raflis said.