In a victory for the protection of peatlands in Indonesia, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) won the lawsuit filed by PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (PT RAPP) at the State Administrative Court (PTUN) Jakarta, Thursday 21/12.
PT RAPP, controlled by the paper giant APRIL, part of the Sukanto Tanoto conglomerate Royal Golden Eagle Group, brought to court and demanded the revocation of the Ministerial Decree on Cancellation of Business Work Plan (RKU) numbered SK.5322 / MenLHK-PHPL / UPL.1 / 10/2017.
“The applicant’s petition is unacceptable,” said Chief Judge Oenoen Pratiwi accompanied by a hammer knock on the Jakarta Court.
The trial was held for 30 minutes and was attended by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and by RAPP. Judge Oenoen said the RAPP can still file a review to the Supreme Court.
The application of the lawsuit was filed by RAPP to Jakarta Administrative Court on November 16, 2017 with case number 17 / P / FP / 2017 / PTUN-JKT. The first hearing was held on 27 November.
The annual working plan of PT RAPP for the use of industrial timber forest products for 2010-2019 was canceled by the Ministry. The Minister of Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya asked PT RAPP to comply with the rules, including peat regulations, as other companies also must do.
The Ministry warns PT RAPP against planting acacia in protected areas in the peat ecosystem. The Ministry did not revoke the entire license, and there is no direct threat to the employee’s employment. The can still plant in the authorised areas.
Since the annual working plan was suspended by the ministry, PT RAPP threatened to stop all plantation operations. The company under the control of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) claims to have invested up to Rp100 trillion, consisting of Rp85 trillion to support the industry downstream program, and a new investment of Rp15 trillion to build paper and rayon factories.
Meanwhile, Minister Siti said that the government’s stance against PT RAPP’s working plan is an effort to protect the peat ecosystem in Indonesia. This includes minimizing the potential for forest and peat fires, as well as maintaining hydrological functions of the peat in order to keep them wet.