By: Rahmawati Retno Winarni & Jalal *
There are many environmental events that have occurred throughout 2017. But among the events, it seems that the dispute between PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, in particular the Ministry of Environment and Forests (KLHK) is one of the event that took the attention of the environmental movement.
Following large forest and land fires in 2015, at the end of 2016 the Government of Indonesia issued Government Regulation (PP) No. 57/2016 on Peatland Ecosystem Management. The PP includes mandating peat restoration for concessions land for various companies, especially plantations and industrial forests (HTI). The Peat Restoration Agency said that of the 2.4 million hectares of peatlands to be restored, 1.4 million hectares are located in the concession area.
It is not easy to solve. The idea is with land swap or replacement land for concessions area that are affected by the PP. However, at the beginning of November 2017 there were only 12 revisions of Business Work Plan (RKU) with replacement land, that have been completed and approved by KLHK. In fact, there are 85 HTI companies that must submit a revision.
Instead of making RKU revisions that comply with the PP, RAPP chose another action that made it unpopular, especially among the environmental movement society. RAPP went to Administrative Court Jakarta to request the cancellation of the Decree of the Minister of Environment number SK.5322 /MenLHK-PHPL/UHP/HPL.1/10/2017 which concludes that RAPP’s RKU revision has not fully fulfilled the PP and therefore the RKU was canceled. On December 21, 2017, the Administrative Court ruled that KLHK won the case and the Minister’s decree shall remain valid.