in Indonesia, Norway

Corruption, deforestation and abuse of human rights. Business as usual, then, for Indonesia

Corruption, deforestation and abuse of human rights. Business as usual, then, for Indonesia“Our green economic mantra is called ‘pro-growth, pro-job, pro-poor, pro-environment’ – and of course pro-business,” Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s President, told the Business for Environment Conference at the end of April 2011. “It’s a lot of balls to juggle with,” he added, leaving his Special Adviser on Climate Change, Agus Purnomo, with the difficult task of explaining what he was talking about.

The following day, Purnomo spoke at a CIFOR-hosted lunch on the side-lines of the Business for Environment Conference (or B4E, as it was called). He couldn’t bring himself to say “moratorium”, instead calling it the “M word” or the “M policy”. (After the moratorium came into force, he wrote an article titled, “How Indonesia can ensure sustainable growth,” in which he failed to mention the moratorium at all – or any other specific policies that might lead to a reduction in deforestation in Indonesia.) He did talk about juggling balls though. “I think the word balls refers to a lot of things,” he said, “including courage, er, the political, er, will that needs to be mobilised to come up with needed policies.”

“But the President and the also the government in general has to juggle a number of objectives, has to juggle a number of activities that have to go in parallel, from conserving the nature, conserving forests … along with 3,000, 5,000 officers of Ministry of Forestry would like to preserve the high quality pristine primary forest. We do commit on that.”

Purnomo also talked about compromise, which he described as the middle of the road between corporations lobbying for business as usual and the NGOs demanding meaningful action to stop the destruction of Indonesia’s forests. “In real life, no one will get everything that he or she wants,” he said. “There is always some give and some take… Let’s be realistic and take the more realistic options.”

Now that President Yudhoyono has issued an instruction bringing the moratorium into effect, we can see what Purnomo meant by “realistic options”. However, trying to find any element of compromise in the Presidential Instruction is considerably more difficult. The moratorium appears to have been written written by industry for industry.

A recent news piece on Al Jazeera (31 May 2011) highlights one of the key problems with the moratorium: Indonesia has a long record of handing out concessions, or allowing illegal logging, mining or plantations to continue, in forests that are supposed to be protected. The moratorium fails to address this by excluding existing concessions. The Al Jazeera piece focusses on Kalimantan and coal mining, but there are similar stories to be told in Sumatra and Papua:

The urgent need to investigate existing concessions, the complexities of land tenure and the levels of violence involved was highlighted last week, when Amnesty International released a report documenting an incident earlier this year in which Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers fired rubber bullets at a group of farmers at an oil palm plantation in Jambi, Central Sumatra. The land dispute between the farmers and palm oil company PT Kresna Duta Agroindo has been ongoing since 2006.

Two English language versions of the Presidential Instruction are now available. One translated by Pete Wood of Green Gecko is available below (reposted from CIFOR’s Forest Blog) and a second version, translated by Daemeter Consulting is available here (pdf file 209.5 kB).

Daemeter Consulting has produced an analysis of the Presidential Instruction (available here, pdf file 189.6 kB). The analysis includes a useful section on the “indicative map” that is part of the Presidential Instruction. The map was derived from a Ministry of Forestry interpretation of 2009 Landsat imagery, which is not in the public domain. Daemeter Consulting points out that the northern section of the Kerinci Seblat National Park is excluded from the indicative map.

Daemeter Consulting notes that emissions from conversion of secondary forest (which is excluded from the moratorium) could be as high as 100 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. “Future conversion of logged forest will therefore continue to be a major source of emissions for Indonesia,” the authors write.

Daemeter’s analysis explains the gaping loopholes in the moratorium:

In addition to the exemption of licences that have received “approval in principle”, those licences that are approaching expiration can also be extended, even if they occur on primary forest and/or peat lands as mapped (and would entail opening new areas). In this manner, a logging concession coming to the end of its term and possibly having nearly exhausted its harvestable timber could be extended and then transformed into a timber plantation (which would entail forest conversion) or an ecosystem restoration project exempted from the moratorium.

INSTRUCTION OF THE PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

NUMBER 10 YEAR 2011
REGARDING
POSTPONENT OF ISSUANCE OF NEW LICENCES

AND
IMPROVING GOVERNANCE OF PRIMARY NATURAL FOREST AND PEATLAND

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA,

In order to balance and harmonize economic, social, cultural and environmental development as well as the efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases carried out through reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, instructs:

To:
Minister of Forestry;
Minister of Home Affairs;
Minister of Environment;
Head of Presidential Unit for Monitoring and Controlling Development;
Head of State Lands Agency;
Head of National Spatial Planning Coordination Body;
Head of National Survey and Mapping Coordination Body;
Head of the Preparatory Unit for the Creation of REDD+ Institutions or the Head of an Institution created to carry out duties specifically in the field of REDD+;
Governors;
Heads of Districts/Cities;

To:

FIRST: Take the necessary steps in accordance with their duties, functions and authority to support postponement of the issuance of new licences for primary natural forest and peatland in conservation forests, protected forest, production forest (limited production forest, regular/permanent production forest, production forest that can be converted) and other use areas [area pengunaan lain] as indicated in the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences which is attached to this Presidential Instruction.

SECOND: The postponement of issuance of new licences as mentioned in dictum number ONE is applicable to the utilization of primary natural forest areas and peatland, with exception granted to:

a. Applications that have already been approved in principle by the Minister of Forestry;
b. Implementation of vital national development, i.e. geothermal, oil and natural gas, electricity, land for rice and sugar cane;
c. Extension of existing licences for forest exploitation and/or forest area utilization as long as the licence for the business remains valid, and
d. Ecosystem Restoration

THREE Especially to

1. Minister of Forestry:
a. To postpone issuance of new licences for primary natural forest and peatland which are in conservation forest, protected forest, production forest (limited production forest, regular/permanent production forest, production forest that can be converted) based on the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences.
b. Perfect the policies for the governance of borrow and use licences [izin pinjam pakai] and licences for the exploitation of timber in natural forest.
c. Increase effectiveness of the management of critical lands taking into consideration good forest and peat land governance policies, amongst others through ecosystem restoration.
d. To revise the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences in forest areas every 6 (six) months.
e. To enact the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences in primary natural forest and peatland in revised forest areas.

2. Minister of Environment:
To reduce emissions from forest and peatland through improvement of governance of proposed business activities in forest and peatland areas as determined in the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences through environmental permits.

3. Ministry of Internal Affairs:
To provide guidance and supervision to Governors and Heads of Districts/Cities in the implementation of this Presidential Instruction

4. Head of State Land Agency:
To postpone issuance of rights over land including business use licences [hak guna usaha] and utilization licences in other use areas based on the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences.

5. Head of Coordination for National Spatial Planning:
To accelerate consolidation of the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences with the revision of spatial planning maps as part of revising land use governance through collaboration with Governors, Heads of Districts/Cities, and the Head of the Preparatory Unit for the Creation of REDD+ Institutions or the Head of an Institution created to carry out duties specifically in the field of REDD+.

6. Head of National Survey and Mapping Coordination Body:
To renew the map of forest cover and peatland following the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences in forest areas and other use areas every 6 (six) months through collaboration with Ministry of Forestry, Head of State Land Agency, and Head of the Preparatory Unit for the Creation of REDD+ Institutions or the Head of an Institution created to carry out duties specifically in the field of REDD+.

7. Governors:
To postpone issuance of new recommendations and location permits in forest areas and peatland and other use areas based on the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences

8. Head of Districts/Cities:
To postpone issuance of new recommendations and location permits in forest areas and peatland and other use areas based on the Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences.

FOURTH: The Indicative Map of Postponement of New Licences in other use areas which are a result of revision as referred to in dictum THREE Point 6 will be enacted by the Minister of Forestry

FIFTH: Postponement of the issuance of new licences, recommendations, granting of location permits as referred to in dictum THREE will be done for 2 (two) years starting from the date this Presidential Instruction is issued.

SIXTH: The Minister of Forestry will report to the President on the implementation of the Presidential Instruction every 6 (six) months or any time as needed.

SEVENTH: The Head of the Presidential Working Unit for Monitoring and Control of Development and / or Head of the Preparatory Unit for the Creation of REDD+ Institutions or the Head of an Institution created to carry out duties specifically in the field of REDD+ are to monitor the implementation of this Presidential Instruction and report the result to the President

EIGHT: To implement the President Instruction with full responsibilities.

This Presidential Instruction is valid from the date of issue.

Issued in Jakarta
On 20 May 2011

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA,
Signed.
DR. H. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO

Copy is made according to the original

SECRETARIAT CABINET RI
Deputy of Economic Unit,
Signed.
Retno Pudji Budi Astuti

 

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