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Rimba Raya REDD project: Response from Greenomics Indonesia to Infinite Earth’s statement

Last week, REDD-Monitor wrote about a Greenomics Indonesia report that questioned whether the Rimba Raya REDD project in Indonesia has the necessary approvals from the government of Indonesia. Infinite Earth, the project developer, responded by refuting the Greenomics Indonesia report.

Now Greenomics Indonesia has responded to Infinite Earth’s response. Greenomics Indonesia’s statement is posted here in full:

Infinite-Earth must respect and understand the letters issued by two Directors General of the Ministry of Forestry, in which the current status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project is explained and clarified.

  1. If there had been no legally baseless claims regarding the Rimba Raya Conservation Project (Infinite-Earth), the letters in question would not have been issued by two Directors General of the Ministry of Forestry. The letters, respectively dated 13 June 2013 and 18 June 2013 and addressed to PT Rimba Raya Conservation (RRC), were issued so as to correct the information contained in the press release and claims on the Rimba Raya Conservation Project that were published in various international media outlets. Thus, in response to the Infinite-Earth statement claiming that the report by Greenomics Indonesia is incorrect, we can only conclude that Infinite-Earth has not received the letters of the Directors General that explain the most recent legal status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project, or that Infinite-Earth has failed to properly understand the purport of the two letters.
  2. Infinite-Earth should note that the Greenomics Indonesia report was based on these two letters and explanations furnished by the Directors General on the latest legal status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project. Further, Greenomics Indonesia engaged in direct consultations and verifications with the Directors General. It is inconceivable that either of the two letters could be legally or contextually incorrect in their descriptions of the current status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project. Accordingly, it is an exaggeration and entirely without basis for Infinite-Earth to assert that the Greenomics Indonesia report is legally or contextually incorrect, unless, of course, Infinite-Earth has not yet received the letters of the Directors General or, alternatively, has deliberately ignored their content.
  3. The Greenomics Indonesia report was never intended to undermine the reputation of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project. Absolutely not. The letters of the Directors General were issued specifically in response to the press release and claims of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project that were published in various international media for the sole purpose of clarifying the current status of the project. The two letters were in no way intended to tarnish the image of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project. Furthermore, the Greenomics Indonesia report has nothing whatsoever to do with enhancing the reputation of Greenomics Indonesia as it was only published after we received the letters of the Directors General clarifying the current status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project. Consequently, we would encourage Infinite-Earth to carefully study the letters of the Directors General.
  4. Should Infinite-Earth have already studied the two letters in question, it would be better off consulting directly with the Directors General rather than claiming that the Greenomics Indonesia report is incorrect, given that the Greenomics Indonesia report was drafted based on the said two letters. If indeed Infinite-Earth has not received the two letters, then it should have pointed this out in its statement.

  5. As regards the incorporation of more than 18,000 hectares of the Tanjung Puting National Park in the Rimba Raya Conservation Project, Infinite-Earth should acknowledge that the Ministry of Forestry rejected PT Rimba Raya Conservation’s proposal to change the boundaries of the national park so as to convert the more than 18,000 hectares into permanent production forest in order to facilitate PT Rimba Raya Conservation in obtaining an ecosystem restoration license. Infinite-Earth should explain to the public the current situation in this respect. Consequently, we would once again urge Infinite-Earth to carefully study the letters of the Directors General, which were issued specifically for the purpose of clarifying the most recent status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project.
  6. The Greenomics Indonesia report states that more than 60% of the area targeted for the Rimba Raya Conservation Project is not actually slated for the development of palm oil plantations. Infinite-Earth needs to have regard to the legal aspects of the proposed land allocation, given that, as stated above, more than 60% of the area targeted for the Rimba Raya Conservation Project cannot legally be converted into palm oil plantations. Accordingly, once again we would ask that Infinite-Earth carefully study the letters of the Directors General clarifying the current legal status of the areas targeted by the Rimba Raya Conservation Project.
  7. Infinite-Earth should not be upset that Greenomics Indonesia did not inquire first with them as to the latest status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project. As a civil society organization, it is Greenomics Indonesia’s duty to verify the information contained in the statements and press release of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project with the Indonesian authorities, in this case, two Directorates General of the Ministry of Forestry. During the course of the verification process, both Directors General felt that it was necessary to write to PT Rimba Raya Conservation in order to clarify the most recent legal status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project.
  8. We believe that these two letters provide a more than adequate basis for our report. Bearing in mind that Infinite-Earth is not an authorized party, Infinite-Earth has no right or basis for unilaterally claiming that the Greenomics Indonesia report is incorrect, especially given that the said report was based on letters issued by two Directors General of the Ministry of Forestry. Instead, Infinite-Earth should have had regard to the contents of these two letters in explaining the current status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project to the public.

In conclusion, as the Rimba Raya Conservation Project operates within the territory of Indonesia, we would ask Infinite-Earth to respect and take on board what the said two letters have to say about the current legal status of the Rimba Raya Conservation Project.

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  1. I am involved with REDD+ research work in North-East India..I desire international discussion on the issue…Regards ,Rupam Kumar Gogoi,Milan Nagar,E-Lane,M.N.Road,P.O.C.R.Building,Dist: Dibrugarh,State:Assam,Country :India
    M:+919706646150