Government warns over 5 HPH concessions

EoF News / 11 January 2007

PEKANBARU (EoF News)—  The Government has warned five companies granting selective logging concession (HPH) as they were judged unproductive on such forests they should work on. Director General of Forestry Production Management, Hadi Susanto Pasaribu, said Wednesday that the Ministry of Forestry would give an opportunity for the warned companies to improve their management within six months from now on. “Unless, their licenses will be revoked,” he said as quoted by Bisnis Indonesia daily as saying.
Hadi Pasaribu declined to disclose names of companies that the Ministry sent such an ultimatum. “Let’s wait for their response following the warning letter,” he said and refused to specify the companies. In Riau, HPH concessions abandoning by their grantees are prone to rampant encroachment, illegal logging and open burning as occurred in Tesso Nilo forest where PT Siak Raya Timber, PT Nanjak Makmur and PT Hutani Sola Lestari abandoned their concession forest.  In another development, the Ministry’s Secretary General, Boen Purnama, said Tuesday that the government has issued revised regulation on forestry that already signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last week.
The newly-issued Government Regulation (Peraturan Pemerintah) Number 6 Year 2007 would allow forestry business to obtain HPH and HTI concessions through selection conducted by the ministry. Boen said there will be no more auctions to gain forestry concession, but through proposal forwarded to the Minister of Forestry. The Regulation Number 6/2007 on Forestry Management and Utilization Planning consequently annulled PP Number 34 Year 2002, he said as reported by Investor Daily and Bisnis Indonesia on Wednesday. The new rule would also eliminate five-yearly basis RKL (Five-yearly Working Plan) requirement for obtaining logging license. “RKL is omitted. It will be enough with forestry enterprise license and annual working plan (RKT), Boen said. 
Through the new rule, the government also annuls HTI (industrial timber plantation) bidding requirement in an attempt to encourage community’s participation in managing forest timbers. Small operators including cooperative and community group are allowed to propose for HTI concession to manage 15 hectares of forest at minimum.  The rule is not retroactive for HTI concession granted through bid. The Regulation would simplify certification process for valid forest timber (SKSHH) where HTI companies only required showing “transportation invoice document” for carrying timber at the checkpoints.