Land disputes involved APP subsidiary filed to local government, parliament

EoF News / 30 April 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)--- A hearing between district legislative council (DPRD) of Kampar and PT Arara Abadi, a forestry company associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) last week disclosed that the subsidiary are sued by community for 16 land dispute cases covering 20,000 hectares totally in the province.

The hearing organized by Commission I of DPRD Kampar in Bangkinang unveiled 16 long-standing land disputes involving PT Arara Abadi which deeply concerned by the local parliamentarians, Riau Pos daily reported last weekend. "This matter should have not been deadlocked causing trouble to the community," said Juswari Umar Said, a legislator.

The Commission mulled to set up an independent team investigating the claims on the ground and coping with the problems.

The report broke down in details the land dispute including land tenure where the company converted it to acacia plantation such as claimed by cooperative in Koto Garo Taphil (1,000 ha), cooperative of Pantai Cermin Tapung (total 5,150 ha), Bencah Klubi (600 ha), Redzone Tapung (1,320 ha), and others.

PT Arara Abadi's spokesperson Afrizon said his company has made efforts to settle down the cases, but they are complicated due to other sides are behind the community. 

Meanwhile, Riau Terkini website reported last week that Riau Governor held a closed briefing with five district heads and a mayor to discuss PT Arara Abadi land disputes following widespread reports to the government lodged by communities protesting the company's land acquisition.

Pelalawan district head Azmun Jaafar said in his administration Arara Abadi has 12 land dispute cases covering 9,025 hectares. "In the briefing, it is agreed to set up a technical team by Riau Province Administration. This team will coordinate with district teams that their area have conflicts against Arara Abadi in a bid to solve the problems," Azmun said.