Palm fruit illegally grown inside critical wildlife areas continues to taint palm oil entering the supply chains of 24 global traders and brands who have made zero deforestation commitments, an Eyes on the Forest (EoF) report published today found. The protected areas lost to illegal palm oil plantations include some of the last habitats for critically endangered Sumatran elephants, tigers and orangutans in Indonesia.
PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), major concession of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), was found clearing natural forest in its concession of district/sector Ukui, Tesso Nilo landscape, Riau province.
The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, accompanied by the Minister of Forestry and Environment Siti Nurbaya, came to Riau province last week to monitor the burned forest areas that caused haze in Sungai Tohor village, Meranti Islands District, media reported.
EoF warns today that purchasing screens need to be installed urgently at all transfer points in the chain-of-custody from the production of oil palm fruit (fresh fruit bunches/FFB) to the final product. Illegally produced FFB appears to enter national and global supply chains much too easily.
Joint military operation in Giam Siak Kecil (GSK) Biosphere Reserve, Bukit Batu, Bengkalis Riau, in late last month revealed the involvement of two former police chiefs, a high-ranking TNI-AU (air force), as well as a number of police and military service members and government officials on the encroachement of the internationally recognized protected area. The area is always burnt annually then converted to plantations, media reported.
Fires hotspots likely got its peak this month on Tuesday (27 August) seeing the 5th largest number of hotspots (758) recorded since 1 June this year, as 26% of that found inside the Tesso Nilo complex.
Three excavators owned by a supplier of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) , PT Rimba Lazuardi (RL), in Pelalawan District were burned by hundreds of local people on Sunday, July 7th 2013, following a land conflict between the company and local society amid intensifying tense since the last two months, media reported.
Sumatra’s Riau province is suffering Indonesia’s worst fire season in recent years with serious smoke choking the region and neighboring Singapore and southern Malaysia. Eyes on the Forest has been tracking forest and land cover change and those who drive it in Riau since the early 1990s.
A recent estimation by WWF- Indonesia shows that there have been over 100 dead elephants found in Riau, Sumatra, since 2004, where truly law enforcement is needed urgently, the environmental NGO said last week.
Fifteen wild Sumatran elephants had been killed in Riau province since January this year following the deaths of three female elephants in Tesso Nilo forest block as officials believed they were poisoned.
Another wild Sumatran elephant was found dead in Tesso Nilo National Park, in Riau Province, increasing the dead toll to six elephants in recent three months. The latest elephant was found dead in Sungai Tapa near the Park’s Flying Squad trained elephants camp on 31 May, reports said.
Asia Pulp and Paper is still clearcutting tropical rainforest as realities found by Eyes on the Forest investigation in the company’s subsidiary, PT Arara Abadi of district Nilo, in Tesso Nilo forest block, Sumatra’s Riau Province.
PEKANBARU (EoF News)— Majority of forest and land fires in Riau Province recently detected by satellite from 17 January to 28 January 2009 occurred in peatlands where hotspots found in several concessions of pulpwood plantations (HTI) and palm oil. Protected Area (Kawasan Lindung) and proposed expansion of Tesso Nilo National Park were also raged by fires, Eyes on the Forest analyzed.
Pekanbaru (EoF News)-- Several environmental NGOs and organizations in Riau have issued a joint statement Thursday here urging the law enforcers to probe the Tesso Nilo assault incident and bring the culprits to the justice.
Pekanbaru (EoF News)— A team of multistakeholders of preventing rampant encroachment in Tesso Nilo forest block, Riau, were ambushed and attacked by mob of encroachers last week. A WWF-Indonesia staff was wounded being overwhelmed by the encroachers whom provoked by W, a district forestry service staff.
Pekanbaru (EoF News) -- Pelalawan District administration is accused of supporting rampant encroachment practice in proposed Tesso Nilo National Park as it issued KTP identified cards for encroachers originating from other provinces. The migrants then dwelled in newly-inhabited illegal Toro village. Coordinator of Jikalahari (Riau NGOs network for forest rescue) Zulfahmi said the government should prevent migrants entering defunct HPH selective logging concession granted to PT Nanjak Makmur due to they encroach the proposed Tesso Nilo National Park extension land. “Because they just conduct illegal encroachment,” he said as quoted by Riau Terkini website Tuesday.
(Pekanbaru, EoF News) -- Environmentalists urged law enforcers in Pelalawan district to continue to prosecute scores of legal actions that they feared to be dark numbers. As deforestation escalates in Tesso Nilo forest, Riau, due to rampant encroachment and forest fires, law enforcement should be upheld urgently, they said. Tesso Nilo National Park (TNNP) and its proposed extension partly included in Pelalawan district where several forest crime cases occurred. The Pelalawan police have detained a person named Jaspun as a suspect for selling 10,000-hectare land inside the proposed national park.
Pekanbaru (EoF News) – At least 60 hectares of Tesso Nilo National Park is raged by fires amid raids conducted by the Riau Provincial Natural Conservation Agency (BKSDA) confiscating heavy equipments used by encroachers. Meanwhile, four people who were alleged as encroachers detained by the police of Pelalawan sector in selective logging concession of PT Siak Raya Timber.
Despite the officials in Riau claimed that hotspots detected by satellite has vanished, fires still occur inside Tesso Nilo forest on Monday as observed by WWF monitoring officer. The fires are currently set by the encroachers that occurred in coordinate point of South 00.04.38.9 and East 101. 47. 40. 9 (see picture 1 ).
Pekanbaru, KOMPAS-- Rampant illegal logging practices in Riau have placed the province on the top list of provinces in Indonesia with the highest rate of illegal timber export, beside Kalimantan and Papua. Every month about 126,000 cubic meters of illegal timber are exported to Malaysia from this province alone.