APP canal in Kampar against the law: official

EoF News / 23 May 2008

PEKANBARU (EoF News)— Siak District Administration has reportedly warned an Asia Pulp & Paper affiliated company, PT Arara Abadi, who built canals in Kampar Peninsula forest block as it is allegedly against the Environment Law, a daily newspaper reported Tuesday (20/5/2008).

The environmental impact assessment agency of Siak District responded the complaints lodged by community of Sungai Rawa village over ecological damage caused by canal built by PT Arara Abadi, a pulpwood plantation company belongs to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), Tribun Pekanbaru daily reported (20/5/2008).

The villagers complained that the canal made by PT Arara Abadi flowing to the river and also has inundated their traditional plantation.

Head of Siak’s environmental assessment agency, Hasri Saily, said that his team along with company, community, the Village Head of Sungai Rawa, the Siak Forestry Service, the Sungai Apit sub-district head, and NGO had visited the canal that protested by the community.

The team concluded that the canal that dug on peatland obviously against the Environment Law due to the flow of canal end in the river. This condition would contaminate the river of Kampar which used by the fishermen and incite floods disaster in the village.

“The making of canal on peatland technically should have been managed by specification or specific management. This has not been done by the company,” Hasri said as quoted by Tribun Pekanbaru (20/5/2008) as saying.

This week the team would observe the loss suffered by villager farmers as they complain their plantations are drowned by floods caused by canal made by the APP’s affiliated company, the daily reported.

Hasri said that the Siak administration has submitted two warning letters to PT Arara Abadi by urging the company to comply with the Environmental Law number 23 on 1997 and Minister of Environment Regulation number 15 year 2007.

Despite the warning, the company has not responded them yet, said the official. The agency would send the third one before taking a stern action against the company based on the Environment Law, Hasri said.

Meanwhile, PT Arara Abadi’s spokesperson told Tribun Pekanbaru that they did not receive any warning letter from the agency.

Eyes on the Forest coalition have investigated the logging road and canal construction by APP in Kampar Peninsula connecting two villages, Sungai Rawa and Teluk Lanus. EoF has requested the information on permit allowing the construction of the 64-km logging road and canals in the area to APP management, but the company seemingly failed to do so.

Tribun Pekanbaru daily reported (28/4/2008) that villagers of Sungai Rawa have seized speedboat belongs to PT Arara Abadi’s contractor in April this year before handing it over to the local police as the people were frustrated with the canal damaging their traditional plantations.


EoF Investigative Report March 2008 on APP Logging Road in Kampar Peninsula