SIPEF, Belgian companies with leading oil palm commodities have a deforestation footprint in the Air Manjunto Forest. Deforestation is carried out by a subsidiary of the SIPEF Group, PT (company). Agromuko which is under management under Tolan Tiga Indonesia Group. PT. Agromuko, an oil palm company with the largest HGU (Cultivation Rights) ownership in Bengkulu Province with a total of HGU concessions of 28,615 ha (BPN; 2016). The HGU permit is located in four subdistricts, namely Lubuk Pinang District, Pondok Suguh District, Teras Terunjam District and Teramang Jaya District, Mukomuko Sub-Province.
Companies incorporated in SIPEF Group was first to get permission HGU during the Soeharto regime, precisely in 1989. Here are details of permission PT. Agromuko based on data from the National Land Agency (Badan Pertanahan Nasional) of Bengkulu Province in 2016 then:
|NO||LICENSE NUMBER (HGU)||AREA (HA)||DATE END|
The areal consists six estate :
|Nama Estate||Luas (ha)|
|Tanah Rekah Estate||2.100|
|Sungai Betung Estate||1.515|
|Talang Petai Estate||2.270|
|Air Buluh Estate||2.500|
|Bunga Tanjung Estate||2.903|
|Air Bikuk Estate||1.410|
|Sungai Kiang Estate||2.185|
Source : Korsup KPK
Through PT. Agromuko, SIPEF Group is doing deforestation precisely in the Sungai Betung Estate area. An area of 1,212 ha Air Manjunto limited production forest (HPT) was encroached by Agromuko and has been planted with oil palm since 2000. Legally, the Air Manjunto Production Forest Area has been designated as a forest area in Bengkulu province with limited production forest functions in 1985 through a Ministerial Decree Forestry Number 383 / Kpts-II / 1985 in 1985, set boundaries in 1986,1990 and 1993, then it was determined to be a limited production area of Air Manjunto forest (Reg. 62) in 1998 with the issuance of a Decree of the Minister of Forestry Number 313 / Kpts-II / 1998.
Evidence of deforestation is shown by the release of the results of an integrated team investigation formed by the Forestry Service in MukomukoSub-ProvinceBut the political struggle of interest finally made the head of the Forestry Service at that time step down from its position and the deforestation case of PT. Agromuko stopped. There are no legal actions for forestry crimes committed by the SIPEF subsidiary.
Not until that, in July, 2010 the government of Mukomuko Sub-Province proposed a change of 98,386 ha of forest area into another Allocation Area (APL). Encroachment 1,215 ha PT.Agromuko is one of the forests proposed to be released from state forest. The Ministry of Forestry granted the request of the government Mukomuko Sub-Province by issuing a Decree of the Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia No; SK.643 / Menhut-II / 2011 dated 21 November 2011 which decided to reduce the status of the area to a conversion production forest covering an area of 2,329 ha. After that, in 2012 the Ministry of Forestry also issued a decree withSK.784 / Menhut-II / 2012 dated 27 December 2012 concerning Amendments to the Decree of the Minister of Forestry and Plantation Number: 420 / KPTS-II / 1999 dated 15 June 1999 concerning the Appointment of ForestAreas in Province of Bengkulu Province.
We view this decline in the status of forest areas carried out by the government as a legitimate scenario for forest crime committed by PT. Agromuko.
Even though the status of the limited production forest area of Air Majunto register 62 has been reduced to conversion production forest, PT. Agromuko still cannot do plantation activities in the area. Plantation activities can be carried out if the state forest area with the status of the conversion production forest has been released into another Allocation Area. Until now we still find field facts that show plantation activities in the forest area. Occupied labor camps, oil palm plants that are still quite well maintained and even at some point we found PT. Agromuko has been replenishing as in the coordinatesof 2o35’23.56 “S(South)-101o20’46.43” T(east)and 2o35’5.32 “S101o21’0.80 T”.
SIPEF, Through PT. Agromuko is indicated to carry out RSPO lying of the data
We have also carried out an analysis of the RSPO documents owned by PT. Agromuko and we found lying data in the map of the plantation location of PT. Agromuko, the overlapping area of the SEI Betung Estate HGU in the forest area, is indicated by the presence of HGU stakes at 02o34’15.30 “S-101o22’44.10” T not accommodated on the location map. The point of the HGU permit was cut, so that only the HGU-U permit section was displayed.31 which did not overlap with the forest area and PT. Agromuko claims that there are no more permit areas that overlap with forest areas. The lie was then legitimized by the RSPO certificate without conducting direct verification in the field whether the company was clear and clean in accordance with the criteria and principles setout in the RSPO.
Limited Production Forest,airManjunto is a high conservation value area
Ecologically, PT. Agromuko has high conservation value. Even though the status of the forest area is reduced to conversion production forest, there is no change innatural services. This area is upstream from the Sungai Betung which is the place where village communities carry out domestic activities, such as bathing and washing. This river and several other rivers whose upstream is also located in a limited production forest area Air Manjunto wrapped around the city of Mukomuko and flowed into the open ocean. That is, if this hydrological system is damaged, it will cause large floods along the area that the river passes through.
This area is also a buffer zone area of Kerinci Seblat National Park. National parks that become world heritage sites. In 2012, when Genesis conducted a participatory patrol in the limited production forest area of Air Manjunto and Production Forest of Air Dikit to Kerinci Seblat National Park with the village community, the team found traces of tigers in the HP(production forest.