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Deforestation and investment permit overlapping in Papua Province

SAYA KOMEN!!!

Forest clearing for oil palm plantation, West Papua, 11 November 2015 – Courtesy of Sophie Chao

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan Legislator Decky Nawipa questioned the responsibilities of timber and plantation companies operating in Papua for reforestation or replanting areas where timber has been logged.

According to the rules, he said it is an obligation.

“That is based on regulation, if we conducted logging, we have to plant the trees again; reforestation, it should be checked how far it applied in Papua,” said Decky to Jubi, last weekend.

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He called related institutions, to do maximum supervision. He said, if there are companies refused to carry out their obligations then their license should be revoked.

“We have to check on the field, whether the companies have been reforested or not,” he said.

Papua forest is among the forests that breathe the lungs of the world today. For that, all parties must guard it. Otherwise the Papua forest will be exhausted like forests in other provinces in Indonesia.

“In Indonesia, Papua is a province that still has a large forest area and must be maintained, all parties must play a role, especially the government in supervising,” he said.

Noting the alarming situation, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe critically said that forests in Southern Papua are mostly dominated by foreign and local investors.

“The southern forestry is largely under the control of investors, especially because the previous Regent has issued permits,” Lukas Enembe said recently.

According to him, in ​​Boven Digoel and Asiki area there has been a tremendous deforestation and it caused by the previous given permit.

“I have traveled around and seen thousands of hectares have been cleared because of the regulation we handed over to districts/municipalities so that local authorities arbitrary issued permission,” he said.

Overlapping permits

Overlapping permits in forest utilization in Papua have been suspected to open illegal logging entrances.

Decky Nawipa who is also a member of Commission IV of the House in charge of mining and forestry, said that logging and forest clearing permits are not processed through ‘one door’.

There are permits issued by districts, provinces, and central government. That is why permit overlapping is possible or one timber companies can bag two to three permits.

“Companies that pocketed more than one permit, exploit the widest possible forest area to cut timber,” said Decky.

He pointed out, permit from the regency is not more than one hectare of forest, but permits issued by the province or central government is more than that. The companies can use permit from province and central government to keep expanding the clearance or lodging.

The solution he suggest is to establish ‘one door’ system to issue permit. That permits issued only by one level of authorities, whether provincial, regency or central government.

To that, Lukas Enembe prefers that management of various business licenses, including forestry management, is in the province. This is because the Papua Provincial Government wants to protect 90 percent of Papua’s forests.

“From now on the regents can no longer give any business permits, let alone directly related to Papua’s forests,” Enembe said recently.

Enembe confirmed that the government will not issue permit if it destruct the forest. He claimed to have written to the Ministry of Forestry to stop the 13 out of 25 permits of forest products utilization in natural forests (IUPHHK-HA) in Papua or IUPHHK-HA, with cover’s area consist of ​​2,083,091 hectares.

“Now all the business permits should be issued in the level of province, districts shall only give recommendations,” he said. (*)

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