Pungkat conflict first case investigated by PPKA, KSP
Jakarta, September 28th 2017 –
After protests from villagers and pressure from WALHI and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, the land conflict between the village of Pungkat and palmoil company PT.SAL is the first case to be investigated by the PPKA.
The long journey of Pungkat villagers in maintaining their community based management forest has come to a light after the visit of Hernawaty, a resident of Pungkat Village accompanied by ED WALHI Riau and National Executive WALHI to the Office of Presidential Staff (KSP). The meeting which was held at the State Palace Complex was warmly welcomed by Vice Chairman of the Team of Acceleration of Agrarian Conflict Resolution (PPKA) Mr. Usep Setiawan and three members of the PPKA Team.
The meeting explained the reason behind villagers refusal to the existence of PT. Setia Agrindo Lestari (PT.SAL) since 2014 and asked KSP through a Team formed to speed-up Agrarian Reform as a conflict solution, to restore peat ecosystem and livelihood of Pungkat Village residents. Crying, Hernawaty recalled how the activities of the palm oil company destroyed the future of Pungkat Village in relation to their dependence on forests and land. “I hope you gentlemen here can help us. Our life is difficult since PT. SAL cuts down the forest our local economy depends on, even now we have to buy water because the water of rawa river is polluted due to the activity of this company” said Hernawaty, wiping her tears.
Sembiring from National Executive WALHI explained that the conflict and peat destruction began when the unjust permit issued in 2013 for a company affiliated with First Resources Limited (Singapore). There are irregularities in the permit issued by the Licensing, Investment and Promotion Agency of Indragiri Hilir Regency. “Issuance of permit to PT. SAL is subject to a number of rules related to peat protection, even after IUP is obtained, WALHI does not see the compliance of PT. SAL against its IUP obligations. Lack of defect, conflict and environmental damage will be a sign of the implementation of agrarian reform in Pungkat Village,” said Even.
After Pungkat resident and WALHI gave their presentation, the vice chairman of PPKA Team said they will be committed to solve the problem. “Pungkat case is the first case we received after the official PPKA Team was formed. After this we will review the permissions obtained by PT. SAL to subsequently make recommendations to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indragiri Hilir Regency and Land Agency for the acceleration of settlement with the Land Object Agrarian Reform scheme for Pungkat Village” ends Usep, Vice Chairman of PPKA of KSP Team.
WALHI and Friends of the Earth Netherlands are satisfied with the positive response from PPKA, and will continue to watch the progress of this case to ensure that the clearing of the village forest at Pungkat will stop as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact:
WALHI: Khalisah Khalid, firstname.lastname@example.org, +62 813 111 874 97
Friends of the Earth Netherlands: Rolf Schipper, email@example.com ,
+31 6 4697 6033