Indonesian Environment Ministry Sues 22 Companies for Triggering Forest Fires
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) has said that it has filed a lawsuit against 22 companies for triggering land and forest fires in Indonesia in the period from 2015 to 2023.
"A total of 22 corporations are civil defendants, both related to compensation for environmental damage caused and certain actions, especially land restoration," the ministry's Director General of Environment and Forestry Law Enforcement Rasio Ridho Sani informed in Jakarta on Friday, August 18, 2023.
He said that out of the 22 companies sued, the decision on 14 companies already has permanent legal force or inkracht van gewijsde, with the total decision value reaching Rp5.60 trillion.
They consist of seven companies in the process of executing Rp3.05 trillion and seven companies preparing for the execution of Rp2.55 trillion in compensation/environmental restoration payment, he added.
According to Sani, the court has granted the lawsuit. Therefore, the ministry has a permanent decision and is ready to implement it against the 14 companies.
The seven companies undergoing the execution process include PT Waringin Agro Jaya from Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra, with a verdict value of Rp466.46 billion; PT Ricky Kurniawan Kertapersada from Muaro Jambi, Jambi province, with a value of Rp191.80 billion; and PT Palmina Utama from Banjar, South Kalimantan, with a value of Rp22.29 billion.
They further comprise PT Jatim Jaya Perkasa from Rokan Hilir, Riau, with a total decision value of Rp491.02 billion; PT Kallista Alam from Nagan Raya, Aceh, with a total value of Rp366.06 billion; PT Surya Panen Subur from Nagan Raya, Aceh, with a total value of Rp439. 01 billion; and PT Nasional Sago Prima from Meranti, Riau, with a total value of Rp1.07 trillion.
Meanwhile, the seven companies preparing for the execution include PT Agro Tumbuh Gemilang Abadi in East Tanjung Jabung, Jambi, with a decision value of Rp590.54 billion; PT Rambang Agro Jaya in Ogan Komering Ilir, South Sumatra, with a total value of Rp199.56 billion; PT Arjuna Utama Sawit, with a total value of Rp342.97 billion; and PT Kalimantan Lestari Mandiri in Kuala Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, with a total value of Rp299.95 billion.
They also comprise PT Kaswari Unggul from East Tanjung Jabung, Jambi, with a total decision value of Rp25.61 billion; PT Kumai Sentosa from West Kotawaringin, Central Kalimantan, with a total value of Rp175.18 billion; and PT Rafi Kamajaya Abadi from Melawai, West Kalimantan, with a total value of Rp920.01 billion.
Of the seven companies in the execution process, PT Kallista Alam and PT Surya Panen Subur have stated their commitment to provide compensation and undertake environmental restoration actions, in accordance with the court's decision, Sani disclosed.
He said his ministry has monitored hotspots continuously from January to August 2023 to anticipate land and forest fires in Indonesia.
The ministry has also sent 99 warning letters to companies with indications of hotspots with a confidence level of above 79 percent, he informed.
"Our team is working 24 hours to monitor via satellite to seek hotspots, especially those in concession areas," he added.
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