Gapki Denies Report of 3.3 Million Ha of Illegal Palm Oil Land in Forest Areas
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) rebutted the government’s report that there are 3.3 million hectares of illegal oil palm plantations in forest areas. The association’s chairman Eddy Martono said it was a bad narrative for palm oil business actors as they were seen to have committed deforestation in the country.
According to him, the 3.3 million hectares of oil palm plantations are legal and already equipped with the right to cultivate (HGU) permits. Thus, he concluded that the government claimed their lands as forest areas.
“[The report means] as if they (business players) cause several thousand trillion in state losses because it's been so many years,” Eddy said in West Bandung, on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.
On June 23, 2023, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan disclosed data on illegal oil palm plantations in forest areas. The audit results were reported to President Joko Jokowi Widodo who then issued Presidential Decree No. 9/2023 on the task force to improve the governance of the palm oil industry and optimize state revenue.
Eddy clarified that the 3.3 million hectares of oil palm plantations have HGU permits while the plasma plantations have certificates of ownership (SHM) since the era of President Soeharto.
Eddy also claimed to have met with the Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/Head of the National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) Hadi Tjahjanto to discuss the issue. Gapki asked the government not to disturb oil palm land with HGU. “There shouldn't be any problems,” he concluded.
RIANI SANUSI PUTRI
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