In the wake of findings recently announced by the State Financial Audit Board (BPK), that reinforced findings long voiced by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), Sawit Watch is calling on the government on Thursday (5/9) to ensure that the law is firmly enforced in the palm oil sector and that all companies in the industry comply with the law and possess sustainability certifications.
“What the BPK has found has long been notified to the government by us and or the society in general, that there are many companies operating without holding a HGU (the Right to Work on a Land), do not meet their obligation to build plasma scheme plantations, or have overlapping concession permits. This is a dark story that had already happened since Indonesia began to develop the palm oil industry and is still going on until now,” Inda Fatinaware, Executive Director of Sawit Watch, said in a press release sent to The Palm Scribe.
“Therefore, we hope that the government immediately accelerate the implementation of Presidential Instruction number 8 of 2018 on the Postponement and evaluation of permits for palm oil plantations and the improvement of the productivity of palm oil plantations (Presidential Instruction on Moratorium and Palm Oil Evaluation). One of the ways is by auditing plantations and firmly act on all palm oil plantations that violate prevailing laws and regulations,” Inda said.
Sawit Watch said that as a permit issuer and regulator, the government must enforce the law while corporations or other players in the palm oil industry must comply with the prevailing laws and ascertain that they engage in good practices in business and be responsible when regarding social and environmental problems.
When making public the BPK findings, Rizal mentioned no name nor gave details on the surface of the problematic palm oil plantations. He said, however, there were millions of hectares of problematic plantations spread in the provinces of North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, South Sumatera, Lampung, Central Kalimantan, and West Kalimantan.
In its recommendations to the government, the BPK among other recommended that the National Police and the Attorney general’s Office be involved because the violations by palm oil companies were criminal in nature and went against the Laws on Forestry and Plantations.