Case study: Kerumutan

Background - November 26, 2011
The 1.3 million hectare Kerumutan Peat Swamp Forest is an important habitat for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and one of the world's largest remaining areas of carbon-rich peatland. Much of the area is on deep (>3 metres) peat. SMG/APP is actively clearing and draining peatlands in the landscape.

APP is clearing carbon-rich peatlands Mini map of Indonesia

Oops, something is broken!

For the cool interactive map, you need to install Adobe Flash Player. Sorry about that.
 

 

  • SMG/APP has been documented clearing and draining deep peatland (>3 metres) within the Kerumutan Peat Swamp Forest.
  • In 2009, PT Bina Duta Laksana and PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa together supplied over 170,000m3 of pulpwood from natural forest clearance to PT Indah Kiat.

Peatlands are critical for the climate

Riau, 2009: Peat swamp forest.
© Kajsa Sjolander / Greenpeace

The province of Riau in Sumatra holds 40% of Indonesia's peatland, perhaps the world's most critical carbon stores and a key defence against climate change. Covering 1.3 million hectares, the Kerumutan Peat Swamp Forest[1] in Riau is one of Indonesia's last remaining areas of extensive peatland. The landscape has been designated a regional priority for the survival of tigers in the wild.[2] Almost all of the area is zoned for clearance for industrial plantation development,[3] chiefly pulpwood and oil palm.[4] Much of it is mapped as on very deep peat.[5]

Whilst APP confirms that 'peatlands deeper than three metres located upstream [...] should be protected against development’ under Indonesian law,[6] within the SMG there are opposing approaches to peatland development.

The SMG palm oil division, GAR, has a policy to 'not develop on land with high carbon stock'.[7] 'Core to this is [...] no development on peat lands.'[8]

By contrast, SMG/APP suppliers continue to clear and drain peatland, including development on deep peatlands. It claims to set aside only those areas that have been determined to be 'natural peat swamp forests of unique and special merit'.[9]

End matter

Footnotes

[1] IUCN (2010)
[2] Global Priority Tiger Conservation Landscapes are habitats that can support at least 100 tigers and where there is evidence of breeding. Source: Dinerstein et al (2006)
[3] HTI concessions: MoFor (2010b); Oil palm concessions: MoFor (2010e)
[4] HTI concessions: MoFor (2010b); Oil palm concessions: MoFor (2010e)
[5] Wahyunto et al (2003)
[6] Greenbury (2010b), Government of Indonesia (1990)
[7] GAR (2010): 39
[8] GAR (2011): 4
[9] APP (2009a): 104

APP is pulping peat swamp forests

Riau, 2010: Active clearance of peat swamp forest in PT BDL, an APP linked concession.

 

SMG/APP is supplied from six concessions in Kerumutan, totalling over 150,000 hectares.[10] Mapping analysis shows that these concessions cover significant areas of deep peat and forested tiger habitat.[11]

Greenpeace has investigated trade of rainforest logs from these concessions to APP's pulp mill PT Indah Kiat in Riau. According to an official Ministry of Forestry document, one of these concessions, PT Bina Duta Laksana, was expected to supply PT Indah Kiat with over 80,000m3 of pulpwood from natural forest clearance in 2009.[12] An investigation by Greenpeace in September 2009 confirmed that rainforest logs from the concession went to PT Indah Kiat.[13]

PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa is the forested deep peat concession area to the north of PT Bina Duta Laksana concession. It was identified in confidential 2007 SMG/APP documents as a target supply area, with a size of 45,000 ha.[14] Analysis reveals that 100% of the area is mapped as peatland >3 metres deep, and more than 90% of the area was forested tiger habitat in 2006.[15]

According to Ministry of Forestry records published in 2010, the concession only has a permit for selective logging (HPH), not pulpwood plantation establishment (HTI).[16] Regardless of this, the five-year workplan (2006-2010) for this selective logging concession foresees the clearance of half the area (22,960 hectares), resulting in the production of 590,000m3 of pulpwood.[17] In 2009 the PT Indah Kiat pulp mill was due to receive almost 99,000m3 of rainforest logs from this concession, according to an official Ministry of Forestry document obtained by Greenpeace.[18]

End matter

Footnotes

[10] PT Arara Abadi (28.143ha), PT Satria Perkasa Agung (KTH Sinar Merawang) (9,859ha), PT Riau Indo Agropalma (9,682ha), PT Bina Duta Laksana (29,132ha), PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa (44.595ha)
[11] Greenpeace mapping analysis 2011
[12] MoFor (2009b)
[13] Greenpeace investigations, September 2009
[14] Sinarmas Forestry (2007)
[15] Greenpeace mapping analysis 2011
[16] MoFor (2010b)
[17] MoFor (2006)
[18] MoFor (2009b)

Greenpeace investigations expose how APP continues to target peatlands

2010: Satellite analysis of loss of forest cover.

 

Analysis shows that SMG/APP supply concessions in the Kerumutan Peat Swamp Forest are primarily on areas mapped as >3 metres deep.[19]

PT Bina Duta Laksana is mostly located on peatland mapped as >3 metres deep.[20] Analysis of satellite images[21] of PT Bina Duta Laksana from 2005–2009 show that extensive clearance took place within the concession. The majority of the clearance was on areas mapped as peatland >3 metres deep.

In April 2010, aerial monitoring by Greenpeace documented ongoing peatland clearance of areas mapped as >3 metres deep in the southwest region of PT Bina Duta Laksana.[22] In August 2010, aerial monitoring by Greenpeace documented peatland clearance on areas mapped as >3 metres in the last areas of forest within the western reaches of the concession.[23]

A series of satellite images[24] over the 2005–2011 period reveal extensive clearance within PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa, the forested deep peat concession area to the north of PT Bina Duta Laksana concession. The majority of these areas are mapped as peatland >3 metres deep.

In May 2011, aerial monitoring by Greenpeace documented evidence of extensive clearing of rainforest in frontier regions in the far west of the PT Mutiara Sabuk Khatulistiwa concession area. The areas are mapped as peatland >3 metres deep.

APP's most recent policy, delaying until the end of 2015 its commitment to only source plantation fibre,[25] shows its continued dependency on clearance of Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands, including deep peatland.[26]

This contrasts markedly with the policy of SMG palm oil division GAR, which now considers all peatland areas off limits to development, regardless of depth.[27]

End matter

Footnotes

[19] Greenpeace mapping analysis 2011
[20] Wahyunto et al (2003)
[21] Landsat 7 TM Path/Row 126/060, Composite band 542, image courtesy of the US Geological Survey
[22] Greenpeace investigations 2010–2011
[23] Greenpeace investigations 2010–2011. Satellite images from 18 June 2010, 20 July 2010, 8 October 2010 and 13 February 2011 confirm that the major clearance activities were concentrated in these western areas. Source: Landsat 7 TM Path/Row 126/060 Composite band 542, image courtesy of the US Geological Survey.
[24] Landsat satellite images as of 11 November 2005, 30 May 2006, 1 May 2007, 22 January 2009, 18 June 2010, 20 July 2010, 8 October 2010 and 13 February 2011. Source: Landsat 7 TM Path/Row 126/060 Composite band 542, image courtesy of the US Geological Survey
[25] Source: Greenbury (2011). 'By the end of 2015, we will source 100 percent of our pulpwood supply from sustainable plantation stock and require our suppliers to meet Indonesia’s mandatory sustainable forest management standards.'
[26] Greenbury (2010b): 'Peatlands deeper than three metres located upstream and in the swamp should be protected against development' under Indonesian law. In Kerumutan, APP has publically stated that such 'critical peatland exists in [APP's] Kerumutan pulpwood supply areas, but they have been protected, not developed'. Peatland law source: Government of Indonesia (1990).
[27] GAR (2010): 39 and GAR (2011): 4

Categories
Tags