Jakarta, CNN Indonesia –
Joint investigation Greenpeace International with Forensic Architecture finding allegations that a South Korean subsidiary, Korindo Group in Papua did forest burning in that province on purpose for the oil palm plantation business.
However, the Korindo Group denied Greenpeace’s findings. The company claims that the information that says Korindo Group is burning forests in Papua for oil palm plantations is not true.
Quoting the release from the site GreenpeaceThe Korindo company has the largest oil palm plantation in Papua and has destroyed around 57,000 hectares of forest in the province since 2001.
“An area almost as large as Seoul, the capital of South Korea,” said a release on the Greenpeace website accessed on Friday (13/11).
In the research, a joint team of two organizations used NASA satellite imagery to identify the heat source from the land fires located in Merauke, Papua.
In addition, they used data gathered from aerial survey videotapes. Through this method, the research team found patterns of deforestation and fires, indicating that land clearing uses fire.
“If the fires in Korindo’s concession occurred naturally, the damage to the land would be irregular,” said senior Forensic Architecture researcher Samaneh Moafy. “However, tracking the movement of deforestation and fires over time shows that it is clearly occurring sequentially with fires following the direction of land clearing from west to east and occurring massively within Korindo concession boundaries.”
Citing the Forensic Architecture website, monitoring is carried out on the concession of PT Dongin Parabhawa, a subsidiary under Korindo which operates in the Merauke area, Papua. They monitored the video when the fire there broke out.
In order to determine the geographic location and source of fire in fires, they used a main spatial system that could show a network of roads.
An analysis technique called Normal Combustion Ratio (NBR) is used to find the combustion pattern in the area. From there it was found a pattern of land clearing with fire occurring monthly between October 2011 and January 2016.
The data found is then compared with the data hotspot in the same area of VIIRS and MODIS NASA satellite data in the same period.
The comparison of the two data shows the similarity of fire patterns, direction and velocity of fire movement. From this it can be assumed that the fire was started on purpose to clear land.
The fire data on the land are even compared to other corporate plantations, namely PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera. Forensic Architecture said the fire pattern at PT Dongin Parabhawa was more frequent and stronger.
And judging by satellite image captures all over Merauke, they said Korindo’s concession was the hottest area monitored from 2012 to 2015.
Head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaign, Kiki Taufik, said that the government should hold Korindo accountable for this discovery.
“However, the problem is, the government’s track record in law enforcement is weak and inconsistent, especially now that environmental protection regulations have been weakened after the enactment of a pro-business Job Creation Law rather than environmental aspects,” he said.
Director General of Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Rasio Ridho Sani, emphasized that his party pays attention to this case.
Even so, his party still had to confirm the truth of this matter. He is still studying and deepening the allegations.
“Yes, but you have to check whether it is true. What year [terjadinya], “he told CNNIndonesia.com by telephone.
“That video is also what year it is. It’s been from 2013 how come it’s new [dilaporkan] now, “he continued.
Furthermore, in a release received from the Directorate General of Gakkum, KLHK, Ridho said Greenpeace should have reported the 2013 video evidence to related parties at that time.
He also stated that if Greenpeace had evidence of such an incident, he suggested, it was better to report the findings immediately so that they could be followed up immediately. He ensured that the Directorate General of Gakkum, KLHK would take firm action against companies from any country that violated it.
Meanwhile, Korindo Group denied the results of the investigation conducted by Greenpeace with the Forensic Architecture.
“The conclusion of the investigation states that the accusation that Korindo intentionally and illegally burned the plantation area is not true,” said the official statement received by Korindo Group. CNNIndonesia.com.
Korindo’s official statement has been confirmed by Korindo Group Head of Corporate Communication Suharsono to CNNIndonesia.com.
“We want to emphasize that the Korindo Group is a company that has been established in Indonesia since 1969 and consistently contributes to the development and progress of the Indonesian people, especially in the Papua region,” wrote Korindo.
Regarding allegations of forest burning in the 2011-2016 period, Korindo compared it with the findings of The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in August 2019 which stated that the FSC had conducted field investigations in December 2017.
The FSC findings concluded that it was not true that Korindo had deliberately and illegally burned its plantation areas.
The FSC findings reinforce the results of an investigation previously carried out by the Merauke Regency Forestry and Plantation Service with Letter Number 522.2 / 0983 dated 24 August 2016 which states that land clearing is carried out mechanically and without burning.
In addition to the two investigations, there is also a letter from the Directorate General of Environmental and Forestry Law Enforcement, Ministry of LHK RI Number S.43 / PHLHK / PPH / GKM.2 / 2/2017 dated 17 February 2017 stating that a Korindo Group subsidiary is engaged in in the oil palm plantation sector, it does not carry out illegal deforestation and has obtained a forest release permit from the Minister of Environment and Forestry.