Probe finds palm oil firm illegally clearing forest in Sumatra wildlife haven
JAKARTA — A palm oil company responsible for clear-cutting forests in an Indonesian ecosystem that’s the only place on Earth where tigers, orangutans and rhinos roam appears to be doing so illegally, a new investigation shows. PT Nia Yulided Bersaudara (NYB) holds a 2,940-hectare (7,260-acre) concession to cultivate oil palms inside the Leuser Ecosystem in the north of the island of Sumatra. According to the U.S.-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN), NYB cleared at least 595 hectares (1,470 acres) of forest in its concession from April 2016 to early 2021. Between January and October 2021, another 204 hectares (504 acres) of forests were lost in the concession — a total area nearly two and a half times the size of New York City’s Central Park. RAN said satellite analysis shows logging there has persisted through at least January 2022. This makes NYB the oil palm concession holder with the highest rate of deforestation in the Leuser Ecosystem. Crucially, its forest-clearing activity, a precursor to planting oil palms, appears to be illegal, according to RAN. This is because the logging isn’t registered in the environment ministry’s online Forest Product Administration Information System (SIPUHH). The ministry established the system to store information on timber production planning, logging, marking, transportation and processing. In Sumatra’s Aceh province, where NYB’s concession is located, the SIPUHH system is enforced by a provincial agency called the BPHP. Agency head Mahyuddin said the company’s logging activities aren’t recorded in the SIPUHH system. RAN says this means NYB’s activities are…This article was originally published on Times of Nation
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