2016-06-09

Peat agency and ministry conclude APP told public lie


JAKARTA
(foresthints.news) - In reaction to the remarks made by the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency Chief, Nazir Foead, in which he admonished Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) for being uncooperative in submitting the necessary data to the peat agency, APP released a public statement (Jun 8) revealing the purported chronology of their submission of data to the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

In the public statement, the pulp and paper giant declared that it had submitted the relevant data to the Environment and Forestry Ministry on 11 May 2016. This met with a forceful response from the Peat Agency Chief.

“We have undeniable evidence that the chronology provided by APP in its public statement constitutes a public lie,” Nazir told foresthints.news on Wednesday (Jun 8) at his office.

APP’s version of the chronology, he added, was inconsistent with the evidence-based chronology shown to him by the Director General for Environmental Pollution and Damage Control at the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry.

The Peat Agency Chief pulled no punches in his assessment of APP’s statement. “Pak Karliansyah (the Director General) has shared with me the chronological evidence contained in communications between himself and APP, and this clearly demonstrates that APP told a bald-faced lie in its public statement.”

He further denounced the APP statement as showing a lack of respect towards certain government agencies, in this case the peat agency and the ministry.

“APP has developed a chronology that serves its own interests. They have chosen to conceal the actual chronology. It’s not only the public that they’ve lied to in their public statement, but also government agencies.”

When asked for confirmation of this information, the Director General said that APP had indeed asked him for guidance as to the request for data from the peat agency.

“My advice was that the appropriate thing for APP to do was to immediately submit the data concerned to the peat agency, bearing in mind that the agency needs this data to carry out its duties and fulfill its functions,” Karliansyah explained to foresthints.news on Wednesday (Jun 8).

He went on to describe how APP had suggested it may be better to submit the data only to the Environment and Forestry Ministry, so that any data related to its concessions could be delivered through just one gateway.

“My response to this proposal from APP was in line with Presidential Regulation number 1/2016, which states that it is the peat agency which is to coordinate all (peat restoration) activities in the seven priority provinces.”

The Director General strongly denied that any kind of agreement existed with APP with respect to a ‘one gateway mechanism’ (only via the ministry) in terms of requests for and submissions of data related to the concessions.

“I felt the need to divulge the chronology in this matter so as to avoid any suspicions of dishonesty from the public and any aspersions cast on our integrity,” he said in conclusion.