September 20, 2018

Ex-Triputra concession in Bornean orangutan habitat sealed

( - The Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry has taken law enforcement action against PT Pinang Witmas Abadi (PWA) by sealing it (Sep 17) as a result of the peat fires that have taken place in its palm oil concession which lies in a peat ecosystem in West Kalimantan’s Kubu Raya regency. 

The palm oil concession, whose permit was granted in 2011, was formerly owned by the Triputra Group. Triputra went on to sell the concession which is inhabited by the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan, as previously reported by (Mar 29).  

Not long after Triputra sold the concession, the development of new canals within it began on a massive scale to make way for new palm oil plantations, despite the fact that the area is susceptible to and was recently afflicted by peat fires, as also earlier reported by (Sep 3).  

In fact, PT PWA follows five other palm oil concessions that have been previouly sealed on the orders of Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya as part of strict law enforcement measures, particularly on the ground level. 

The photos below show the process whereby the former Triputra concession was sealed by the ministry’s law enforcement team. 

In conjunction with the sealing of PT PWA, the ministry also carried out the same action against the concession of PT PIG situated in West Kalimantan’s Ketapang regency. This brings the total number of palm oil concessions sealed as of the time this news story was posted to 7.

Level of orangutan habitat clearing 

Time-series based satellite data demonstrates that the peat forests which form the habitat of the Bornean orangutan in the PT PWA concession have begun to be cleared.

The current level of peat forests being cleared by the company is shown in the recent Planet Explorer images below, analyzed by the team, which includes an image from the day that the concession was sealed by the ministry's law enforcement team (Sep 17).


“As to various other relevant violations, these will definitely be investigated further following this sealing,” Ministry's Law Enforcement Director General Rasio "Roy" Ridho Sani emphasized (Sep 19).  

Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo, ADM Global and Mars are among the major players that source palm oil from the Triputra Group, which sold the palm oil concession in question. 

Major parts of the PT PWA palm oil concession, which are dominated by an expanse of peat forests inhabited  by the threatened Bornean orangutan, can be seen in this video, previously posted by (Apr 3).