June 8, 2018

Greenpeace remains quiet about new peat ecosystem drainage

JAKARTA ( - The uncovering of illegal logging operations by Greenpeace at PT MPK, a logging concession located in West Kalimantan’s Ketapang regency, is of great relevance, among other reasons, so that these illegal practices can be immediately ended.

However, it should be equally relevant for Greenpeace to disclose the new peat ecosystem drainage practices carried out by a company controlled by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) in its South Sumatra pulpwood concession. 

Even though these operations took place intensively for months ever since World Environment Day last year, Greenpeace was still in engaged with APP at the time. 

Unfortunately, Greenpeace has chosen not to divulge anything related to the construction of at least 37 kilometres of new canals in the APP concession. Furthermore, Greenpeace has also not revealed that hundreds of hectares of peat ecosystem have been drained in the concession.  

Making matters worse, the APP company has also been building canals and draining the peat protection zone in its concession. This should be of great concern to Greenpeace, but strangely the environmental organization has decided not to disclose this either. 

The following photos show the results of the intensive new peat ecosystem drainage carried out by the APP company (PT BMH) since World Environment Day last year, involving an Indonesian peat protection zone. These destructive peat ecosystem practices took place while Greenpeace remained in collaboration with APP.

The photos above were brought to light by (May 15) one day before Greenpeace announced its decision in a press release to end its engagements with APP and its affiliate Sinarmas.  

In its press release, however, Greenpeace omitted mention of the peat ecosystem drainage which, other among things, has severely impacted the local peat protection zone in the APP concession. 

Of course, any further peat ecosystem drainage like that which took place in the APP concession - as seen in the above photos - needs to be avoided in the PT MPK concession. 

Nonetheless, as depicted in the following video, the PT MPK logging concession is still dominated by relatively intact peat forests. It goes without saying that these forests must be tightly guarded so that they do not suffer the same fate as those in the APP concession of being converted into plantations.

In fact, it would have been far wiser for Greenpeace to use the evidence of the new peat ecosystem drainage in the APP concession as an example so that these same practices could be prevented in the PT MPK logging concession.  

Fortunately, as is obvious to any interested observer, a significant portion of the PT MPK concession still consists of peat forests. As such, we must continue to do everything possible to avoid these peat forests being eradicated for plantation expansion, as was the case in the APP concession. 

As recently reported by (May 21), Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency Chief Nazir Foead has also observed this issue on the ground level, requesting that APP discontinue any new peat ecosystem drainage in its concession, which was going on for months while APP and Greenpeace were still in collaboration.