September 19, 2019

US NGO: WWF concession should be sealed permanently

JAKARTA ( - Mighty Earth, the Washington-based global campaign organization that works to protect the environment, has reacted firmly to the sealing of a WWF concession (PT ABT) by Indonesian Environment and Forestry authorities due to forest and land fires, as reported earlier by (Sep 14), by declaring that it was a necessary and good move.

The organization even argued that Indonesian forestry authorities should permanently seal the WWF ecosystem restoration concession, which forms part of the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem - a habitat for the critically-endangered Sumatran tiger and elephant.

“The government intervention here is necessary. The concession should remain sealed permanently while the government strictly enforces the conservation and restoration concession,” Mighty Earth CEO Glenn Hurowitz told in writing (Sep 14).

“We’ve done a big investigation into PT ABT. Mega problems remain there. There has been a lot of illegal logging and road building in the concession,” he added.

The first two photos below portray evidence of the forest and land fires (Aug 20) which led to the sealing of the WWF concession by the ministry. The other two photos show the situation on the ground at the time the ministry sealed the WWF concession (Sep 13).

Good move

In the view of Hurowitz, the ministry’s move to seal the WWF concession demonstrates that it is taking real responsibility in its law enforcement efforts. 

“There have been major problems in this concession and neighboring ones, and it’s good that the government is taking responsibility to ensure enforcement of conservation and restoration requirements,” he asserted.

“The ministry’s action (to seal the PT ABT concession) is a good move,” he re-emphasized. 

As previously reported by (Sep 17), Indonesian forestry authorities have reaffirmed that they have indeed sealed the WWF concession as part of their law enforcement measures because the company has failed to implement its obligations in line with the permit granted to it.

The WWF concession is among the companies whose concessions have been sealed by the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry owing to forest and land fires. As of today (Sep 19), over 50 companies, consisting of palm oil and forestry concessions, have been sealed.