April 3, 2018

Video depicts orangutan peat forests in recently sold Triputra concession

JAKARTA ( - Further to an earlier news report by (Mar 29) disclosing the sale by Triputra Agro Persada of a palm oil concession (PT PWA), a video has been produced showing the latest situation in the sold concession which, in addition to peat forests, also contains the habitat of the critically-endangered Bornean orangutan.

The sold Triputra concession is spread among part of Indonesia’s existing targeted peat restoration sites and peat protection zone, located in West Kalimantan’s Kubu Raya regency.

Despite attempting to wash its hands of any potential developments in the concession by selling it, Triputra will not escape being tainted by the stain of peat destruction if the new owner of the concession clears its peat forests to build new palm oil plantations.

While it should be acknowledged that Triputra protected its former concession for more than six years, its recent sale of the concession remains very controversial, largely because it took place after a ban against any canal development (a practice that inevitably causes peat drainage) was enacted by President Joko Widodo.

The following video depicts the peat forests located in the sold Triputra palm oil concession which are inhabited by the Bornean orangutan. Any conversion of the concession's still relatively intact peat forests into a new palm oil plantation complex will certainly be a bitter pill to swallow.

An old dirty trick

Mighty Earth - a Washington-based global campaign organization that works to protect the environment - has made it clear that the sale of a palm oil concession, among other things, to avoid promises to implement sustainability commitments, represents a common unethical or dishonest tactic, or 'an old dirty trick', as reported by at the end of August last year.

As such, it is imperative to make sure that the concession’s new owner complies with the full set of Indonesia’s new peat regulations (which unequivocally forbid any new peat drainage) with the support of regular monitoring by all relevant stakeholders.

If the sold Triputra concession’s new owner disregards the prevailing regulations and goes ahead with new palm oil plantation development despite pressure not to do so (including through such monitoring), this would amount to a shameless peat violation.

President Joko Widodo has always displayed clear consistency in this matter, never failing to back up Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya in her efforts to take law enforcement action against any peatland violators, not excluding palm oil and pulpwood companies that happen to be conglomerate-owned business groups.