September 24, 2018

Greenpeace report exposes impact of permits from SBY regime

( - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has explained that almost all the ongoing deforestation in Indonesia over the past four years, including the destruction of peatlands, is a result of the impact of permits granted by the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono “SBY” administration. 

The minister pointed out this fact to (Sep 20) after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo imposed a three-year moratorium on palm oil plantation expansion in areas which retain good forest cover, including an evaluation of existing permits in such areas.

A review by the team of a new Greenpeace International report (Sep 19) confirms that nearly 100% of the deforestation and peat ecosystem destruction in Papua and West Papua provinces is due to permits granted by the forestry ministry during the decade-long SBY administration (2004-2014).

In early June 2013, SBY visited Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in the port of Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, as seen in the following photo:

Papua and West Papua's forest destruction

During the SBY administration, permits mainly derived from the relinquishment of state forest areas for palm oil development were granted on a massive scale, as revealed by forestry-based research NGO Greenomics Indonesia (Mar 21)

This led to a high level of destruction of intact forests, particularly in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, as highlighted - among other things - in the newly-released Greenpeace report. 

The photos below, taken from the Greenpeace report, clearly portray the level of forest destruction in the two provinces undertaken by three palm oil companies to make way for new palm oil plantations as a consequence of permits granted during the SBY regime. 


The ongoing destruction of forests in Papua and West Papua, which predominantly consist of good forest cover, can only be ended through an effective implementation of President Jokowi’s palm oil expansion moratorium. 

Meanwhile, the following photos, also taken from the Greenpeace report, depict the extent of intact forests lost in the Papua region owing to permits granted by the SBY regime. 

If President Jokowi’s palm oil expansion moratorium is properly implemented, significant swathes of intact forests in the two provinces could be saved from destruction caused by existing permits, most of which can be traced back to the SBY administration.

As reported by (Sep 10), Greenomics also exposed the trading of two palm oil permits containing intact Papuan forests to a Malaysian business group for USD80 million. These permits were issued during the SBY administration.

The trading of palm oil permits will form one component of the evaluations performed as part of President Jokowi’s palm oil expansion moratorium, given that such trading extends far beyond the two palm oil permits mentioned above, as previously pointed out by Minister Nurbaya two years ago.