Smallholders Are Often Accused in Deforestation but in fact..

Foto by Dea Kinanti_Sawitfest 2021/ilustration of plantation
Smallholders Are Often Accused in Deforestation but in fact..

InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA – What the Attorney decided in Surya Darmadi case – assumption of forestry functional revision bribe corruption in Riau Province to Ministry of Environment and Forestry, needs appreciation because it saved the country from the biggest loss from the case.

“This should be the moment for the government to get the same law enforcement to many other illegal cases in forestry sector namely in palm oil plantation centers (regions),” General Secretary of Serikat Petani Kelapa Sawit (SPKS), Masuetos Darto said as in the press release that InfoSAWIT, got, Thursday (18/8/2022).

He also mentioned the case like this always involved the big capitalist and officials by using their authority to do corruption in forestry sector or to develop palm oil plantations.

The forest encroachment like this is a latent issue in the both sector and it is time to get law enforcement and firmly sue every forest and environment damagers which still happen until now. Law enforcement is needed to improve the better future governance in forestry sector and in developing palm oil plantations.

He also mentioned, the illegal deforestation accusation in palm oil industries nationally which are managed by big capitalists impacts to the smallholders. In fact the smallholders are the victims in claim dynamic by the big stakeholders that the smallholders are the actors of deforestation.

He also mentioned, the conflicts in forest regions have kinds of typology, starting from forest region encroachment, overlapping areas with the forest regions by the smallholders, overlapping Business Rights or other license and others. But data about illegal deforestation in forest regions has actually existed. It is only about the government and legal officers’ commitment to identify and solve everything, who master such areas, how the actors involve and the relation with the legal officers that have authority to make policy(ies).

It also needs clear definition and characteristic about smallholders that the country should protect so that the solution would deliver opportunity for the certain actors’ interests who are on behalf of the smallholders.

For information, Ministry of Agriculture released palm oil plantations in Indonesia that laid about 16,3 million hectares. There are other regulations that explained numbers of width for a planter which should laid less than 25 hectares and the numbers reached 6,72 million hectares. Based on satellite image analysis of Yayasan Auriga Nusantara and SPOS Indonesia it mentioned, only 1,9 million hectares were categorized as the smallholders’ plantations or less than 25 hectares. In the other word, 4,8 million hectares were not categorized as smallholders’ plantations but categorized as small and medium companies.

He also mentioned, what is interesting from the study is that only 750 thousand hectares were categorized as smallholders’ plantations which were less than 25 hectares and developed in forest regions within kinds of issues and characteristics. These, of course, are very narrow compared to 25 hectares, including the plantation companies.

“Based on palm oil plantation land mastery data in forest region above, the government and legal officer should re-audit big scale – land mastery in forest regions and firmly act or sue the actors of illegal deforestation in the forest regions which are very potential to deliver losses for the country,” he said. (T2)