Dear Madam Minister of Environment and Forestry, Do not let PT Mayawana Persada worsen the climate crisis by brutally clearing natural forests and peatlands in West Kalimantan

The targeted area for land clearing by PT. MP is located in the Mata-Mata Village area, Simpang Hilir District, North Kayong Regency, and has a potential deforestation area of 6,268 hectares.

Hello Mrs. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Minister of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, how are you in Jakarta? Tomorrow, ask for permission and willingness to meet. Today first, we want to report that the PT. Mayawana Persada company continues to worsen the climate crisis by brutally clearing forests and peatlands for their industrial forest plantation (HTI) business in West Kalimantan. Recently, the company has also continued its expansion to the border of the Paoh Concong Village area in Simpang Hulu District, Ketapang Regency.

With a permit area of 136,710 hectares through SK.732/ Menhut -II/2010, in 2016, as mapped by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the forest area within the permit area was 88,100 hectares. A further 89,410 hectares as mapped the following year were orangutan habitats and 83,060 hectares were carbon-rich peat ecosystems.

Satellite image monitoring reveals that PT. Mayawana Persada has started clearing protected peat areas in the southwest, potentially increasing deforestation to 6,268 hectares. This contradicts government efforts to reduce deforestation and the impact of global warming. The contradicted reality is shown through the practices currently being conducted by the former Alas Kusuma group company.

Based on the notes of the Civil Society Organizations Coalition in the report “PT Mayawana PersadaEcological Damages – Human Rights Violation Report: Reckless Expansion of Industrial Plantation Forest in West Kalimantan”, the company has cleared 14 thousand hectares of forest between January to August 2023. In October 2023, this group company, which is thought to be related to Royal Golden Eagle, opened an additional 2,567 hectares of forest. Thus, from 2016 until now the company has cut down 35 thousand hectares of forest.

In addition to clearing carbon-storing peatlands in the Peat Hydrological Area, this monoculture company also clears natural forest ecosystems that serve as orangutan habitats. PT. Mayawana Persada has also cleared forest up to the edge of the main river that flows through the concession in one area. On the other hand, it was even observed that forest clearing was carried out up to a distance of 40 meters from the river bank. Forest clearing within its concession areas is conducted recklessly and violates the principles of environmental conservation.

In fact, in Article 6 Section 3 of PUPR Ministerial Regulation Number 28 of 2015 concerning the Determination of River Boundary Lines and Lake Boundary Lines, it is explained that the small river boundary line outside urban areas is determined at least 50 meters from the left and right banks of the river. On the other hand, land with protected peat function is not permitted for plantation activities—the types of plants planted by PT. Mayawana Persada is acacia and eucalyptus, as it is known that the use of peatlands for acacia and eucalyptus plantations always begins with the construction of drainage channels or canals, causes the drying out of the land and damages the peat ecosystem.

Based on monitoring results, several canals have been built overlapping with the river. This indicates that the clearing of peatlands for the HTI business by PT. Mayawana Persada is inevitable. Through the canalization conducted by the company, land drainage has led to the degradation of subsistence peat, making it vulnerable to fires and various other risks.

Conversion of peatlands into plantations of monoculture vegetation commodities, such as acacia and eucalyptus, causes the release of carbon emissions from the peatlands and the reduction of biomass above the peatlands. The carbon reserves in peat soil are ten times greater than in ordinary mineral soil. Therefore, any damage that occurs to peatlands causes the release of greater emissions, and increases the climate crisis.

Executive Director of Walhi West Kalimantan, Hendrikus Adam, revealed that the concession permit of PT. Mayawana Persada is in the Durian River – Kualan River Peat Hydrological Area which has indicative protection and cultivation functions.

“Based on the monitoring findings by Walhi West Kalimantan conducted at five points in three villages in the North Kayong region, it confirmed the fact that land clearance has occurred in areas that previously had natural timber stands. Additionally, it was also found that peatland clearance has been done through the construction of several canals,” said Hendrikus Adam.

Furthermore, Adam mentioned that from 2022 to October 2023, PT. Mayawana Persada has cleared and drained 14,505 hectares of peatland. “Thus, it means the company has emitted 797,775 metric tons of CO2. A fantastic number that increases the rate of accumulation of emissions, amidst the government’s desire to reduce the climate crisis. In fact, from information obtained in the field some time ago, the company continues to expand to the boundaries of Paoh Concong Village without the consent of the people in the community,” Adam asserted.

Andi Muttaqien, Executive Director of Satya Bumi, said that the expansion of PT Mayawana Persada’s timber plantations had damaged natural forests, peatlands, and orangutan habitat. “If you look at the satellite image of the concession area, the grid lines will become the next clearing area. The potential for forest clearing reaches 6,268 Ha. Thus, the emissions released amount to 344,740 metric tons of CO2,” Andi said.

According to Andi Muttaqien, the expansion of timber plantations that damage natural forests, peat and orangutan habitat must be stopped. “The Ministry of Environment and Forestry must be responsible for the deforestation,” Andi asserted.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Lingkaran Advokasi dan Riset (Link-AR Borneo), Ahmad Syukri, revealed that the activities conducted by PT Mayawana Persada in Ketapang and North Kayong Regencies had damaged the ecological balance and peace of the surrounding community.

“The peat ecosystem, which has a special character and function for natural balance, is being destroyed for monoculture plants that are planted and harvested periodically. Of course, the threat of flood disasters will occur within and around the PT Mayawana Persada concession, because the natural forests and peat ecosystems are damaged, causing reduced soil’s ability to absorb and retain water,” said Ahmad Syukri.

Ahmad Syukri said that potential disasters due to large-scale clearing of natural forests and destruction of peat ecosystems would also have an impact on the economic conditions of communities that still depend entirely on traditional agriculture for their livelihoods. He gave an example of the floods that occurred in most districts in West Kalimantan at this time, where rice fields, agriculture areas (rubber, fruit), and residential areas were submerged due to flooding.

“The legalization and neglect by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry regarding clearing natural forests and peat ecosystems conducted by PT Mayawana Persada contradict the targets desired by the Indonesian government in Folu Net Sink 2030. Are the mitigation steps appropriate? ” PT Mayawana Persada should be given heavy punishment,” requested Ahmad Syukri.

The chairman of Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara Kalimantan Barat (AMAN Kalbar), Tono revealed that PT. Mayawana Persada has committed many human rights violations against the Dayak Kualan and Dayak Simpakng Indigenous communities in both Simpang Hulu and Simpang Dua Districts due to the confiscation of traditional territories that has occurred to date.

“Even Tonah Colap Torun Pusaka, which is a traditional protected area guarded by the Dayak Kualan Indigenous Community, was completely cleared by the company,” explained Tono.

In addition to damaging the traditional territories of the Dayak Kualan and Dayak Simpakng Indigenous Communities, according to Tono, PT. Mayawana Persada also confiscated community management areas that serve as sources of livelihood and sustainability. The conflict experienced by the Dayak Kualan and Dayak Simpakng Indigenous Communities has been around for quite a long time. The community has reported their problems from the District to the Central Government, even PT. Mayawana Persada has often been punished by the Dayak Kualan Indigenous Community. However, evictions and confiscation of Dayak Kualan and Dayak Simpakng traditional territories continue to occur. Efforts made by the Ketapang district government to resolve the issue have so far been unsuccessful.

“According to AMAN Kalbar, what PT. Mayawana Persada could no longer be tolerated and we asked the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) to revoke PT. Mayawana Persada’s permits, both operational and production permits,” asked Tono.

Pontianak, March 16 2024

Civil Society Organizations Coalition

WALHI West Kalimantan – Link-AR Borneo – AMAN West Kalimantan – Satya Bumi

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Annisa Rahmawati


Annisa Rahmawati adalah seorang perempuan aktivis lingkungan. Mengawali karirnya pada tahun 2008 sebagai Local Governance Advisor pada program kemanusiaan di Aceh – di EU-GTZ International Service yang berfokus pada perawatan perdamaian dan peningkatan kapasitas pemerintah daerah. Pengalaman dalam bisnis yang lestari dan berkelanjutan didapat dari Fairtrade International sebagai assistant dan di Greenpeace Southeast Asia sebagai Senior Forest Campaigner yang berfokus pada kampanye market untuk komoditas industrial khususnya sawit yang bebas deforestasi sejak tahun 2013-2020. Selain itu Annisa juga pernah bekerja sebagai asisten proyek di UN-ESCAP Bangkok untuk perencanaan pembangunan kota yang lestari pada tahun 2012. Annisa memiliki latar belakang pendidikan di bidang Biologi dari Universitas Brawijaya Malang dan mendapatkan master dari International Management of Resources and Environment (IMRE) di TU Bergakademie Freiberg Germany dengan dukungan Yayasan Heinrich Boell Stiftung. Annisa sangat antusias dan passionate untuk menyebarkan pesan dan kesadaran kepada dunia tentang permasalahan lingkungan dan bagaimana mencari solusi untuk menjadikan bisnis lebih bisa melakukan tanggung jawabnya, serta bagaimana kita bisa bertindak untuk menghadapi krisis iklim yang saat ini sedang kita hadapi.