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PTUN Banda Aceh Refuses to Rule On Rawa Tripa Case

Banda Aceh, TAG – The Banda Aceh Administrative Court (PTUN) Tuesday has ruled out a lawsuit concerning the development of peat swamp forests that was brought by the Aceh chapter of Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi) that fear for the fate of orangutans and environmental damage.

The Walhi is challenging a license to convert part of the Tripa peat swamp in Nagan Raya district’s Darul Makmur sub-district of the western Aceh to a palm oil plantation. The then Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf issued the license to palm oil company PT Kallista Alam on August 25, 2011.
T.M. Zulfikar, executive director of the Aceh chapter of Walhi, previously said “The permit is for the conversion of 1,605 hectares of protected forests in Tripa peat swamp into a palm oil plantation, destroying forests and peat-lands protected by prevailing laws that forbid any new permits on primary forests and peat-lands.”
He also said the conversion would damage the habitat of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans. Last week, environmental group said that the forest fires and land clearing by palm oil firms could kill off within week some 200 orangutans in the Tripa peat swamp.
However, Judge Darmawi of Banda Aceh Administrative Court said during a final hearing of trial that it has no authority to rule on the case because the parties involved haven't tried to solve the case outside of court.
"The Administrative Court of Banda Aceh has no authority to rule on this case. The lawsuit is unacceptable," he said. "The judges gave the opportunity for the parties to seek settlement out of court in accordance to the law.”
Kamaruddin, one of the Wahli lawyer says that it will appeal to the high court. The judged, he added, only saw an environmental issue while the subject of administrative lawsuits that violated the presidential instructions about the conversion of peat-lands is not considered.
"How could we make the effort out of court settlement if the governor behaved like a cowboy. The efforts had been made, but the governor is like cowboy," he said.[]
PTUN Banda Aceh Refuses to Rule On Rawa Tripa Case PTUN Banda Aceh Refuses to Rule On Rawa Tripa Case Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on April 03, 2012 Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. It is indeed very difficult to make an appeal to the government about this kind of issue. As much as we want to save our environment, big companies in partnership with the government can still pursue their goals because of the current agreements. If it were to be converted into a palm oil plantation, the land will surely undergo several process. It's good to know though that the present technology provides better processes like land clearing, flexpipe installation and other methods without causing extensive damages to the environment. I just hope that the companies and government involved in this project will be able to find better ways in transforming the land into a business.

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