December 13, 2019

Al Gore urged to learn from two sealed Cargill concessions

JAKARTA ( - In response to a speech made by former US Vice President Al Gore on Indonesia’s 2019 forest and land fires at an Indonesia Pavilion event at COP 25 Madrid, the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry had advised him to learn from the sealing of two Cargill palm oil concessions due to fires.

The Nobel Peace Prize recipient would certainly gain some important lessons learned from the law enforcement efforts made in these two palm oil concessions owned by the US agribusiness giant situated in the province of West Kalimantan.

This assertion was made by Sustyo Iriyono, the ministry's law enforcement team leader who handles the sealing of concessions linked to forest and land fires in the Borneo area, in an explanation to at the ministry building (Dec 12).

The two Cargill palm oil concessions concerned are PT Andes Agro Investama (AAI), sealed by the ministry's law enforcement team (Sep 25), and PT Harapan Sawit Lestari (HSP), sealed by the police with the same evidence (Sep 18). 

“The two palm oil concessions - among 83 concessions sealed in total (as of October 2019) - were sealed after haze-causing fires were discovered in their concessions,” said the ministry’s law enforcement team leader for Borneo.

Below are photos of fires raging in one of the the Cargill palm oil concessions (PT AAI), including in its high conservation value (HCV) block.

Al Gore, in the view of the law enforcement team leader, would get a better understanding of the complexity of forest and land fires in Indonesia from those that afflicted the two Cargill palm oil concessions.

“Cargill could certainly explain the ground-based verification report which backed us up when it came to sealing one of the Cargill palm oil concessions,” he pointed out. 

By focusing on this issue case by case and evidence by evidence, he continued, Al Gore would obtain a first-hand explanation from Cargill whose two palm oil concessions were sealed because of haze-causing fires this year. 

Furthermore, Iriyono suggested that Al Gore learn from various Malaysian conglomerate palm oil concessions that were also sealed by the ministry due to haze-causing fires.

“Among other places, in Sumatra Al Gore should look at why a WWF restoration ecosystem concession which was partially burned was also sealed by the ministry’s law enforcement team,” the team leader said in conclusion.