June 25, 2018

Minister cracks down on GAMA company for peat violations 

JAKARTA ( - Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has previously warned that, sooner or later, companies committing peat violations will find themselves being hit by strict sanctions.

In line with this promise, the minister has imposed a new sanction consisting of numerous orders on PT GAN, a Ganda Group / GAMA Plantation-owned palm oil company operating in West Kalimantan's Kubu Raya regency, for peat violations (Jun 21).

Based on an investigation by the ministry's law enforcement team (Apr 11-12), the GAMA palm oil company was found not to have complied with its legal requirements by committing 10 violations, the most significant of which pertain to new development of peatland in a peat protection zone.

As reported by (Apr 12), the ministry has stated that it is taking on-the-ground law enforcement measures related to this new peat development in the GAMA palm oil concession.

Eleven orders

On the basis of the 10 proven violations committed by the GAMA palm oil company, Minister Siti Nurbaya has issued 11 orders to the company to fulfill legal compliance based on existing laws and regulations.

Among these orders, the minister has instructed the palm oil company to stop all new peat development. Furthermore, the company has been given 180 calendar days to carry out peat recovery in its concession.

Below are some photos taken during the field investigation that has resulted in the GAMA palm oil company being handed a severe sanction.

The company has also been ordered to enhance its facilities and infrastructure for controlling peat fires within 90 calendar days, including ensuring that the peat water level in the concession complies with the legal stipulations for peat recovery purposes.

Some of the other obligations to be met by the company, in line with the minister's orders, are related to waste management, seeing that the company has neither a waste disposal license nor a license to manage hazardous and toxic waste.

Warning of heightened sanction

The government-imposed sanction compels the GAMA palm oil company to carry out these eleven orders, as the content of the sanction itself specifies. As such, the company is required to report in writing its legal compliance to the ministry, as well as to local governments, both at the provincial and regency levels.

In the event that the GAMA palm oil company does not execute the 11 orders from the minister, the ministry will intensify the level of sanction on the company, as stated explicitly in the final section of the sanction.

President Joko Widodo's leadership in terms of peat protection has proved unprecedented in Indonesia's history, as highlighted by his uncompromising stance towards conglomerate groups linked to peat violations and peat fires.

Complementing the efforts of the President, Minister Siti Nurbaya is also the first minister in Indonesia's history to consistently impose strict sanctions on conglomerate companies involved in peat violations and peat fires, as exemplified by this new sanction slapped on the GAMA palm oil company.