The coalition of environment-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) urged the pulp and paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to resolve land conflicts with communities in various regions. Rudiansyah, coordinator of the NGO Coalition who is also Chair of the Jambi Forum for the Environment (Walhi), revealed that since it began operations until now there have been 122 land conflicts in APP’s operations.
In addition, from 38 supplier companies to APP, as many as 22 companies also conflict with the community. Rudiansyah also explained that the most dominant conflict concerns the issue of indigenous land disputes, violence, intimidation and eviction, as well as conflicts concerning livelihoods, living crops, and fees for cooperation with companies.
In response, APP quickly responded by launching a sustainability management commitment known as the Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) in February, 2013. It included handling those responsible for all complaints and conflicts and their resolutions, and respecting human rights. The resolution program rolled out by APP paid off, members of the Agro Jaya III Farmers’ Group (Koptan) have relieve now because their 17-year land conflict with PT Wira Karya Sakti finally finished Monday (17/12) through negotiations.
Musri Nauli, as Chair of the Jambi KKSR Adhoc Team, said that the agreement to terminate the conflict was in line with the commitment of Sinar Mas-Asian Pulp Paper (Simas-APP) regarding the Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) and the applicable provisions. The implementation of APP’s resolution program has been in accordance with the object and subject and has been through the verification process until finally it can reach consensus and the process runs well.
On the other hand, the Indonesian Forest Entrepreneurs Association (APHI) stated that in the past ten years foreign environmental NGOs have always pressed the company to ensure that the exported products are rejected in the destination countries. The condition, he said, resulted in the export oriented company of superior products such as pulp and paper not being able to carry out cost efficiency because there are two rules that must be implemented. If both local and foreign NGOs intend to have a good goal towards the export results of the domestic forestry industry, it is fitting that regulations issued by the government must be corrected.
It cannot be denied, despite the accusations of environmental NGOs that tend to be tendentious in the industrial sector, the industrial sector is able to provide and drive domestic macroeconomics. At present, Indonesia’s pulp industry is ranked 10th in the world and the sixth paper industry ranks the world. In Asia, Indonesia’s pulp industry ranks third and the fourth paper industry after China, Japan and India.
Data shows that from 2006 to 2016, pulp production in China increased from around 52 million tons to around 79 million tons, while consumption increased faster than around 60 million tons to around 97 million tons. It is estimated that the deficit will be wider in the future. To cover this deficit, China continues to import pulp, especially from Indonesia and Brazil.
Indonesia is one of the countries other than Brazil which is predicted to be more profitable. Until now, only these two countries can still increase the amount of production and production costs are cheaper compared to other countries. This cheap production cost is because Indonesia and Brazil still have a relatively broad production forest compared to other competing countries.
Based on data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, until 2018, there are still 4.03 million hectares of HTI land that can be planted for the pulp and paper industry. Based on this fact, the Indonesian public can draw a more comprehensive and complete conclusion: the current attacks on APP are related to extortion or even trade competition.
The most disadvantaged business circles are related to NGO activities, the government must do action: stop their negative campaigns by making regulations that function to protect national strategic industries from the terror of black campaigns carried out by mainly foreign NGOs. The regulation contains legal protection for domestic industries such as National Vital Objects (OVNI) in the industrial sector. Within the OVNI, the government protects national strategic industries from the threat of terror and the actions of certain groups of anarchy.
In this context, the government is deemed necessary to make regulations that prohibit Greenpeace or other NGOs from carrying out black campaigns and impose strict legal sanctions. The black campaign that has been rolled out by NGOs for years has been at a stage that has seriously disrupted the existence of industries, especially pulp and paper in the country.
If examined more closely, in reality environmental NGOs do not have the obligation to set criteria for compliance with domestic pulp and paper companies. However, by utilizing its international network, foreign NGOs shout loudly to pressure buyers on the world market, and indirectly “play” in international trade competition.
We must admit, there are still many rules regarding the environment and natural resources that must be corrected and harmonized so as not to conflict with each other and overlap. Therefore, the environmental and resource laws that are not in line with the times must be synchronized and amended to protect domestic economic interests and preserve Indonesia’s environment.
Rizaldi Dolly Ramasandi