Indonesia: Environment Ministry Wins Lawsuit against Corporation Causing Forest Fire

NetralNews 22 Dec 17;

JAKARTA, NNC - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) again showed its firmness to the corporation causing forest and land fire (Karhutla) by winning a civil suit against PT Ricky Kurniawan Kertapersada (PT RKK) in Jambi.

"This is the form of commitment and consistency of Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya against the perpetrators of environmental and forestry crimes, including those done by the corporation," said Director General of Law Enforcement at Environment Ministry Rasio Ridho Sani in Jakarta, Friday (12/22/2017).

He said through the civil suit filed at the Jambi District Court on December 14, 2016, the Environment Minister sued PT RKK for the forest and land fire incident caused by the company's activities.

The lawsuit was initially rejected by the Jambi District Court on June 12, 2017, but the Environment Minister submitted an appeal to the High Court (PT) of Jambi.

Until finally on December 21, 2017, the court declared PT RKK guilty and had to pay material compensation and the cost of ecological restoration amounting to IDR191,804,261,700.

Rasio Ridho Sani who is familiarly called Roy said that law enforcement for corporations involved in forest and land fires, by administrative, criminal, and civil means is a real commitment of the government to indict the perpetrators of environmental and forest crimes.

He hoped the decision of PT Jambi can provide a deterrent effect for the perpetrators of destruction of the environment and forest areas, especially forest and land burners. He is also optimistic that all parties can work together to preserve nature, and realize a smoke-free Indonesia.

For information, PT RKK is an oil palm plantation operating in Puding Village, Kumpeh Sub-district, Muaro Jambi Regency, Jambi Province. The company is known to have burned land in PT RKK plantation area amounting to 591 hectares (ha) in 2015.