Govt revokes licenses of 13 HPH holders
Rendi A. Witular, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The government has revoked the licenses of 13 natural forest concession holders (locally called HPH concessionaires) for failing to meet requirements for the sustainable operation of their forest estates.
The 13 concessionaires control more than 1.5 million hectares of natural forest, which is currently in a critical condition because of overexploitation.
Director of forest exploitation at the Ministry of Forestry Lumisu Mangiwa told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that an audit by the Independent Verification Institute (LPI) showed that 13 of the 27 companies being audited failed to sustain their forest resources.
Lumisu explained that the ownership of the forests would be taken over by the Ministry of Forestry and would later be transferred to the local community as a community forest, if they are located near villages, while remote forest areas will be auctioned off to private investors to be turned into plantations.
The concessionaires whose licenses have been revoked includes PT Maraga Daya Wood, PT Artika Optima Inti I, PT Bhara Induk Maluku and PT Bhara Induk Sumut.
PT Maraga Daya is owned by publicly listed timber giant PT Barito Pacific, which controls a total area of around 68,000 hectares in Central Kalimantan.
However, in its report to the Jakarta Stock Exchange last week, Barito said the revocation of its subsidiary's license would not greatly impact the company's overall operation.
PT Artika Optima Inti I, a unit under the troubled timber conglomerate Djajanti Group, controls 435,000 hectares of natural forest in Papua.
Djajanti is currently under the control of the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency, as it owes huge debts worth Rp 2.8 trillion (US$329 million) and $140 million to the state.
The move to revoke the licenses of bad forest concessionaires is part of an overall effort by the Ministry of Forestry to restructure the country's natural forests, which have been threatened by illegal logging and overexploitation.
By the end of the year, 296 concessionaires out of a total of 412 logging companies are expected to have been audited.
Banned HPH holders
1. Salaki Suma Sejahtera West Sumatra 2. Essa Indah Timber Riau 3. Bhara Induk Maluku Maluku 4. Aman Makmur Intiga Central Kalimantan 5. Artika Optima Inti Papua 6. Sri Buana Dumai Riau 7. Karya Inti Sakti Mandiri Central Kalimantan 8. KSU Bajenta Central Kalimantan 9. Bhara Induk North Sumatra 10. Maraga Daya Wood Central Kalimantan 11. Sri Bunian Trading South Sumatra 12. Mutiara Klja Permai East Kalimantan 13. Mohairson Pawan Kalja West Kalimantan
Source: Ministry of Forestry