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Jakarta Post

Letter: Oil palm plantations and orangutans

  • The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
  /   Mon, January 9 2012   /  08:00 am

The issues of deforestation and orangutan killings in Indonesia sparked a controversy recently. Both were linked to oil palm plantations, with some alleging that the plantations have caused deforestation and the death of orangutans in the country. The question is whether oil palm estates are really responsible for the forest destruction and the death of orangutans?

In the context of oil palm plantations, the concessions granted by the government have the status of Other Utilization Area (APL), or sometimes Conversion Production Forest (HPK). The concessionaires in the HPK zone have to request forest zone-release licenses from the Forestry Ministry. Pursuant to the law, it’s impossible for the government to grant concessions in production forests, let alone protected and conservation forests.

Therefore, it’s irrelevant to link the expansion of oil palm plantations with ...