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Jakarta Post

Firms responsible for 2015 fires go largely unpunished

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, June 14 2016   /  08:58 am

Despite wreaking environmental havoc and causing more than US$16 billion in economic losses, hundreds of companies behind last year’s massive peatland and forest fires across Sumatra and Kalimantan have still not been held accountable for their negligence.

Recently, the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) released a list of 531 companies, mostly agroforestry companies, on whose concessions in peatland areas fires were reported and who thus had an obligation to restore their concessions.

The list only constitutes companies with concessions in peatland areas, therefore the total number of companies on whose lands fires occurred must greatly exceed 531.

However, only three civil lawsuit cases are being heard in courts at the moment with five more lawsuits still in the process. Civil lawsuits are handled by the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s law enforcement direct...