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Jakarta Post

Landmark court ruling expected to serve as deterrent

  • Hans Nicholas Jong

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, November 18 2016   /  08:22 am

A landmark Supreme Court ruling ordering a plantation company to pay a high line for illegal forest clearing is expected to serve as a deterrent for companies that seek to engage in deforestation.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari (MPL) was guilty of illegally clearing forests in Pelalawan Regency, Riau, from 2004 to 2006.

The pulp and paper company was ordered to pay Rp 16 trillion (US$1.19 billion) in fines, the highest of any case of environmental destruction in the nation’s history.

“The ministry appreciates the Supreme Court’s decision on illegal clearing carried out by PT MPL. Hopefully this ruling will have a deterrent effect on others,” the ministry’s law enforcement director-general, Rasio Ridho Sani, said.

In 2002, then-Pelalawan regent Tengku Azmun Jaafar authorized PT MPL to exploit 5,590 hectares of ...