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Jakarta Post

Evidence mismatch halts fight to protect Sabuai sacred forest

  • Belseran Christ

    Ambon

PREMIUM
Ambon   /   Wed, February 24 2021   /  01:00 am
This undated photo shows an investigator with the Environment and Forestry Ministry's law enforcement division standing on a cut-down tree at a forest in Sabuai village, Eastern Seram regency, Maluku.(Courtesy of Environment and Forestry Ministry/-)

The fight to protect an indigenous forest in Sabuai village, Eastern Seram regency, Maluku is far from over as legal proceedings against a businessperson accused of illegal logging has been halted over reported inaccuracy in the investigation. Investigators with the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s law enforcement division named a commissioner of logging firm CV Sumber Berkat Makmur (SBM), identified as IQ, a suspect in an illegal logging case in March 2020. He was named a suspect for allegedly ordering the firm to commit encroachment and illegal logging in the forest where the Sabuai indigenous community resides. IQ was charged under the 2013 law on forest destruction, which carries a maximum punishment of 15 years' imprisonment and a Rp100 billion (US$7.1 million) fine. CV SBM obtained a plantation permit from the Eastern Seram Forestry Agency in 2018 to...