The clearing of wetlands to make way for oil palms at Tripa Swamp, Naha Raya regency in Aceh, is an example of the chaotic state of our forestry management. Violations of environmental laws are as plain as day, but those responsible for this violation escape punishment. Regional governments hand out forestry licenses without considering the environmental impact on ecological balance. Calls to revoke the oil palm plantation licenses deserve support. And there should be an investigation into the suspected collusion in granting permits by the former governor of Aceh.
The Tripa Swamp chaos came to light after environmental NGO Walhi filed a lawsuit against the Aceh governor at the State Administrative Court (PTUN). They demanded that the permit issued to PT Kallista Alam to expand to an additional 1,605 hectares of land inside the Leuser Ecosystem Region be revoked. The permit was issued by former Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf, shortly before he was defeated in the last gubernatorial election. According to Walhi, the permit must be revoked because the oil palms are located in a wetland area. In accordance with Presidential Decision No. 32/1990, all wetlands with a depth of more than 3 meters must be protected, and not turned into plantations.
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