CSO White Campaign That Brings Blessings & Deforestation Is Still Happening In West Kalimantan

CSO White Campaign That Brings Blessings & Deforestation Is Still Happening In West Kalimantan

Indonesia succeeded in reducing the deforestation rate by 75.03% in the 2019-2020 period, to 115.46 thousand hectares. This figure is much lower than the deforestation in 2018-2019 of 462.46 thousand hectares.

This reduction is a proud achievement. The decline in deforestation coincides with the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Is the decrease in deforestation due to the covid virus? We don’t want to make assumptions, even though the lockdown has been implemented in almost all provinces in Indonesia. However, we should appreciate what the government has achieved in reducing the rate of deforestation.

The good efforts of the government have paid off, with the cooperation in reducing emissions based on deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), the collaboration between the Indonesian government and the Norwegian government. This 10-year cooperation agreement has resulted in a reduction in deforestation, from this reduction, the Norwegian government will pay the Indonesian government USD56 million, equivalent to IDR 812.86 billion. So, the question is whether this money will also be received by the people who have been protecting the forest?

“Deforestation Joke “

The government and businessmen are angry that they are accused of being the perpetrators of deforestation. This is natural because they do not carry out deforestation, but heavy equipment is owned by companies that carry out deforestation, where the equipment is controlled by humans and the people/workers are paid by the company.

If the government is the perpetrator of deforestation, the government will not get USD56 million. Again, heavy equipment is the perpetrator of deforestation. The government only maps areas of forest land that will be granted permission to companies for exploitation. A business permit is given to the company and the heavy equipment works according to the permit to evict forest land to make a profit.

If flash floods and landslides occur, it is due to natural conditions with high rainfall. The peat-forest fires are caused by high temperatures, so mechanically the peat that has been exposed will burn. On the other hand, victims of the disaster have been taken care of, provided with tents, clean water, fast food, the simplest of which is instant noodles. Losses have also been subsidized/paid for by the government such as the Lapindo Mud disaster (to the community or companies).

Facts of deforestation white campaign

What has become the concern of the government and companies over the white campaign rhyme for deforestation carried out by civil society organizations, has been retaliated with a black campaign rhyme against a civil society which has presented facts and data clearly with accusations of hindering investment, foreign accomplices, etc. The black campaign that is accused of being blamed on civil society has actually been indirectly denied by the government, by imposing sanctions on 64 companies that are indicated to be burning forests and 3 companies’ licenses have been revoked. Apart from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 75 cases are being handled by the Police and the Attorney General’s Office, said Director General of Law Enforcement at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Rasio Ridho Sani. Even the Governor of West Kalimantan explicitly stated that there were 157 companies that were given a warning, of which 109 were plantation companies and 48 forestry companies.

Has Deforestation Stopped?

Success in suppressing deforestation should not then make the government complacent, plus the Corona Virus attack, which has made the government focus on dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. So, the government forgets that deforestation is still ongoing. The government’s commitment to reduce GHG which has been stated in Law No. 6 of 2016 can be realized through government work, not only the people who are told to protect the forest through various schemes, while the government continues to provide permits for the exploitation of forest land.

Referring to the existing map, that deforestation does not stop but continues to occur for various reasons and investment interests. An example of how deforestation occurred in Ketapang District, Simpang Hulu District. Here there are permits for natural resource exploitation companies including oil palm plantations, acacia plantations (HTI), and bauxite mining.

The map below shows how deforestation is still occurring in Forest Areas, with similar clearing patterns and/or indications of being cleared for large-scale oil palm plantations. If this is true, then this is very sad. Where the government is working hard to demonstrate its commitment to reducing emissions by reducing the rate of deforestation. Even sadder when considering the slow and weak implementation of the Presidential Instruction on Palm Oil Moratorium No. 8 of 2018, which will end and not run effectively, Perda No. 6 of 2018 and Perda No. 8 of 2018.

The picture above is a map of deforestation that occurred in Simpang Hulu District, Ketapang Regency from 2019 to 2021, covering an area of 7,657.48 Ha. Deforested areas based on the map of forest areas and water conservation in West Kalimantan SK.733/Menhut-II/2014 are Production Forest areas, some of which are directly and indirectly adjacent (not far) with oil palm plantation concessions. Based on the local government administration map, deforestation occurred in Sekucing Kualan Village, Kualan Hilir Village, and Sekucing Labai Village.

Based on sightings from Sentinel 2 satellite imagery in 2020 and 2021 the area of deforested production forest is indicated to be land clearing by oil palm plantations. For more details, we can see in the image below.

Sentinel 2 Satellite Image dated July 31, 2019

Sentinel 2 satellite image of 15 July 2020

In the satellite image above, it is clear from the shape and pattern of land clearing, it is very clear that the clearing uses heavy equipment that is only owned by the company. On the map, the red arrow lines indicate the form of land clearing that is indicated as planned (shown near the red arrow line) and has very neat boundaries of land clearing. In the red box, it is clear that the pattern of land clearing is very neat, as can be seen in the boxes, namely the boundaries or roadblocks in oil palm plantations.

Looking at the facts, it is not a black campaign carried out by CSOs, but a white campaign. Because what is conveyed is in accordance with the facts and existing data. Such as the facts of violations that were conveyed by the Director-General of KLHK and the Governor of West Kalimantan.




  1. https://www.kompas.com/global/read/2020/07/06/114321470/pemerintah-norwegia-bayar-56-juta-dollar-as-kepada-indonesia-untuk-emisi?page=all
  2. https://katadata.co.id/desysetyowati/berita/5f01c1ed71852/norwegia-bayar-rp-812-86-miliar-ke-ri-karena-turunkan-emisi-karbon
  3. https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/indonesia-49806272
  4. https://katadata.co.id/ekarina/berita/5f350c975dd06/157-perusahaan-di-kalbar-dikenakan-sanksi-terkait-pembakaran-hutan
  5. https://kalimantanforest.org/sosialisasi-4-peraturan-gubernur-turunan-dari-perda-kalbar-no-6-tahun-2018-tentang-pengelolaan-usaha-berbasis-lahan-berkelanjutan-di-provinsi-kalimantan-barat/
  6. Menhut 733 Tahun 2014
  7. West Kalimantan Province administration map
  8. Sentinel 2 satelite imaginary
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