Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Groups Press Anti-graft Body on Forestry Crime

Groups Press Anti-graft Body on Forestry Crime

Tuesday, 16 March, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Several non-governmental organizations have put more pressure on the Corruption Eradication Commission to deliver its promise to deal more seriously on illegal logging-related cases this year.

In a joint press conference on Tuesday (16/3) a coalition of anti-deforestation groups which includes the Indonesia Friends of the Earth (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup), Forest Watch Indonesia, Indonesia Corruption Watch, and Sawit (palm) Watch, said it is ready to welcome, monitor, and even criticize any measure taken by the anti-graft body to crack down illegal forest exploitation.

Indonesia Corruotion Watch Reminded the anti-graft body that the commission has nine cases with a total of state loss up to Rp6.66 trillion to be settled, taking place primarily in three provinces; Riau (Sumatra), South Sumatra, and East Kalimantan.

Febri Diansyah a legal researcher with the Indonesia Corruption Watch said “we provide network (to assist the commission) so they will not get lost in the jungle.”

He said so far there are only three forest crime cases in progress at the anti-graft commission. The first one is the one million hectare palm plantation in East Kalimantan forest, alleged bribes in forest logging permit by 15 companies in Riau, and the Tanjung Api-Api harbour project in conservation area in South Sumatra.

The Indonesia Corruption Watch sees corruption law perspective in handling graft and gratification indications in the cases is a better approach than the forestry law as the latter will only treat the above indications as administrative violations.