Witnesses unveil irregularities in logging license related to APP
Recent trials of forestry corruption with defendant Burhanuddin Husin, former Riau Forestry Service Head at Pekanbaru’s Corruption Crime Court presented witnesses telling irregularities found in ground checking. Riau Corruption Trial blog reported series of forestry corruption trial monitoring involving defendant Burhanuddin Husin who served the forestry service head in 2006. On Tuesday (14 Aug) two witnesses from pulpwood plantation suppliers bear testimonies before the Court. Lim Wi Lin was Finance Manager of PT RAPP, timber supplier and subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL). While, Sunarijo was Director of PT National Timber and Forestry Product (NTFP), another supplier associated to APRIL. Lim who ended his career at PT RAPP in 2008 said that some timber companies such as Persada Karya Sejati, Selaras Abadi Utama, Tuah Negeri, Alam Lestari and Mutiara Lestari had partnership with APRIL’s PT RAPP where the latter paid compensation fee to the suppliers for timber sent to PT RAPP pulp mill. Sunarijo said that all logs from PT National Timber and Forest Product (NTFP) will be distributed to PT Siak Raya Timber, while chipwood sent to PT RAPP. Burhanuddin approved Annual Logging Plan (RKT) in 2006 to PT NTFP, said Sunarijo. On trial session of 9 August, Abdul Haris, staff of Siak District Forestry Service, said that he involved in process of issuing licenses for pulpwood plantation (IUPHHK-HT) and became mapping analyst. He analyzed map and conducted micro survey for Asia Pulp & Paper (APP)’s PT Rimba Mandau Lestari as well as for PT Balai Kayang Mandiri, APP’s PT Seraya Sumber Lestari, APRIL’s PT NTFP and PT Bina Daya Bintara. Haris said that condition of areas that proposed by the companies to be converted to pulpwood plantation was natural forest with tree density potential of 19 cubic meter per hectare, where the Minister of Forestry Decree number 10.1 year 2000 only allowed the plantation should be on areas with 5 cubic meter of tree density at maximum. Haris said defendant Burhanuddin had issued RKT approval for PT Seraya Sumber Lestari which was natural forest based on field survey that Haris conducted. But, on its RKT technical consideration, there was not natural forest mentioned by Burhanuddin, therefore the forest was clearcut for conversion. PT Seraya Sumber Lestari had partnership with PT IKPP, pulp mill belonging to APP, while PT Balai Kayang Mandiri collaborated with PT Arara Abadi, APP’s timber supplier, Haris added. The trial also unveiled that PT SSL and PT NTFP never conduct field survey for license issuance as the two companies had link with Arwin A.S, former Siak District Head, whom sentenced to jail for the forestry corruption case.