The Bleaching of Large-Scale Palm Oil Plantations: An Open-Ended Violation

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PALMOILMAGAZINE, BOGOR – Former General Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MEF), Bambang Hendroyono, reported that 90 percent of corporate palm oil plantations operating in forest regions have successfully obtained their permits.

Additionally, it has come to light that there are 200,000 hectares of illegal palm oil plantations within Protected Forest and Conservation Forest areas. Those responsible will be required to pay administrative fines and cover the costs of land recovery, which will be returned to the state (Chapter 110B).

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The deadline for resolving palm oil plantations within forest regions is no longer in effect. According to the Undang-Undang Cipta Kerja (UUCK), which has been replaced by the Government Regulation in lieu of the UUCK, November 2, 2023, marked the deadline for cases in both Chapter 110A and Chapter 110B.

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Returning palm oil plantations to the country is the commitment of the country to control climate change.

Director of Sawit Watch, Achmad Surambo mentioned his institution thought that palm oil solution in forest regions is covered up and not transparent. The public has no enough information to know what the progresses were. The civil society should actually monitor what has happened.

“In the decision published by Ministry of Environment and Forestry about legal subjects that are indicated in forest regions and should get solution through Chapter 110 A and 110 B UUCK, the public cannot access,” he said, as in the official statement to, Friday (3/11/2023).

The institution also rejected palm oil plantation bleaching in forest regions because this could be something bigger for the company to do the same violation in the future. Palm oil plantation bleaching can cause implication of uncertainty of law and would create additional impacts to get solution on the people’s areas in forest regions.

“The solution should apply the mechanism in Undang-Undang Pencegahan dan Pemberantasan Pengrusakan Hutan (UU P3H). In September 2023, we registered to get material test of the chapter about palm oil plantation bleaching in forest regions to Supreme Court. This would be our effort to confirm that palm oil corporates would not ignore their responsibility on disobedience and violation that happened for years ago. But until now we do not get the result or deadline of our claim,” Surambo said. (T2)

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