InfoSAWIT, JAKARTA - Coordinator Secretary in Economy, Darmin Nasution said, palm oil industry plays its role to conquer the poverty. He said that in the 13th Indonesia Palm Oil Conference in Bali on 2 November. Based on Wahana Lingkungan Hidup(Walhi) Indonesiaand Sawit Watch, the statement seems to cover the environmental damages and labor exploitation in palm oil plantation. Deforestation, peat exploitation, the taking over of the smallholders’ areas, the river damage, the pollution, the changing function of the areas, the influences for the labors from palm oil enlargement are really potential to the losses of the people themselves and also the country.
In the fire case in 2015, for example, the loss of the people and the country reached Rp 200 billion in about three months. The losses were in health and deadth. The country was forced to make a special agency to recover and restore the broken peat because of the fire in 2013, 2014, 2015. Until now Walhi, Sawit Watch, and the others keep urging to implement (prolong) the moratorium license to decrease the environmental damages.
“Secretary Darmin Nasution did not calculate the environmental damages and the changing function as the potential to the misery of the people,” Fatilda Hasibuan, Forest and Plantation Campaign Manager, Walhi, said, in the press release to InfoSAWIT.
The changing function of the agricultural and food areas to be plantation keeps going on and on. The people lost their sources of lives from the land. The data from BPS, Jambi Province in 2015, the palm oil areas in District of Tanjung Jabung Timur until 2013 laid about 593 thousand hectares, while the decreasing food areas laid about 10 thousand hectares in three years, 2009-2013. Riau Province had decreasing rice reaching 415 tonsbecause of the changing function of food areas to be palm oil areas.
The smallholders and indigenous people highly transform to be labors in plantation. This happens for the changing area status – from the agriculture to be plantation. The people who independently lived as smallholders (farmers) should depend on the plantation companies as labors.
The facts showed, the labors of plantation live in misery. The high work time, the unclear status as labors, the cheap salary, no guarantee in safety, the children as the labors and the normative rights fulfillment becomes the usual thigs happening in every plantation in Indonesia.
The labor exploitatation gets higher as the minimal supervision from Ministry of Labor besides there is no regulation to protect the labors in plantation. “What we observed and researched are, the labors of the plantation are bad. Most of them are exploited, and live in misery.
“We once told this case to Secretary of Labor. This should be a consideration for the Coordinator Secretary, Darmin Nasution to make statement,” Executive Director of Sawit Watch, Inda Fatinaware, said. (T2)