In the Media
Indonesia: Charred footprints
July 17, 2012
The Tripa peat swamp, one with the largest capacity to store carbon in Aceh, is near complete ruin. Investigations carried out by a joint team continue to scour for criminal violations that destroyed the once rich peatland forest.
This land used to be the lush Tripa peatland forest, located within the protected Leuser Ecosystem, and referred to as the country’s lungs in the heart of the tsunami-plagued Aceh province. Tripa used to be teeming with one of the world’s populations of critically-endangered Sumatran orangutans. Tripa had the largest and the most critical capacity to store carbon in Aceh. A permit to convert the peat swamp had been issued to Kallista Alam by then Aceh Governor Irwandy Yusuf on August 25, 2011 – three months following the issuance of an indicative map for protected forests, identifying Tripa as a protected zone. The license granted to Kallista involved 1,605 hectares of the peat swamp.
The indicative map of protected forests was drawn up in May 2011 and used in line with a ban on new clearing permits for an area of about 60 million hectares of forests and peatlands, launched under President Yudhoyono’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) program. The presidential instruction on the ban was issued on May 20 of 2011. There is also a law in place prohibiting the issuance of new concessions on land with peat layers more than three meters deep.
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Keywords: Aceh, Asia, deforestation, Indonesia, peat swamp, Tripa