TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Greenpeace announced it had found evidence of illegal logging activities in Kaimana, West Papua, carried out by two companies whose licenses had been suspended. "We found evidence that the operation was in progress. These activities are illegal," said Greenpeace forestry campaign person for Southeast Asia, Bustar Maitar in a press release.
The finding was a result of monitoring by Greenpeace from their ship, the MV Esperanza, which arrived in Papua on October 7 for the "Forests for Climate" campaigns. Esperanza is observing the impact of deforestation towards global climate change, decline in biological diversity and destruction in sources of revenue for people dependent on forest products. The ship is currently on its way from Jayapura to Manokwari in West Papua, and will continue their activities in Indonesia until November 15.
According to Bustar, by monitor from the air over Nabire last Monday, Greenpeace found that logging companies PT Kaltim Hutama dan PT Centrico were still operating at the log pond in Nabire. Some of their heavy machinery was seen carrying timber and trucks were seen lining up around their wood storage site. "The company's Forestry Concession Right is for the Kaimana area, but their log pond is located in Nabire," Bustar said.
Greenpeace has called on the Indonesian government to conduct a comprehensive evaluation on logging companies causing serious damage to forests in Papua and other parts of Indonesia. He also asked the company to cease their operations temporarily pending the results of the government's assessment. "The company is undergoing a legal process," Bustar Maitar told Tempo, who joined the MV Esperanza when it sailed last Monday.
ABDUL MANAN | CUNDING LEVI