Indonesia: conviction of rainforest arsonists upheld

Aerial photograph of a burning rainforest More than 100 fires were set in the Tripa peat swamp forest (© Courtesy of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP))

Sep 29, 2015

Worldwide protests by environmentalists prompted Indonesia to take a tough stance against slash and burn: the Supreme Court confirmed the guilty verdict against the palm oil company PT Kallista Alam for setting fires in protected peat forests.

The ruling against a criminal palm oil company by Indonesia’s highest court is an encouraging sign for everyone who has a stake in preserving the rainforests. Under pressure from environmentalists at home and abroad, the Indonesian Environment Ministry brought charges against the palm oil company PT Kallista Alam in 2012 that led to an unprecedented penalty for its illegal torching of the protected Tripa forest. PT Kallista Alam was ordered to pay a fine of $9.4 million, as well as a further $21 million for reforestation.

The Tripa peat bogs are part of the Leuser Ecosystem, a “National Strategic Area for its Environmental Protection Function”, and a crucial habitat of the remaining critically endangered Sumatran orangutans.

Rainforest Rescue sent 50,000 protest mails and raised €10,000 for the campaign against PT Kallista Alam in early 2012.

In light of this ruling, we are confident that the corporate arsonists behind the devastating fires currently raging in Indonesia will be brought to justice and closed down for good. Please sign our petition to the Indonesian government.