September 14, 2019

WWF concession sealed due to forest, land fires

JAKARTA ( - The Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry sealed a WWF-Indonesia ecosystem restoration concession (PT ABT) yesterday (Sep 13) due to the company's inability to prevent forest and land fires at its concession located in Sumatra’s Jambi province.

This is not the first time that evidence of this kind has been found in the WWF concession, as in 2015 it also endured serious forest and land fires.

"PT ABT is one of 42 concessions that the ministry has sealed as a consequence of their failure to handle forest and land fires in their locations," explained the Ministry's Secretary General Bambang Hendroyono (Sep 14).

The WWF concession stretches across part of the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem, a landscape spanning 400,000 hectares - or 5.5 times the size of Singapore - which is one of the last remaining habitats of the critically-endangered Sumatran tiger and elephant.

The following photos show the sealing process of PT ABT by Indonesian forestry authorities. Evidence of the forest and land fires in the WWF concession is clearly visible.

As of today (Sep 14), the WWF concession is listed as the only ecosystem restoration concession sealed by the ministry, the permit for which was granted, among other things, to restore degraded forests and maintain areas of good forest cover in the concession as a bufferzone for the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park

The photos below, taken before the concession was sealed, demonstrate the situation on the ground (Aug 20) in the WWF concession in which raging fires have caused haze at a certain level.

The 42 sealed concessions, which include Malaysian palm oil companies as previously reported by (Sep 13), have failed to fulfill their obligation to control forest and land fires in their concessions. 

According to data received from the ministry today (Sep 14), 28 palm oil concessions and 14 forestry concessions have been sealed due to cases of forest and land fires, among them the WWF concession.

In terms of the distribution of the 42 sealed concessions, 34 are situated in Kalimantan with 26 in West Kalimantan and 8 in Central Kalimantan. Meanwhile in Sumatra, there are 5 sealed concessions in Riau, 2 in Jambi, and 1 in South Sumatra.