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Article

13 Nov 2020

Indonesia: Palm oil giant Korindo accused anew of illegally burning Papuan rainforest; company denies allegation

"Palm oil giant Korindo accused anew of illegally burning Papuan rainforest", 13 November 2020

Palm oil giant Korindo Group is alleged to have set fires to clear rainforest in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua, a practice that is banned by law.

[...]

On its website, Korindo said it “has never used and will never use fire to clear land in any of its operations.”

And in a response to the latest allegation, Korindo told the BBC that the fires in its concessions were either natural fires caused by extreme dryness or started by “villagers hunting giant wild rats hiding under stacks of wood.”

But villagers who live around the PT Dongin Prabhawa plantation say they saw Korindo employees setting fires on the company’s land over a period of years that matched the findings of the visual investigation.

[...]

“And then they poured petrol over it and then lit them,” he said as quoted by the BBC.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaign head Kiki Taufik [...] urged the Indonesian government to hold Korindo and other plantation companies accountable for the fires on their land and for the resulting damage to people’s health and the environment.

“Instead, the government’s track record shows inconsistent and weak law enforcement, combined with a weakening of environmental safeguards under the recently passed pro-business omnibus law,” he said.

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