South Sorong: Oil palm industry continues its rapid expansion.

In mid-2013, there was no oil palm planted in South Sorong Regency. The logging industry had made an impact on the forest in the area, but the area was still covered by forest, much of it classified by the Indonesian Government as primary forest.

By early 2014, two subsidiaries of the Austindo Nusantara Jaya Group had started clearing this forest, and by the end of the year PT Varia Mitra Andalan (a subsidiary of Eagle High Plantations Tbk.) was also logging for an oil palm plantation.

Aside from the environmental destruction, this new industry has brought conflict with the local community. On August 25th, two men were convicted after having been arrested on a demonstration protesting against Austindo Nusantara Jaya back in May. Odie Aitago was sentenced to 7 months in prison, and Obet Korie to five months.

But more companies are getting ready to join them. Last week local government officials met to discuss the Frames of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessments (KA-ANDAL) of two more companies PT Persada Utama Agromulia (PAU) and PT Anugrah Sakti Internusa (ASI) which are planning to clear another 25,000 and 37,000 hectares respectively to plant with oil palm. Both companies are believed to be subsidiaries of the Indonusa Agromulia Group. The KA-ANDAL is the first stage of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. Here is a translation of the report of the event taken from the South Sorong Regency website:

Two Oil Palm Companies Ready to Invest.


TEMINABUAN- It seems that land in South Sorong is just right for oil palm plantations. This has been shown by two oil palm companies which are ready to invest in the regency, in addition to the plantations which are already underway.

The two companies are PT Persada Utama Agromulia (PAU) and PT Anugerah Sakti Internusa (ASI), which plan to operate in different areas. PT PUA’s concession is in Wayer and Kais Darat Districts, with PT ASI in Teminabuan and Konda districts. In relation to the two companies’ preparations to invest, their Frames of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment (KA-ANDAL) were discussed and evaluated as an initial step by the Environment Impact Assessment Evaluation Commission’s technical team. PT PUA’s KA-ANDAL was discussed on Wednesday 19th August and PT ASI’s on Thursday 20th August in the Women’s Building. The meeting of the technical team was chaired by the head of the local cleanliness and environment agency Dr Yusuf Sipayung who is also head of the Evaluation Commission, with Chris Untajana acting as moderator.

The technical team is comprised of local government bodies with competence evaluating KA ANDAL documents, such as the environment agency, forestry agency, agriculture agency, Production Forest Management Unit (KPH) and the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA). Two members of the Regional Environmental Management Agency for West Papua province also joined the technical team, as did three expert members from an academic background, two from the University of Papua in Manokwari and one from Universitas Victory in Sorong. The company initiating the project and the consultant which prepared the KA ANDAL documents were given the chance to make presentations, and then the technical team and expert members questioned the company. The company gave a detailed explanation of its environmental impact assessment, including technical and socio-cultural aspects. The two oil palm companies will use a plasma system to engage local people. The companies will also build factories to process the palm oil.

The technical team passed on their suggestions for improving the KA ANDAL to the company and the consultants. In principle the technical team agreed that the two companies should proceed to the next stage, with the proviso that the company makes the changes which the technical team and expert members suggested, according to the time available.


Previously, two more subsidiaries of the Internusa Agromulia Group were also trying to process the permits they need for oil palm plantations in South Sorong: PT Internusa Jaya Sejahtera (40,000 hectares) and PT Dinamika Agro Lestari (35,000 hectares). No updates have been received on the status of those two companies.

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