Mining Road to Cut Through Sumatran Forest
MINISTER of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar gave the subsidiary of Rajawali Corpora, owned by tycoon Peter Sondakh, the permit to build a road for transporting coal in Harapan Forest in Jambi and South Sumatra. Before issuing the permit, Minister Siti even went as far as revising a regulation that would have prohibited building the road. The Harapan Forest restoration area, which is a natural habitat for Sumatra’s endemic animals, will be split by the 26-kilometer-long and 60-meter-wide road. Besides destroying trees in the secondary forest, at a value of over Rp400 billion, the mining road will also threaten biodiversity and indigenous communities, and will open the opportunity for illegal loggers to enter the restored production forest. This report is completed in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, through the Rainforest Journalism Fund program.
DURING a visit to Jambi as a campaigner for the National Democrat (NasDem) Party, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar summoned Governor Fachrori Umar and forestry office chief, Ahmad Bestari. At the time, on April 4, 2019, political parties were campaigning for the legislative election.
As a Jambi NasDem cadre, Fachrori welcomed Siti in the VVIP lounge of the Sultan Thaha Airport. He was accompanied by Bestari because Siti ha...