3 industrial forest plantation concessions make up 81% of the sector’s deforestation in Indonesia in 2023
Article by Indonesia team
In the first half of 2023, the industrial forest plantation sector in Indonesia was responsible for significant deforestation, with ten companies collectively contributing to the clearance of 10,000 hectares of forest. Approximately 81% of this deforestation was attributed to just three companies. Furthermore, six out of the top ten companies for forest clearance were also among the largest deforesters in 2022.
1. PT Mayawana Persada (owned by Alas Kusuma and Green Ascend Sdn Bhd)
Between January and June 2023, PT Mayawana Persada, an industrial forest plantation company located in the Ketapang and North Kayong districts of West Kalimantan, cleared over 5,000 ha of forest, making the concession the largest deforester of 2023 thus far. Previously a sole subsidiary of Alas Kusuma, the company underwent a change of ownership in January 2023. Currently, 50% of the shares belong to a Malaysian holding company called Green Ascend (M) Sdn Bhd, while the remaining 50% of shares remain with Alas Kusuma. Limited information is available about Green Ascend, although it is linked to another Malaysian holding company, Acapalm Plantation, through key personnel. Acapalm Plantation is involved in the management of Nusantara Fiber, a related company of Royal Golden Eagle.
AidEnvironment has covered PT Mayawana Persada in several articles and reports due to its active forest clearing in recent years. From 2021 to 2022, the company cleared approximately 12,000 ha of forest. This trend is continuing, with over 5,000 ha cleared in the first half of 2023, accounting for 50% of the total deforestation in the industrial tree plantation sector in Indonesia. In addition to active deforestation, PT Mayawana Persada is currently facing several community issues in areas in and around the concession, due to their land clearing activities.
Figure 1 Deforestation Within PT Mayawana Persada’s Concession (January to June 2023)
2. PT Industrial Forest Plantation (owned by Nusantara Fiber)
PT Industrial Forest Plantation in Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, maintains its position as the second largest deforester of 2023, having cleared almost 2,000 ha of forest between January to June 2023. The concession is owned by Nusantara Fiber. The parent company has strong ties to Royal Golden Eagle, which operates the large pulp and paper company APRIL. The deforestation carried out by PT Industrial Forest Plantation contrasts with APRIL’s zero deforestation policy.
Figure 2 Deforestation Within PT Industrial Forest Plantation’s Concession (January to June 2023)
3. PT Sendawar Adhi Karya (owned by Daniel and Charlie)
Similar to its deforestation ranking in the previous year, PT Sendawar Adhi Karya in West Kutai, East Kalimantan, emerges as the third largest deforester in the industrial forest plantation sector in Indonesia. Between January and June 2023, the company cleared over 1,000 hectares of forest, surpassing the total reported in 2022 within just six months. Limited information is available about the owners, known just as Daniel and Charlie, or any associated companies.
Figure 3 Deforestation Within PT Sendawar Adhi Karya’s Concession (January to June 2023)
4. PT Grace Putri Perdana (owned by Ciliandry Anky Mandiri)
PT Grace Putri Perdana, part of the Cilandry Anky Mandiri group company, doubled its deforestation compared to the total reported in 2022, clearing almost 550 hectares of forest in the first half of 2023. The Fangiono family, who also manages palm oil companies First Resources and its related companies Ciliandry Anky Abadi and FAP Agri, is behind this company, located in the Lamandau district of Central Kalimantan.
5. PT Intraca Hutani Lestari (owned by Hardaya)
PT Intraca Hutani Lestari, located in Tana Tidung, North Kalimantan, engaged in the clearance of almost 350 hectares of forest in the first half of 2023. This amount is close to the total reported deforestation within the concession in 2022, which stood at around 350 hectares. The associated wood processing company, PT Intracawood Manufacturing, is FSC-certified.
6. PT Bumi Hijau Prima (owned by Sunarno and Swandi)
PT Bumi Hijau Prima, situated in the Kahayan-Kapuas landscape area in Central Kalimantan, made its first appearance on the list of top deforesters in the industrial forest plantation sector in Indonesia during the first half of 2023. AidEnvironment’s analysis indicates that PT Bumi Hijau Prima commenced active clearing activities in the second quarter of 2023, clearing almost 250 hectares of forest between April and June and just 30 hectares between January and March 2023. The concession covers an estimated 18,783 hectares of orangutan habitat and has been registered at the Directorate General of General Legal Administration of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia since January 2015. However, there is no public information available about its owner, PT Sutar Winantara Kayu or any associated companies.
AidEnvironment’s 2022 analysis of the corporoate concessions in Indonesia with the most remaining forested orangutan habitat identified the Kahayan-Kapuas landscape as one of Kalimantan’s most important landscapes for orangutans. PT Bumi Hijau Prima sits directly north of PT Industrial Forest Plantation, the industrial forest concession with the most remaining forested orangutan habitat (after PT Mayawana Persada).
7. PT Selaras Abadi Utama (owned by Sumatera Dinamika Utama)
Located in Palalawan, Riau, PT Selaras Abadi Utama holds an industrial forest plantation permit covering 13,600 hectares of land. In the first half of 2023, the company cleared almost 200 hectares of forest. PT Selaras Abadi Utama serves as a long-term fiber supplier of APRIL, which operates under a sustainable forest management policy. However, this company was involved in a forestry corruption case in 2017.
Sumatera Dinamika Utama owns PT Selaras Abadi Utama, but information about this parent company is scarce. Sumatera Dinamika Utama does not have an official website and public information about the group is almost non-existent, except for job vacancies advertisement citing the group’s name. The company’s lack of transparency extends back several years, with connections to deforestation cases and links to APRIL’s pulp and paper business mentioned in a 2006 report by Eyes on the Forest.
Since May 2023, several of the group’s subsidiaries have been listed as APRIL’s long term partners for fiber supply sources. The forest clearing activities by Sumatera Dinamika Utama’s subsidiaries is a breach to APRIL’s sustainability commitments.
8. PT Baratama Putra Perkasa (owned by Batavia Prosperindo)
PT Baratama Putra Perkasa , located in Seruyan and Kotawaringin Timur in Cental Kalimantan, cleared almost 200 hectares of forest between January and June 2023. The concession is a subsidiary of Batavia Prosperindo, an Indonesian investment managing company, and public information about this company is limited.
9. PT Hutan Rindang Banua (owned by PT Dian Swastatika Sentosa Tbk)
PT Hutan Rindang Banua’s concession spans four districts in South Kalimantan: Tanah Bambu, Tanah Laut, Kota Baru, and Banjar. This company is a part of PT Dian Swastatika Sentosa, a public company majority owned by Sinar Mas. The total deforestation attributed to PT Hutan Rindang Banua in the first half of 2023 is just over 150 hectares.
10. PT Bangun Rimba Sejahtera (owned by Johan)
PT Bangun Rimba Sejahtera operates industrial tree plantations in West Bangka, Bangka Belitung, and is owned by an individual named Johan. Limited public information is available about the owner or the company’s sustainability policies. The concession cleared just over 150 hectares of forest between January and June 2023. Additionally, PT Bangun Rimba Sejahtera is entangled in a land conflict with local communities who claim they fear the loss of their current sources of income.