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December 2018 14 December 2018:

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) published an article titled, “Elephant Corridor Has Been Cleared by Indonesian State Company Despite Moratorium on Palm Oil by President” which highlighted PT Perkebunan Nusantara I (PTPN I) to have continued clearing forests within an important corridor for the endangered Sumatran elephant inside the Leuser Ecosystem a month after President Jokowi announced a three-year moratorium on the issuance of new plantation licenses.

May 2019

17 May 2019:

RAN’s Leuser Watch article titled, “Forest Loss Rises Sharply in Critical Leuser Ecosystem Lowlands” highlighted forest loss that has occurred within PTPN I Blang Tualang estate, with a total of 24 hectares cleared between January – April 2019.

We reached out to PTPN I to seek clarification regarding the issues raised by RAN and requested Planting Map (Areal Statement) of PT Tualang Sawit (Blang Tualang) estate.
June 2019

04 June 2019:

RAN published another Leuser Watch article, “Investigation underway into forest loss for palm oil in Leuser Ecosystem”. The third article mentioned that PTPN I responded to RAN’s publication with commitment to maintain forest area in Leuser Ecosystem. The report showed satellite imagery for the period of 2017 to June 2019 that showed the location and timing of forest clearance and the development of a new road into a forested area.

PTPN I stated that principally PTPN I supports program and activities to adopt sustainability principles and environment protection in their operations as required by plantation regulations.

Regarding the issue on alleged deforestation in January to October 2018 that continued to January until April 2019, PTPN I explained that the activities carried out at that time were only replanting at several locations within the PTPN I land use right (HGU) and were not deforestation. PTPN I shared the planting map of PT Tualang Sawit (Blang Tualang) estate.

July 2019 Based on the provided planting map from PTPN I, we noticed that there is an area called “Reserve Area” within the PTPN I concession.  We sought further clarification regarding the “Reserve Area” to PTPN I.
December 2019 PTPN I clarified that the “Reserve Area” is an area formerly planted with oil palm and mainly covered with old oil palm blocks left unmanaged. As a result, the number of palms decreased and the area started to develop into scrubs covered with wood weed and thick bushes within the unmanaged old palms.

Some areas within the “Reserve Area” covering 249 hectares which can be replanted, are planned for replanting between 2020 – 2023.

February 2020

We reached out to PTPN I to provide the location map of area covering 249 hectares that are planned for replanting.
Responding to Musim Mas’ request, PTPN I shared the map of the replanting plan for the area covering 249 hectares which is planned to be carried out within the year 2020-2023.
March 2020

We contacted PTPN I again and requested further information such as the previous planting of the area planned for replanting and the current land cover on the ground.
PTPN I informed us that they were working with the relevant authorities to confirm the land cover status of the PTPN I land use right (HGU) PT Tualang Sawit (Blang Tualang) on the ground.
June 2020 24 June 2020:

RAN published another Leuser Watch article, “Amidst COVID-19 lockdown deforestation for palm oil climbs”. The fourth report highlighted PTPN I as having failed to adopt a “No Deforestation, No Peatland and No Exploitation” policy to align with the expectations of global consumers, and the published policies of major brands and palm oil traders, and as having continued opening roads and land clearing of potential High Conservation Value (HCV) areas and High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests in the Leuser Ecosystem.

July 2020
We communicated again with PTPN I to request clarification regarding RAN report dated 24 June 2020 and follow up on our request on additional evidence/ information on the land cover. We also invited PTPN I to have virtual meeting (video conference) to clarify on the issues highlighted in the RAN report.
We conducted conference call with PTPN I on 06 July 2020 to further discuss on PTPN I sustainability policy and to review the issues raised in the RAN report.

The outcome of the discussion as follows:

  1. The last replanting activity of PTPN I was in 2019 and outside the forest area. PTPN I did not carry out land clearing and replanting activities in 2020. The land clearing activities that occurred within the PTPN I land use right (HGU) in 2020 as alleged in the NGO report were encroachment by the community. PTPN I committed not to do replanting and new planting until there is results of spatial/ renewal analysis from the relevant authorities. In addition, PTPN I also informed that they will conduct an HCV and HCS assessment involving competent institutions.
  2. The issue raised by RAN in the Leuser Watch dated 24 June 2020 titled “Amidst COVID-19 lockdown deforestation for palm oil climbs” stating PTPN I failed to implement the NDPE policy, PTPN I said that PTPN I already have Sustainable Palm Oil Policy and willing to share with stakeholders

Musim Mas will continue communication with PTPN I and will monitor their progress.

October 2020 We sought updates from PTPN 1 based on our previous discussion in July 2020.
November 2020 PTPN I reiterated that in 2020, there were no new developments or replanting for palm plantation done by the company.

The land clearing within the HGU was a result of community encroachment. PTPN I, together with Aceh Timur and the Langsa government have made efforts to continuously engage and persuade the community member to address the issue.

PTPN I has not received the results of the spatial/ renewal analysis from the authorized party and is following up with them on the result of the analysis.

March 2021 We are seeking updates from PTPN1.

PTPN I is still waiting for the results of the spatial/renewal analysis.

PTPN I is in the process of selecting a consultant to do Integrated Assessment of High Conservation Value (HCV)/High Carbon Stock (HCS).

July 2021 To support the achievement of objective B of the Aceh Landscape Strategy, Musim Mas conducted NDPE compliance verification to PTPN I on 7 – 9 July 2021.

Verification was carried out on-site (field verification) by reviewing the implementation of the action plan from PTPN I. The results of the verification are as follows:

1. NDPE commitment
Sustainable Palm Policy of PTPN I has been published on their official website
The policy has also been socialized to the management component, staff, and employees.

2. Integrated HCV/HCS assessment
PTPN I is currently still reviewing the offer from the consultant.

3. Encroachment by the community
On 20 April 2021, PTPN I held a meeting with 4 cultivators and carried out socialization to convey that the area belongs to PTPN I according to the company’s HGU. The notification not to continue planting banana trees and other plants in the HGU area is written in a stamped statement letter.

As a precaution, PTPN I has put up a sign announcing this land belongs to PTPN I.

4. Spatial/ Renewal Analysis
At the time of verification, PTPN I still had not received the results/response from the Forest Area Consolidation Centre (Balai Pemantapan Kawasan Hutan – BPKH).

December 2021 PTPN I informed that they have implemented HCV and SIA assessment in cooperation with a consultant. PTPN I also confirmed that they don’t have plans for new land development.

PTPN I also have received the result from the Forest Area Consolidation Centre (Balai Pemantapan Kawasan Hutan – BPKH). Based on the document, it recognizes that some of the areas within the Tualang Sawit (Blang Tualang) estate still overlap with Forest Area. This area will be processed further.

March 2022 PTPN I confirmed that the “Reserve Area” covering 249 hectares will not be going through a replanting process as was initially planned.

For Tualang Sawit (Blang Tualang) estate area which overlaps with the forest area, the Company is preparing the required documentation to be submitted to the government as part of the process to exclude the area from forest zonation.

May 2023 PTPN I has submitted the proposal to exclude the estate area of Tualang Sawit (Blang Tualang) that overlaps with the forest area to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and is currently in the process of completing the required documents.