Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – Environmental watchdog Greenpeace along with a number of civil organizations demanded transparency in the land-cultivation permits (HGU) in order to evaluate the upstream cooking oil industry. Greenpeace forest campaigner Sekar Banjaran Aji assessed that oil palm plantations in the archipelago are mostly controlled by oligarchs.
"What is happening in the cooking oil industry is very nasty because it is filled with many oligarchs," Sekar told reporters at the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
According to her, by disclosing the details of the HGU, the government could evaluate whole upstream issues in the cooking oil industry. The public could also assess how palm oil management is running by far.
"The land tenure is huge. Until now, we are still questioning the transparency of the HGU of these palm oil companies," said Sekar.
Greenpeace together with Sawit Watch, the Association for Community and Ecologically-based Law Reform (HuMa), the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), Greenpeace Indonesia, and the Indonesian Public Interest Lawyer Network (Pilnet) had filed a lawsuit against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi.
Sekar hoped that the lawsuit could be the first step toward a comprehensive evaluation of the governance of the palm oil industry by the government. "So palm oil will no longer be a threat to Indonesia's forests," she concluded.