EARTH WIRE -- Indonesia strongly rejects European Parliament`s allegations

EARTH WIRE -- Indonesia strongly rejects European Parliament`s allegations

Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar. (ANTARA/M. Agung Rajasa)

The president has shown special attention to protecting the rights of traditional communities over forests."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said Indonesia rejects European Parliaments allegations against Indonesian palm oil industry as groundless and despicable.

"The allegation linking palm oil industry to corruption, exploitation of children and abolition of rights of traditional communities is despicable and irrelevant," the minister said in a statement received here on Friday.

The minister referred to the European Parliaments allegation through its "Report on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rain Forests" issued in Strasbourg on April 4, 2017.

The Minister reacted angrily after hearing information that the EU parliament has approved the report.

Siti and Indonesian Ambassador to Finland Wiwiek Setyawati Firman sought to clarify against the report when signing the memorandum of understanding with Finland Minister for Environment and Forestry Kimmo Tiilikainen in Helsinki, Finland.

Siti described the motion directed by the European Parliament to Indonesia as an "unacceptable insult" to the Indonesian government.

She said the government of President Joko Widodo has sought to launch a sustainable management of oil palm plantations and land farming-based industry.

She said the European Parliament has insulted Indonesia by saying oil palm is a big problem in the country linked to corruption and violation of human rights.

She said for Indonesia oil palm plantations constitute a big industry concerning the livelihood of farmers, who account for 41 percent of the total plantations of 11 million hectares. The industry and its downstream sector provide jobs for 16 million workers, she added.

She said Indonesian Parliament is, as the European Parliament and other countries are, committed to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.

She denied accusation about abolition of the rights of traditional communities over forests , saying the rights of traditional communities are well protected by the government.

"The president has shown special attention to protecting the rights of traditional communities over forests," she added.

She said the studies on oil palm plantations by the European Parliament was incomplete and it was offending as it is full of false allegations and calling for boycott of investment in oil palm industry in favor of investment in sun flower or rapeseed industry.

Siti asked other countries to let Indonesia solve its own problems including in coping with forest fires, managing forest and peat lands, protecting its fauna and flora as a contribution to the world.

"Indonesia could face any country in the world when its sovereignty is questioned," she said.

She called on all business people and industrialists in Indonesia to work together with the government in line with the countrys regulation and to remain unaffected by the European Parliament report.

Siti said she would report to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) the European Parliament ratification issue to be studied and reviewed that it would not harm the people and the interest of Indonesia.