JAKARTA, Indonesian firms owe at least $1.3
billion in unpaid fines for environmental damage caused by widespread forest clearing and deadly fires linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths, a Greenpeace study said.
Citing government data, the environmental group said it examined 11 civil
court cases between 2012 and 2018 where palm oil and pulp-and-paper companies were ordered to pay fines to the government.
However, not one of these forests cases has resulted in compensation being paid, Greenpeace said.
The cases were mostly linked to damage from fires that tore through
Indonesia in 2015, causing as much as $16 billion in damages to forestry and agriculture, as well as to tourism and other industry, it added, citing World Bank figures.
The 2015 blazes destroyed some two million hectares of land and sparked a
massive haze outbreak over Singapore and Malaysia.
A US academic study estimated that the crisis may have led to more than
100,000 premature deaths.
Until today not one company has paid compensation for their role in this
catastrophe, Greenpeace said.
Most of the $1.3 billion in penalties was attributed to the single case of
a firm found to have been engaged in illegal logging that saw vast tracts of
Unpaid compensation is money owed to Indonesians and could be used for
large-scale forest restoration and to prevent future damage, it added.
Source: NAM News Network