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Cablegate: Update - Indonesia's Illegal Logging Challenge

VZCZCXRO2964
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1961/01 2980525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240525Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0400
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2639
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5525
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3195
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5042
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001961

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/ENRC, EAP/MTS, EAP/RSP
USTR FOR DBROOKS
USAID FOR ANE, EGAT
BANGKOK FOR RDM/A
NSC FOR CEQ CONNAUGHTON, VAN DYKE
USFS FOR CMACKIE
TREASURY FOR KBERG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID KGHG ECON PGOV ID
SUBJECT: UPDATE - INDONESIA'S ILLEGAL LOGGING CHALLENGE

REF: A. JAKARTA 935
B. JAKARTA 778

1. (U) Summary: Despite a number of recent seizures of illegal
timber by Indonesian authorities, the challenge in containing
Indonesia's illegal logging remains intense. The new Indonesian
National Police Chief is expected to bring a renewed focus to his
predecessor's campaign against environmental crimes including
illegal logging. End Summary.

Recent Enforcement Actions
--------------------------
2. (U) Recent seizures and arrests show that illegal logging remains
at significant levels. This is despite successful actions against
illegal logging, including a large joint operation with national
forestry officials in April during which Indonesian National Police
(INP) seized 19 vessels carrying 12,000 illegally harvested logs
worth over $23 million (ref B) in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. In
fact, the head of the forest protection service in West Kalimantan,
Sunaryo, has spoken of the glaring reemergence of illegal logging in
Ketapang and Kayong Utara District a couple months following that
major seizure.

3. (U) Listed below are several cases of recent seizures in
Indonesia.

October:

-- 14 October: An investigative police team in East Kalimantan
seized 14,838 cubic meters of wood of questionable legality in West
Kutai District. Police seized the timber from three different
companies, based on information from the local community, because
the timber included ironwood, which requires special permits and
cannot be exported from Kalimantan.

-- 11 October: In Ketapang, West Kalimantan, a quick reaction forest
police unit (SPORC) seized 2,707 pieces of processed wood being
transported by motorboat. The transporters were using valid
documents issued to two companies for transportation and/or showing
the origin of the timber. However, the head of the forest police
unit said the documents had expired, indicating the smugglers had
been using the papers repeatedly. The seized ship and timber are in
the custody of SPORC headquarters in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, and
police are investigating the two companies listed on the documents.

July:
-----

-- On August 1, the Marine police in West Kalimantan announced that
they had seized 1065 pieces of processed timber from 2 businesses,
as well as 3 ships/motorboats, during the months of June and July.
The seized wood originated from Kayong Utara District, formerly part
of Ketapang. The chief of the marine police of the West Kalimantan
police said the seized wood had no valid accompanying documents
showing their origin.

-- On July 31, based on a tip off from the local community, police
in Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) intercepted a 1-ton sandalwood shipment
to Surabaya that lacked official documents. Shortly before that, on
July 25, a Customs patrol in Palu seized an illegal shipment of 179
pieces of black wood from Donggala, Central Sulawesi Province.
According to press reports, the police and/or Customs foil similar
smuggling attempts almost on a monthly basis.

Encroachment Still Widespread
-----------------------------
4. (U) The continued clearing of forests, including encroachment
into protected areas, remains a challenge (ref A). According to
Tandya Tjahjana, the head of Kutai National Park in East Kalimantan,
encroachment and clearing in the park continues unabated, affecting
146,080 hectares of the 198,629-hectare park. He says the problem
began in 2000, soon after a highway was built through the park to
connect Bontang city to Sangatta, the capital of Kutai Timur
District.

5. (U) In Riau, meanwhile, an over flight of two districts by
journalists from Kompas newspaper on September 21 revealed open
logging activity and sawmill operations. These were in areas of

JAKARTA 00001961 002 OF 002


natural forest where authorities say there are no permits issued for
logging. This reflects the authorities' lack of capacity to monitor
and enforce laws, and the lack of political will to hold back
unregulated economic development.

New Police Chief Focused on Environmental Crimes
--------------------------------------------- ---
6. (U) Indonesia's new National Police Chief, Bambang Hendarso
Danuri, is expected to maintain his predecessor General Sutanto's
focus on economic crimes with an environmental impact. During his
confirmation hearing before the Indonesian parliament in late
September, Danuri specifically committed to tackle illegal logging,
mining, and fishing, including through the improved policing of
Indonesian waters. This focus is a continuation of his track record
as Police Chief of the North Sumatra and South Kalimantan regional
police offices, as well as head of the National Police's Criminal
Investigative Division. In those positions, Danuri was known for
his efforts to combat illegal logging and illegal mining as well as
money laundering, which is usually associated with these and other
transnational crimes. One of Danuri's most well known cases was the
arrest of Adelin Lin, leader of a major illegal logging operation in
North Sumatra with links to China. Many had previously considered
Lis untouchable.

HUME

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