Recently PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (PELINDO) began clear-felling areas of mangrove forest along the Puda River in Kariangau. This is just one of several cases that have occurred in Balikpapan Bay in recent years. In 2008, PT Mekar Bumi Andalas (MBA, Wilmar Group) destroyed approximately 20 hectares of mangrove forest in Berenga River, and in 2010 PT Dermaga Kencana Indonesia (DKI, Kencana Agri Ltd. Group) destroyed another patch of coastal mangroves near the estuary of Tempadung River.
The mangroves of Balikpapan Bay are vital for the survival of the whole ecosystem, for sustaining local fishing communities, and for maintaining one of the world’s largest populations of endangered proboscis monkeys. All mangroves within Balikpapan are protected according to Regulation No. 5 of 2006 on the Balikpapan Spatial Plan (2005 - 2015) and several National laws, including Surat Keputusan Bersama Menteri Pertanian dan Menteri Kehutanan No. KB.550/264/Kpts/4/1984, Surat Edaran No. 507/IV-BPHH/1990, and Keputusam presiden No. 32 tahun 1990 tentang Pengelolaan Kawasan Lindung.
Please immediately stop all land reclamation by mangrove destruction currently being done by PELINDO, and effectively prevent any further mangrove destruction by other corporations. Please assure that those corporations (including PT MBA and PT DKI) that have reclaimed land through destruction of mangrove forests will be prosecuted.
Please do not accept compensation for the mangrove destruction in the form of mangrove planting! Ecologically, it makes no sense – if the habitat is suitable, mangroves will naturally regenerate, with no need for replanting. If they do not grow naturally, it means that the place is unsuitable and any planted saplings will die. Previously mangrove planting in Balikpapan Bay has been an obvious cover up, which has had no ecological significance. It should never be accepted as a compensation for mangrove destruction. Instead, the existing mangroves must be left undisturbed!