Balikpapan Bay (East Kalimantan, Indonesia) is one of the most biodiverse regions in South-East Asia. Among the bay’s rich diversity are coral reefs surrounding Balang Island. These reefs are unique, found in turbulent and brackish waters where corals rarely survive. These reefs are highly sensitive to silting due to increased erosion and sedimentation resulting from forest destruction along the coast.
A palm oil corporation, PT Dermaga Kencana Indonesia (DKI), a member of Kencana Agri Ltd. Group, plans to convert the coastal forest into a huge crude palm oil processing factory. DKI has already built and operate a palm oil bulking station which has caused serious damage to several coral reefs.
DKI has not built or operated its bulking station in an environmentally sustainable way and so is unlikely to be able to control the impact of a gigantic factory. Unless DKI can first master the impact of their jetty and bulking station to assure the continual existence of the coral reefs they should not proceed with their new factory. Please, help us to persuade Kencana Agri Ltd. to reconsider their plans.
I appreciate Kencana Agri Ltd. Group’s aspirations to implement environmentally friendly policies in production of palm oil. However there is still much to be changed in the environmental conduct of the Group before it fulfills the basic criteria of environmental sustainability. This includes protection of high conservation value habitats including the coral reefs.
As you are probably aware, one of your subsidiaries, PT Dermaga Kencana Indonesia (DKI) has been unable to minimize the amount of sediment washed from the site of their crude palm oil jetty and bulking station. As a result the reefs are dying under several millimeters of silt. The future risk is much more serious. The present plan is to build a gigantic processing factory at the same site. Since PT DKI has not managed the impact of the jetty and bulking station, building the factory will compound the environmental damage to Balikpapan Bay.
Please immediately stop all construction work resulting in washout of sediment from the PT DKI’s site until all necessary steps are taken to restore the coral reefs in around PT DKI’s site. Unless PT DKI can manage the bulking station without destroying the coral reefs, please do not proceed to building the factory at the same site. The processing factory does not need to be built at the same site as the bulking station; Kencana Agri Ltd. should select a different, more suitable place.