IMP considers it to be our responsibility to care for the environment within our concession, and specifically to ensure that there is no illegal logging or mining. Our objective is to maximize the carbon sequestration where we are not mining. To this end, IMP will invest in hiring a team of security guards to provide constant entry and exit control for the concession on all roads and major paths. It is IMP hope that in protecting areas it does not mine, and by reclaiming those it does mine, that the overall environment in the concession will be healthier under IMP’s stewardship.
IMP notes that providing responsible protection may require diplomacy. For instance, it is relatively easy to identify and control large scale illegal loggers and miners, but controlling local residents who cut down a few trees to make charcoal for cooking is more complicated. IMP will seek to handle such situation with understanding.
The IMP concession is legally owned by the Government of Indonesia, and controlled by the department of Environment and Forestry, which will grant to IMP a license called the IPPKH to borrow-and-use the land under rules that require IMP to restore the land to a healthy condition when IMP is finished mining.
IMP’s concession is located in a somewhat remote area of Kalimantan where one would expect to see old growth primary forest. However, due to the concession being located so near to Rantau Pulut, virtually the entire area has been logged in the past, leaving only secondary forests. Some of these forests are already twenty or thirty years old, but most are younger. While there is evidence of larger scale illegal logging, as with most traditional communities, much of the deforestation is as a result of people cutting trees to produce charcoal for local consumption, which is an aspect of the equation which must be carefully, and diplomatically, handled.
A large 400 hectare area to the east of the mineralization zone has been converted into a Palm Oil plantation, though apparently not with the permission of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. IMP has reported this situation to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and has been assure it will have the first right of use of the land if required, though most of this area is not in the mineralization zone.
IMP will be mining at most 400 hectares of land, and using another 200 hectares for roads and facilities, being around 40% of the 1,479 hectares of land.
A visual analysis of the satellite photos has led IMP to conclude that approximately 616 hectares out of 1,479 hectares in the concession have been deforested either by the Palm Oil Plantation or by illegal logging. This comes to 41% of the land.
It should be noted that a Palm Oil plantation, properly cared for, can be a very effective from a carbon sequestration. Illegal logging, on the other hand, tends to have a damaging effect on the forest as is visible in the photo below.
What concerns IMP most is large scale logging by outside entities. It appears from the map above that the Palm Oil Plantation is used as an access mechanism to heavy secondary forest, this allowing large scale illegal loggers to need only create a short road into a dense forest area. This allows high speed illegal logging on large scale if security is not in place.