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Ministry of Environment and Forestry v. PT Asia Palem Lestari

Jurisdiction: North Jakarta District Court

Principle law(s): Law 32/2009 Environmental Protection and Management

Side A: Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Government)

Side B: PT Asia Palem Lestari (Corporation)

Core objectives: Restoration for climate damage caused by palm plantation land clearing.

On September 09th, 2019, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (the MoEF) filed a tort-based lawsuit against a corporation PT Asia Palem Lestari had intentionally set fires to clear the peatland for palm oil plantation. Furthermore, the MoEF also argued that defendant’s fires preventive facilities did not meet the requirements as regulated in Articles 12, 13, and 14 Indonesian Governmental Regulation No. 4 of 2021. The MoEF argued that fires inside the peatlands led to ecological and economic damages amounting to IDR 173.721 billion. In relation to climate change, the MoEF claimed that the fires had contributed to the release of 2700 tC and a loss of function of carbon sinks which equal to 945 tC. Since the cost of released carbon is IDR 90.000 (equals to US$ 10), the MoEF requested the court costs of the released carbon and restoration amounting to IDR 328.050.000. 

The MoEF filed this lawsuit under strict liability rule of Articles 88 Environmental Protection and Management Act (the 2009 EPMA). 

On January 5th, 2021, the District Court of North Jakarta ruled that the lawsuit should be dismissed due to a lack of parties (plurium litis consortium). The judges found that the area in which the MoEF referred in its lawsuit were also owned by other people. Hence, the plaintiff should have included these people—who were also the owner of the burned land—in the lawsuit.
Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • IDN flag This law implements Indonesia legislation
    Law 32/2009 Environmental Protection and Management

    Passed in 2009 Legislative

    This law formally recognises that decreasing environmental quality is a serious problem for Indonesia, and that climate change presents further systemic threats. It seeks to ensure that development is underpinned with the principle of sustainably and environmentally sound development principles. ...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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