Reports suggest that MPK has been taken over by a Chinese-owned forestry corporation.
The decision to drain the peat swamp and fell its extensive forests—replacing it with exotic tree plantations—goes against all national and international commitments of the Indonesian government.
Instead of destroying such ecosystems, the Indonesian government has promised to restore and protect carbon-rich deep peat areas and forests, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure the survival of endangered species.
The concession area owned by MPK spans almost nine-tenths of the Sungai Putri peat swamp (encompassing 48,440 of its 55,000 hectares), and thus its exploitation could have severe impacts on the ecosystem and its abundant wildlife.
Why is this happening? The answer, as usual, appears to be money.
As seen in the photo below, a Chinese-owned company, Beng Seng Materials, recently opened an office nearby in the local Regency.
According to a local media report, the Chinese company plans to invest some US$300 million in industrial timber projects and has taken over MPK—and therefore presumably controls its concession for Sungai Putri peat swamp.