Global condition has shown the tendency of declining trend in the quality of environment, coupled with human population growth and the needs of high standard of living and consumption. This condition has caused critical pressure towards the environment and balance of atmosphere, water and land availability. One of the indications that can be felt today is the shrinking primary forest and hilly areas that become flora and fauna habitats.
Joint efforts to improve the quality of environment continue to be done. This shows that with awareness of resources and goodwill, businesses are capable and play an important role to start a change. Based on this, the Company assumes that responsibility.
ASTRA GREEN COMPANY
The Company applies standards of environmental management and occupational health and safety (K3) that are integrated in the Astra Green Company (AGC) system, a management system of Astra in environmental and K3 management. This system is complemented with other systems such as Environmental Management System, K3 Management System and PROPER.
The implementation of AGC system is assessed periodically using ratings indicated by the colors of Black, Red, Blue, Green and Gold as the highest rating. The final status of assessment is drawn from the lowest score achieved by each criterion. In 2010, several subsidiaries, PT Eka Dura Indonesia, PT Sari Aditya Loka 1, PT Gunung Sejahtera Dua Indah, PT Waru Kaltim Plantation, PT Borneo Indah Marjaya, PT Pasangkayu and PT Surya Raya Lestari 2 were assessed by PT Astra International in collaboration with AFAQ- Ascert International.
Based on the assessment results, the performance of subsidiaries in Astra Green Company implementation are as follows:
The number of companies received 'Green' rating in 2011 was similar with the previous year. The number of 'Blue' rating recipients increased from the previous year, while 'Black' rating recipients decreased compared to the previous year. These achievements were due to declining number of fatal work accidents.
ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE INDICATOR: PROPER
PROPER is a supervisory instrument of environmental management conducted by the Government towards industries in Indonesia. At the national level, PROPER is conducted by the Ministry of Environment (KLH) and at the provincial level by the Regional Environment Agency (BLHD). In 2011, assessment process and field inspection conducted by BLHD in several regions such as Riau and West Sulawesi provinces up to BLUE rating, while the assessment to achieve GREEN rating will be conducted directly by KLH.
Companies that have participated in PROPER 2011 as a form of assessment towards environmental management performance during 2010-2011 are:
- PT Sari Aditya Loka 1 in Jambi Province received GREEN rating
- PT Sari Aditya Loka 2 in Jambi Province received GREEN rating
- PT Tunggal Perkasa Plantation in Riau Province received BLUE rating
- PT Sari Lembah Subur 1 in Riau Province received BLUE rating
- PT Eka Dura Indonesia in Riau Province received BLUE rating
- PT Perkebunan Lembah Bakti in Aceh Province received BLUE rating
- PT Gunung Sejahtera Ibu Pertiwi in Central Kalimantan Province received GREEN rating
- PT Gunung Sejahtera Dua Indah in Central Kalimantan Province received GREEN rating
- PT Gunung Sejahtera Puti Pesona in Central Kalimantan Province received GREEN rating
- PT Letawa in West Sulawesi Province received GREEN rating
- PT Pasangkayu in West Sulawesi Province received BLUE rating
- PT Suryaraya Lestari 1 in West Sulawesi Province received RED rating
PT Sari Aditya Loka 1 received GREEN rating (beyond compliance) for the third time, while PT Letawa received BLUE rating for the second time. Subsidiaries participating in provincial assessment and received BLUE rating are as follows:
- PT Karya Tanah Subur (Aceh)
- PT Waru Kaltim Plantation (East Kalimantan)
- PT Karyanusa Eka Daya (East Kalimantan)
- PT Kimia Tirta Utama (Riau)
- PT Sari Lembah Subur 2 (Riau)
In addition, PT Perkebunan Lembah Bakti and PT Karya Tanah Subur were once again ranked 1st and 2nd respectively as Best Environmental Management in Aceh Province among 26 palm oil companies assessed.
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
The Company understands that the success of operations achieved since 1988 cannot be separated from the application of sustainability principles in social responsibility implementation, which in 2011 focused on maintaining and improving welfare. Welfare improvement efforts were carried out through economic achievement, as well as community and employee development. The Company also recognizes that environmental management is the key to maintain the Company's sustainability. The environmental management is, among others, realized through integrated pest management.
The Company operates monoculture oil palm plantations, which directly affect the changes in ecosystem and trigger the emergence of certain organisms' dominance that could harm oil palm trees, including borer pest Thirathaba sp and some diseases. This condition may have an impact on the Company's business sustainability and community, especially those who participate in the plasma and the Income Generating Activities (IGA) programs. To overcome this condition, in line with the strategy of good agricultural practices implementation, the Company carries out integrated pest management. Its implementation begins with regular monitoring of plant pest presence through early warning system, to obtain preliminary information about the presence of such organisms. [SO9][SO10][EN12][EN26]
For effective implementation of integrated pest management, the Company constantly updates its system and adapts it to technological developments relevant to the needs of plant pest control. The current system is supported by the Geographic Information Management Systems (GIMS) that connects the Headquarters and Plantations to accelerate communication and coordination. [EN7]
Integrated pest management strategy does not have an impact on biodiversity and only affects the pests. The integrated pest management measures to minimize the impact of plantation presence on biodiversity include: [EN14]
- The application of early warning system about the presence of pests.
- Captive breeding of barn owls (Tyto alba) for natural rat control. The number of owl population until the end of 2011 reached 11,241 breeders (males and females), spread over 25 plantations and capable to control rats.
- The use of a natural insecticide with active agent Bacillus thuringiensis, Cordyceps fungus and use of NPV viruses, to control attack of leaf eating pests.
- Breeding of Sycannus dichtomus and Eucanthecona sp insects, as natural predators of fireworms and bagworms.
- Ecological learning as an effort to control subsequent emergence of borer pest Thirathaba sp.
RAT PEST CONTROL
Rat (Rattus tiomanicus) is a pest that can cause damage to oil palm, whenever the plants are in the seedling nursery stage and even until the plants are already productive. The pest control of rats is crucial to maintain the existence of oil palm plantations. The Company has conducted a biological rat pest control since 1996 by making use of barn owls (Tyto alba). So far, barn owl utilization to control rat attacks has been carried out by 25 plantations and 22 of them have succeeded to increase the population of barn owls. By the end of 2011 the barn owl population reached 11,241 birds.
CATERPILLAR PEST CONTROL
Leaf eating caterpillars are still major pests in oil palm plantations. The population of caterpillars is controlled with environmentally friendly methods by making use of their existing natural enemies in the ecosystem of oil palm plantation.
The control begins with monitoring the pest population. Control measures are taken only when the pest population has exceed the critical level of population. The decision to use chemical insecticides is sought as the last resort. If such a condition occurs, the type of insecticides and application techniques selected are the safest for the environment, especially for the survival of insect parasitoids and predators of the target pest.
Monitoring is conducted to find out the presence of pest at early stage, as well as clearly located pest species population in the oil palm plantation area. The monitoring is conducted through profiling system of pest population based on species and natural enemies that exist in the oil palm plantation ecosystem. Theapplication of this system is able to identify the species and spread of parasitoids and predators in the oil palm plantation ecosystem. This information is a very useful information as a consideration in making the decision on control measures as well as the recognition and expansion of natural enemies. All of these measures were carried out within the framework of sustainable oil palm cultivation.
Use of bio agents insect parasitoid, predator and
Exploration and identification of several natural enemies of leaf- eating caterpillars are conducted continuously. The number of identified natural enemies is then used as a source of information and mapping of natural enemies abundance in an area. When leaf-eating caterpillar population exceeds the critical threshold, they are controlled by using Bacillus thuringiensis and Cordyceps miliataris fungi. These two plants naturally have already been in the oil palm plantation ecosystem and useful to reduce pupae of leaf-eating caterpillars and insects.
Another effort conducted by the Company in environmentally friendly pest control was by implementing a policy to grow beneficial plants as conservation for insect parasitoids and predators, the natural enemies of oil palm leaf-eating caterpillars. Insects of Turnera subulata, Turnera umnifolia, Cassia tora, Euphorbia heterophylla and Antigonon leptopus are bred and propagated to maintain the balance of the ecosystem. These insects also beneficial to manage wild plants that are beneficial for the survival of natural enemies of oil palm leaf-eating caterpillars.
BASAL STEM ROT DISEASE CONTROL
Basal stem rot disease becomes a disruption for oil palm growth. Increased infection rate on plant stem will have a significant impact on reducing production. So far there has been no product and technology that are fast, accurate, practical and easily applied to control basal stem rot disease.
Control of basal stem rot disease begins with continous detection through a census program of infected trees, mapping and eradication of infected tree sources. The control is integrated with the replanting management, preparing plant materials to minimize infection of the disease, as well as by applying antagonistic fungi Trichoderma sp combined with the use of partial oil palm sprouts that are Ganoderma tolerant.
The Company is also seeking environmentally friendly new breakthroughs in Ganoderma treatment through research collaboration with several universities and related institutions. In 2011, environmental management activities in quality improvement of diseased soil (endemic infection with Ganoderma boninense fungus) have been conducted by trenching as well as application of organic materials and antagonistic microflora to increase the carrying capacity of the soil to prevent and curb the infection rate of Ganoderma. Overall, these activities were generally run effectively.
Rhinoceros beetle pest management
Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) is also a serious problem in oil palm plantations. This pest is usually found in areas where oil palm trees died and rotten from Ganoderma attack. Rhinoceros beetles are also found in the remaining oil palm trees that have been replanted, in the dead uprooted oil palm trees and in the area that uses empty fruit bunches of oil palm as organic fertilizer. The organic matter residue from decomposition process is an ideal medium for rhinoceros beetle breeding, that is why this has become a concern for the Company.
An integrated control of rhinoceros beetle growth is attempted through the recognition of types and place, breeding eradication, and application of bio-insecticides that contain active Metharizium sp. Use of natural chemical compounds as pheromone traps are also exploited to capture rhinoceros beetles. Synthetic chemical insecticides is the last option that is only used when the attack exceeds the threshold at a large scale.
The Company has tightened the use of chemical pesticides in order to preserve beneficial insects such as insect pollinators (Elaeidobius kamerunicus), parasitoids and predators such as Spinaria spinator, Apanteles sp, sp Brachymeria, Pediobius sp, sp Sycanus, Eucanthecona sp.
In the past four years, the Company has applied restriction on the use of Deltamethrin, which normally used in carburetion method. This method can only be done in a very limited number and conditional, when the attack of leaf-eating caterpillars to oil palm leaves exceeds the economic threshold. These restrictions managed to stop the use of Deltamethrin since 2009. Restrictionon the use of chemical pesticides is in line with the conservation program of beneficial plants, insects, parasitoids and predators as biological agents.
PEST CONTROL OFFICERS
The Company organizes continuous education and training programs for pest control officers to update their knowledge in oil palm plantation protection.