December 05, 2014
Ekuatorial, Jakarta – Green activist on Thursday (4/12) demanded land and forest rehabilitation program as ministry of environment and forestry’s priority as massive forest destruction happening in the country.
“Indonesia’s forest destruction is very massive. Our forests are beat up,” said Togu Manurung, head of Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI), in Jakarta, in a discussion.
Manurung cited deforestatin rate reached 3.5 million hectares per year for few decades ago. In 2000, the number declined to 2.5 hectares per year. “Though recent years, it has down to 400,000 to 500,000 hectares per year, it can not be called as achievement of the ministry. It means that Indonesia is running out of its forests,” said Manurung.
Furthermore, he said that loss caused by deforestation was far more high compare to the country’s income from forest products.
“Even annual forest fires have turned Indonesia into third largest emission contributor on the world,” he said. “It is why forest and land rehabilitation programs need to be prioritized as they will bring back its valuable roles.”
Besides rehabilitation efforts, law enforcement must also become the ministry’s priority program, especially to create deterrent effects to environmental aggressors.
Eka Sugiri, spokesman for the ministry, said that the ministry had concerns over deforestation and had taken steps, such as sustainable forest management, environment protection, forest and land rehabilitation, forest products and environment impacts, and forestry researches. Januar Hakam