Intervention, mismanagement hamper illegal logging eradication

EoF News / 15 November 2006

Pekanbaru (EoF News) -- Intervention from officials, poor coordination and light sanction against illegal loggers are some factors impeding eradication against illegal logging, a discussion at House of Representatives concluded last week.
Some legislators criticized the government over poor management in solving illegal logging, the Indonesian parliament official website,, reported. DPR, the House of Consultative, held a discussion on illegal logging which its legislation was set to release next year. 

Deputy speaker of House’s commission IV, Fachry Andi Leluasa, said legal sanction taken against illegal loggers should provide deterrent effect.

He said there should be Law on Anti-illegal logging to regulate institutions tackling the illegal logging case which proved ineffective and overlapping due to no coordination in their operation. Too many institutions handling illegal logging leads to uncoordinated management.

A legal expert from University of Indonesia, Rudi Satrio, said that his research confirmed that it is difficult to uphold the law for forestry cases despite the presence of regulations is quite sufficient to prosecute.

Insufficient facilities provided to civil servant investigators as well as the law enforcers backing up the perpetrators would likely impede to the eradication of such a forest crime, said Rudi Satrio.

He said intervention conducted by the officials helping companies involved in forest crime to be free from prosecution. “Illegal logging cases has tangible evidence and visible, that is the logs. But the material evidence cannot be seen by the eyes of law enforcers,” the academician said.

Separately, citing data from the World Bank, Walhi’s Forest Campaign Manager Rully Syumanda said Indonesia suffered loss amount Rp40 trillion per year due to illegal logging.

He told Investor Daily last week that the amount is estimated based on potential loss of the state’s income from tax, retribution, and forestry fee such as rehabilitation fund. The estimation does not include the environmental damage value due to illicitly illegal clearcutting.

Rully Syumanda predicted at least 70% of total felled timber in national forest areas, 79 millions cubic meter is illegal.  The forestry industry lacks of raw material by 70%, whereas it only needs supply of 69 millions cubic meters annually.

On the discussion held by the House, Maiyasak Johan from Commission III, said the government organizations compete to each other in capturing authority in illegal logging eradication which undermine its mission. “On the other hand, [illegal logging] is escalating due to law enforcers and officials are involved to play,” he said.