Government urge

EoF News / 21 July 2006

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged forestry sector companies to run their business fairly by preventing natural forest from ecological damage. The President said in Palembang, South Sumatra, last weekend that governors and regents should be responsible for preventing forest fires as well as haze in their respective areas, Media Indonesia Online reported. Separately, in a discussion on illegal logging held in Jakarta, Forestry Ministry pledged to fight illegal logging operations by improving its efforts, Riau Pos website reported. Meanwhile, on the same occasion, the Indonesian Police headquarters (Polri) vowed that 2006 is the final year to combat illegal logging crime, website reported. Secretary General of Forestry Ministry, M. Purnama, said natural forest areas in Riau and West Kalimantan are prone to illegal logging crime as they has close boundary to other countries. The Indonesian government admitted illegal logging combat as a difficult task to cope with due to its transnational network in perpetrating the unlawfulness. Despite this, the government pledged to fight illegal logging operations by improving its efforts. ‘’Hence, we level out the perpetrators’ transnational collaboration by intensifying ties with other countries,” says Purnama as quoted by Riaupos website. The ministry secretary general said the government has coordinated with China and Malaysia, yet they have no consensus, website reported. Both countries are main destinations of illegal logging product selling. Forestry Ministry official blamed poverty triggered locals to help such a crime. The government is persuading locals surrounding natural forest, who are easily used by logging mafia through benefit offered to them. “If the community realize, they will not be used [by logging owners],” he said adding that the logging capitalist will only take advantage of it.