Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Illegal logging cases down in 2008, minister

Personal note: Anything this Minister says should be taken with a very heavy dose of cynicism. He has a vested interest in wanting us to believe his figures. Telling people what they want to hear is practically a national sport in Indonesia and it's something government officials excel at.


Illegal logging cases down

in 2008, minister

Lebak, Banten province (ANTARA News) - Forestry Minister MS Kaban said here Tuesday the number of illegal logging cases in Indonesia this year fell to 300 from 960 a year earlier.

"We only had 300 illegal logging cases in 2008," the minister said at a function to celebrate the national tree-planting month at Mekarsari village, Banten province.

According to Kaban, the drop was the result of tight supervision by the police and the ministry which led to the disclosure of illegal logging cases in Kalimantan, Sumatera, Papua and other areas in Indonesia.

Kaban said his ministry would keep coordinating with the police to eliminate illegal logging cases which could damage the environment and ecosystem.

Damage to forests could trigger landslides, floods, droughts, and erosions, he said.

He said the government channeled a great deal of funds every year to finance reforestation programs to conserve the environment as well as to anticipate the threat of global warming.

"Therefore, we want illegal loggers brought to justice," he added.

Asked about the area of damaged forests this year, the minister said it also decreased to 1.08 million hectares from 2.8 million hectares in 2007.

According to the minister, the drop was attributed to the efforts by all concerned parties such as the police, forestry officers, and non governmental organizations (NGOs) to catch the illegal loggers in several areas.

"We have set ourselves a target of lowering the number of illegal logging cases by 70 percent in 2009 from 300 this year," he said. (*)