Tuesday, 8 September 2009

40% of Indonesian forests damaged on deforestation: minister

JAKARTA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- As many as 40 percent of Indonesia's forests are ruined due to deforestation, triggering threat to environment preservation, a minister told the press here on Tuesday.

"The enactment of the bill for protection and environmental management today is very important to prevent forest resource businessmen and local people from damaging forests," said Minister for Environment Rachmat Witoelar in the parliamentary building.

According to Rachmat, the damage not only occurs at forests, but also at rivers, lands, et cetera.

"That's why we need a law that supports sustainable development in natural resource preservation," said Rachmat.

Actually, Rachmat said, without the law, all forest resource businessmen should realize the importance of maintaining forest preservation and conduct their business responsibly.

He also said that his office has coordinated with police to take action on the law violators.

Previously, Forestry Minister MS Kaban said that at least 1.08 million hectares of Indonesian forests are damaged a year. However, the number was a significant decrease compared to 2.8 million hectares four years ago.

Kaban believed that the number could decrease further to one million a year if hotspots in forests and illegal logging could be reduced.

The ministry's data showed that with firm law enforcement, the number of illegal logging case could be reduced to 200 cases a year from 9,600 cases annually four years ago.

Currently, Indonesia has 120.35 million hectares of forest and out of the total, 59.6 million hectares are damaged.

www.chinaview.cn http://imgs.xinhuanet.com/icon/2006english/2007korea/space.gif2009-09-08