Saturday, 21 November 2009

Governor of Aceh asked the AFEP project to cease immediately

Saturday, 21 November 2009 03:37

Governor of Aceh asked the AFEP project to cease immediately

Warta - English News


BANDA ACEH – The Governor of Aceh Irwandi Yusuf asked for the Aceh Forest Environment Project (AFEP) activities to be cease immediately because there was no benefit for the conservation and communities in the area.

"Mr. Governor will call the entire AFEP executor to ask for their responsibilities on the project after he finished pilgrimage ritual in early December 2009," chief of the Leuser Ecosystem Area Management Agency (BPKEL), Fauzan Azima, said in Banda Aceh, this afternoon.

That was because there are many people who complain that the project is not worth it, he said. The governor told that during his departure to the holy land.

As known, the Ulu Masen Ecosystem Region (KEU) project executor is the Flora Fauna International (FFI) and Leuser Ecosystem Area (KEL) executed by the Leuser International Foundation (YLI).

AFEP project funded by the Multi Donor Fund (MDF) worth 17.5 million U.S. dollars or about Rp175 billion during the four years term that has started since 2006.

Governor, he said, had heard that AFEP project has been running for four years, but have not brought success, especially in providing benefits to the people of Aceh in the surrounding forest area.

Governor, he said, also was tired of hearing one-sided publication of AFEP project’s success by the executor, such as opening an orchid garden in South Aceh with area of one hectare. This is not comparable to the amount of the managed funds.

“For that, he called, the governor will write to the World Bank as the manager of the Multi Donor Fund funds to stop the AFEP project,” he said.

Previously, governor Irwandi has also received input from the MDF’s advisor stating that the MDF will no longer need to support the AFEP project. This is because besides being useless, it was also irrelevant to the current situation in Aceh, where the government of Aceh has been rolled a number of policies such as Aceh Green, BPKEL and Logging Moratorium.

He added that if the MDF want to support the success of Aceh government’s programs, they should work directly with the Government of Aceh and the MDF’s funds may be used for something useful.

To take into account, many Aceh’s forests is currently still under pressure as rampant illegal logging is still continues and encroachment by economic reasons from the surrounding forest communities that are still having a hard time and the rise of wildlife conflicts with people.

“This can be seen as an indicator that the AFEP project should be evaluated again for they have failed to overcome this,” he said.

Translated by: Gugi Ginanjar