Thursday, 8 April 2010

Greens Skeptical SBY Can Live Up to Word

Personal note: The President makes a habit of saying such 'good' things always prior to him attending an international conference. Presumably, he hopes to make himself look good and more importantly - attract more foreign aid .......when did you last read or hear of Indonesia investing any of its money in protecting either forests or orangutans?

We should all be very grateful to Greenpeace for the excellent work they are doing in Indonesia.

April 08, 2010

Fidelis E Satriastanti Jakarta Globe

Greens Skeptical SBY Can Live Up to Word

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s call to go after the “mafia” involved in illegal logging only proves that a previous campaign has been a failure, a green group said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Yudhoyono said he had instructed the Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force to investigate the possibility of organized groups involved in forestry crimes and to crush them.

But Elfian Effendi, executive director of Greenomics Indonesia, said the president’s call was simply a repetition of his own instructions five years ago.

In 2005, Yudhoyono issued a presidential instruction involving 12 ministries, the Attorney General’s Office, National Police, Army, State Intelligence Agency (BIN), governors and district heads. This instruction was meant to herald the start of a concerted campaign against illegal logging.

“This just proves that [the 2005] instruction was never carried out effectively, because for the past five years, illegal logging just kept going,” Elfian said.

“There are no visible results from the instruction, which spelled out clear obligations for ministries and agencies from the central to local governments.”

But State Minister for the Environment Gusti Muhammad Hatta said on Thursday he was pleased with the president’s new call.

“The message is to strengthen and remind the cabinet to get serious about illegal logging because we are aiming at the ‘big players,’ ” he said. “We don’t want to chase small-scale players, for instance local villagers who are just cutting down one or two trees to build their homes. Plenty of companies that don’t have permits cut down trees. They are the ones we’re after.”

Gusti said there would be stronger coordination between ministries in this new campaign.

“But the lead will be in the hands of the Ministry of Forestry. We’ll be supporting with any data and information if requires,” he said.

Yuyun Indradi, from Greenpeace Southeast Asia, however, said it was wrong to put the responsibility on the shoulders of the Forestry Ministry because the Environment Ministry had more power.

“If you’re talking about the environment, it isn’t just forests and non-forests but a whole package,” Yuyun said.

“The Environment Ministry has a stronger legal instrument in the 2009 Environmental Protection and Management Law, which means it can investigate, prosecute and even arrest violators. The Forestry Ministry has lots of regulations but they don’t know which ones to enforce,” he added.

Yuyun said the task force was a waste of time.

“If SBY is serious about eradicating illegal logging then just let the KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission] handle forestry issues],” he said.