Monday, 7 June 2010

Policy against environmental damage needs to be firm: NGO

Policy against environmental damage needs to be firm: NGO

Sunday, June 6, 2010 20:58 WIB Environment

Banjarbaru, S Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - The local government policy on environmental vandalism must be forceful, said an NGO activist.

"Measures taken by the local government on environmental vandalism committed by an individual or company were still not firm enough," South Kalimantan Walhi (Indonesian Environmental Forum) Executive Director Hegar Wahyu Hidayat said here Sunday.

He said that firmness of the local government and relevant bodies was needed to uphold policies against those who damaged the environment.

Environmental pollution was caused by mining activities in Tapin district and iron ore mining in Kotabaru district.

"Environmental pollution which has been continuing in those districts remain untouched by the law," he said.

Those who are proven to have damaged and polluted the environment must receive legal sanctions, he said.

On the other hand, the government`s stance on the environment which benefits the society must take precedence over providing benefits for individuals and companies in their environmental damaging and ecosystem disruption activities.

"We see that the local government still provides land clearing permits for coal mining and oil palm plantation expansion that show the fact that the society and the environment alignment is still low," he said.

Hopefully, under the newly elected South Kalimantan governor and deputy governor, who asked for partisanship in the society, the people`s welfare would be raised without fearing natural disasters.

"As long as the environment is damaged and not maintained, natural disasters such as floods and landslides might occur, and by the new leader`s policy on the environment the disasters would still increase," he said. (A050/S012)