CGI Meeting

Speech by the Minister of Forestry on the occasion of CGI Meeting

19 January 2005

publishedby Consultative Group for Indonesia

Forest Fire relevantpassage marked in red

Assalamu’alaikum wr. Wb. 

Excellencies, Distinguished participants of the CGI meeting, Ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you for the opportunity to brief you on recent developments in the forestry sector for Indonesia.

Forest resources have widely been known as a part of our life-support system. Besides its function as the lungs of the world, forests play a role in regulating the water system and preventing natural disasters. Forests are also habitats for wild species. Therefore, forests resources should be optimally and effectively managed based on sustainable principles to improve the people’s wealth. Unfortunately however, the condition of forest resources in Indonesia has deteriorated significantly due to illegal logging, encroachment and overlapping use of forest lands. To date, more than 43 million hectares of Indonesian forests have been degraded, with an average annual deforestation rate of 2.83 million hectares from 1998 to 2002.

To rebuild our forests, the Ministry of Forestry within the context of the National Development Program of the Cabinet of Indonesia (Bersatu) has five priority programs for 2005-2009, namely: combating illegal logging inside the state forests and the illegal timber trade; revitalization of the forestry sector, especially the forest industry; rehabilitation and conservation of forest resources; economic empowerment of people living within and around the forest area; and stabilization of the forest land area and forest fire prevention.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

With regard to combating illegal logging and the illegal timber trade, the Government of Indonesia has made various efforts domestically as well as internationally. The domestic measures include conducting functional operations, establishing cooperation with the National Police Headquarter under the joint “Operasi Wanalaga” and “Operasi Hutan Lestari” programs, and with the National Navy Chief under the operation of “Operasi Wanabahari”. These efforts have been supported by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when he announced an instruction to combat illegal logging in Tanjung Puting National Park on 11 November 2004. In addition, the timber administration system has also been improved, by prohibiting inter-island timber shipments using foreign vessels. From these operations, dozens of vessels carrying hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of illegal timber have been confiscated, and the suspects, including foreigners, are being brought to justice.

In addition, bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation have been pursued, such as the signing of the “Tri-National Taskforce” among Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in an effort to combat the trade and transshipment of Ramin (Gonystylus spp.); upgrading Ramin from the Appendix III to Appendix II of CITES; initiating bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Great Britain, Japan, China, European Union, and with regional forums such as FLEG/T and the Asia Forest Partnership. This kind of international cooperation is required, since illegal logging is highly related to the illegal timber trade. Therefore, the support from tropical timber-consuming countries is essential.

Tropical timber producer and consumer countries should share significant responsibility in combating illegal logging and its associated timber trade. Expecting one country to stop illegal logging, yet at the same time importing illegally harvested timber, would not support the effort to curb the forestry crime. Even allowing or importing illegal timber will only encourage illegal logging in the timber producing country. Therefore, once again I invite the CGI member countries to take concrete efforts in their home countries including, whenever deemed necessary, improving their regulations to prevent their market from illegal timber.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Illegal logging could not be stemmed significantly without any effort to restructure the forest industry. Restructuring the forest industry aims at creating a vigorous industry, resilient to any environmental change, and to structure an environmentally-friendly timber industry to produce high-quality forest products, which is globally competitive. This will in turn provide positive impact on providing employment and improving community income. Restructuring the forest industry should also be supported by other steps in restructuring the forestry sector as has been implemented by the former administration, to ensure the supply of raw material for timber industries. 

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Forest fire is among the main causes of forest deterioration, since this could destroy all living species in the forest in a relatively short period. To prevent against forest fires, the Ministry of Forestry has established the Forest Fire Prevention Brigade, “Manggala Agni”. This brigade is responsible for disseminating information and improving the early warning system for forest fires as well as fighting forest fires directly in the field. The “Manggala Agni” brigade consists of 1,080 personnel, 80% of them coming from the community. They are sufficiently equipped with manual and mechanical fire extinguishing equipment. I am proud to mention that this brigade has been actively involved in rescuing and evacuating the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Nangroe Aceh Darusallam.

By 2004, the Ministry of Forestry has established 5 units of “Manggal Agni” brigade, operating in the fire-prone provinces of North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. In 2005, three more units will be established in South Sumatra, South Kalimantan and South Sulawesi. In addition to the establishment of this brigade, the Government also issued Regulation No. 45/2004 concerning forest protection, aimed at regulating forest fire control at the national, provincial, district/municipal levels, and at forest management units.

To improve the capacity of human resources in forest fire prevention, the Government has established a Forest Fire Prevention Training Center in Riau Province, in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This center has been used to educate forest firefighters from the Government, companies, the community and NGOs. Additionally, forest fire centers have been established in East Kalimantan, with aid provided by Government of Germany. The efforts to prevent forest fires have been able to significantly suppress the hotspot incidence, from 82.954 hotspots in 2002 down to 34.655 hotspots in 2003 and 61.481 hotspots in 2004.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

In addition to the forest fire prevention and combating illegal logging efforts, the Government of Indonesia has initiated forest and land rehabilitation through a National Movement on Forest and Land Rehabilitation (GERHAN), and also encouraged the development of plantation forests. The GERHAN program is planned for a 5-year period, from 2003 to 2007, with a total target area of 3 million hectares and an annual target area of 800,000 – 1,000,000 hectares. The rehabilitated area has achieved 300,000 hectares in 2003 and 500,000 hectares in 2004. Local communities have been involved in this program in planning, implementation and monitoring. After the GERHAN program, it is hoped that communities themselves could voluntarily continue this program. Besides the GERHAN program, the effort to improve the condition of Indonesia’s forests has also been carried out through the development of industrial plantation forest (HTI). For this, I invite the donor countries to encourage their private sectors to actively participate and invest in the HTI program.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

In terms of natural resource conservation, the program is addressed to stabilize the conservation of biodiversity resources and supporting ecosystems through the improvement of the effectiveness of conservation area management such as National Parks, Nature Recreation Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Nature Reserves, Hunting Parks and Protection Forests. The Government of Indonesia has already established 50 National Park Management Units and 444 Nature/WildlifeReserve Units, with a total area of 26.7 million hectares. The collaborative management of the conservation area has been formalized as an option, involving all stakeholders. This helps improve popular awareness, especially on the part of local government, about conservation efforts. Collaborative managed is based on multi-stakeholder participation for conserving natural resources and ecosystems. The Government is aware that the effort to conserve biodiversity will not be possible by the Government itself. Therefore, the Government has ratified and is actively involved in various international forum such as CBD, CITES, RAMSAR, World Heritage Convention, etc.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

With regard to natural resources utilization, the forestry sector has a role to play in reducing community poverty, especially for those living around forest resources. A community poverty alleviation program is being carried out by providing generous access to natural resources through social forestry, without giving property rights in terms of forest land ownership. Social forestry activities within non-conservation forests are implemented in various forms, including Community-Based Forest Management and Community Forestry. In addition, a capacity building program for communities is necessary to support income generation and to increase their appreciation to forest resources. 

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

With regard to Forest Land Stabilization, the Ministry of Forestry is going to review the existing forestry land-use in collaboration with BAPPENAS, facilitate acceleration of forest land usage, provide information on forest and land coverage, coordinate other institutions related to forest land-use, develop macro planning in areas that need to be rehabilitated, and facilitate detailed design of Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan Produksi (KPHP), Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan Lindung (KPHL), and Kesatuan Pengelolaan Hutan Konservasi (KPHK), or Production Forest, Protection Forest and Conservation Forest Management Units. Our forest land stabilization program includes efforts to finalize land use and to promote the completion of forest land status for the 30% of forest already gazetted.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Another important aspect in the forestry sector is the effort to rehabilitate mangrove forests. Mangroves have significant importance for human life. Indonesia’s mangrove area consists of approximately 2.5-4.24 million hectares. Unfortunately however, much of these have already deteriorated with a rate of degradation of around 5.4-9.76% annually, with most of the degraded area located in Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD). With respect to disaster recovery in NAD, the Ministry of Forestry plans to map out and analyze a forest and land rehabilitation program in the area subject to the natural disaster, evaluate and review existing forest land-use, objectively, proportionally, and rationally relocate forestry land for non-forestry development, and re-green coastal areas with mangrove species and other coastal forest species. 

The development of this rehabilitation program within these post-tsunami areas will be coordinated and integrated with the team assigned to review land-use after the tsunami. The Ministry of Forestry has made budget available to rehabilitate the mangrove areas; however, the amount is not yet sufficient compared to the areas that need to be rehabilitated. The Ministry of Forestry has also been supporting the recovery program by providing material for temporary camp and permanent housing over the next five years.

Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have briefed you on the forestry development plan to date. I am fully aware that Indonesian forestry development will not just provide positive impact nationally, but also globally. Therefore, the role of donor countries in Indonesia’s forestry development, especially in terms of rehabilitating mangrove forests in NAD after the diaster, are really expected. I hope that the support from donor countries for Indonesian forestry development could also be made available under the Debt for Nature Swap (DNS) mechanism. I also invite the donor countries to participate in our capacity building program for local communities. Finally, allow me thank you, the donor countries, as well as international institutions, who have been giving valuable support to Indonesian forestry development.

Wassalamu’alaikum wr. Wb.

Jakarta, January 19, 2005

Minister of Forestry
H.M.S. Kaban, SE. MSi


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