Regents do not understand climate change: Minister

Regents do not understand climate change: Minister

02 February 2011

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Indonesia — Indonesia’s forests are poorly managed because many regents do not understand the impacts of climate change, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said Tuesday.

“Many regents do not understand, let alone the villagers,” Zulkifli said in Jakarta in a discussion on the results of research on climate change, reported Tuesday.

He said the regional leaders’ poor understanding of climate change had been apparent at several events, including when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Bangka Belitung recently.

“The regents did not understand the President’s speech,” he said.

It is not surprising that many forests in the area were converted into plantations using the slash-and-burn burning system, he said.

“Such practices should be banned,” he said, adding that forests serve as carbon sinks.

The fact that regents apparently did not understand climate change was alarming because they are supposed to protect the environment in accordance with the law, Zulkifli said.

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