RI’s deforestation rate declines: Minister

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said Monday that that deforestation and forest degradation rates in Indonesia had sharply declined as the result of forestry policies implemented by the government. The deforestation rate has decreased from 3.5 million hectares per year in the period 1998-2003 to only 450,000 hectares per year in 2009-2013. “The decrease was the result of our moratorium on the issuance of new permits for primary forest and peat land conversion, forest conversion, law enforcement against illegal logging, the use of non-procedural forestry areas, and the settlement of forestry conflict,” Zulkifli said during the tree planting program held in Datah village, Karangasem regency.

However, Zulkifli admitted that deforestation had increased slightly in 2013 as the long drought that had hit Indonesia this year had caused many forest fires. The fall in deforestation rate, he added, had also resulted in decreased greenhouse gas of 489 million tons carbon dioxide. “It is around 63.8 percent of the national target for emission reduction from forestry, or 53.8 percent of the national target for overall emission reduction,” the minister claimed. Zulkifli added that the government would continue to promote the tree planting movement launched in 2010. The movement targets planting 1 billion trees.

The Forestry Ministry recorded that as many as 1.3 billion trees had been planted in 2010, which had increased to 1.5 billion trees in 2011 and 1.6 billion trees in 2012. “By the end of this year, we expect to have planted 1.8 billion trees. And in 2014, we have set a target of 2 billion trees,” Zulkifli said. The tree planting event held in Karangasem was also part of the 1 billion trees movement. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono led the event in Datah. Several ministers and regional leaders from across Indonesia also attended the event. Yudhoyono called upon everyone to take part in the tree planting movement by planting trees in their own areas. “Let’s plant trees and maintain them, now, together, as much as we can.

Don’t just talk, do it, plant trees,” he said. On the occasion, Yudhoyono also conveyed his appreciation of the Balinese philosophy Tri Hita Karana, as a basis to always remember the importance of caring for the environment. The philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana brings together care for the realms of the spirit, the human world and nature.

source : bali daily

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