President to tighten issuance of permits for forest industry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) revealed here on Wednesday that he will tighten requirements on the issuance of permits for the forest industry to protect natural resources and preserve the environment.

Hence, the authority should take corrective action, mainly in terms of issuing permits. In future, if there is a company applying for a license, the authority should follow the procedures while carefully studying the operations impacts on nature, the president remarked at the Environmental Ministrys Manggala Wanabakti compound in Jakarta.

“We should stop issuing any careless and irresponsible work permits to companies planning to operate in forest areas,” Jokowi noted in his opening remarks during the celebration of Environmental Day 2017.

The president further pointed out that currently, several protected forests and national parks were facing the threat of exploitation by some companies.

According to the president, some companies appeared to exploit protected national parks, for instance, to make way for plantations or industrial parks.

“In accordance with their name, national parks are part of protected forests. However, the areas were gradually exploited, and now, hundreds and even thousands of hectares of our natural forests had been destroyed,” the president remarked.

In his speech, the president called for a reform for the management of peatland and forest areas.

The main objective of granting permits for industries in forest areas is to improve the welfare of the people.

“The problem now is that most communities living near industrial forests are poor. Hence, we should rethink whether the teakwood plantations had contributed to the peoples well-being?” the president rhetorically asked the audience.

According to Jokowi, the government will apply two strategies — agroforestry and silvopasture — for governing the use of natural resources in forests.

During the celebration, the president planted a teakwood tree (tectona grandis) sapling and launched a special stamp to mark Environmental Day.

This years commemoration was held by the Environmental Ministry under the “Connecting People to Nature” theme. The event aimed to increase the peoples awareness towards environmental issues, such as waste management, deforestation, as well as air and water pollution.

Source: Antara News