Wed, 02 Aug 2000

Deforestation rife in Cilacap

BANYUMAS, Central Java: More than half of a 126-hectare conservation forest on the slopes of Selok Mountain in Cilacap has been destroyed by illegal loggers.

Spokesman for the Banyumas Timur forest authority Sudiman told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that illegal loggers had destroyed more than 70 hectares of the forest.

"They have illegally cut down mahogany and acacia trees. The looting has inflicted billions of rupiahs of financial losses, judging from the fact that each hectare has around 400 trees. Each tree produces an average of 1.2 cubic meters of wood valued at Rp 1 million," he said.

The Banyumas Timur forest authority controls a total of 46,200 hectares of forest.

Another official at the office, Indiyono, said that the thieves were local people organized by certain people. He added the thefts began two years ago following the economic crisis. (45/sur)