Mon, 01 Aug 1994

Inhutani to take over 18 forest concessions

JAKARTA (JP): The Ministry of Forestry has instructed a state- owned timber firm, PT Inhutani I, to take over the management of 18 privately-run concessions following their failure to comply with regulations on sustainable forest management.

"The objective of the takeover is no more than preserving our natural resources," said Abdul Fattah, the president of Inhutani I, in a press conference here on Saturday.

The Jakarta-based Inhutani I, established in 1973, manages some 2.3 million hectares of forests in East Kalimantan, spreading from Tarakan to Balikpapan.

The company's activities include logging, wood processing, development of plantation forests, replantation of deserted natural forests as well as giving guidance to small-scale businesses and cooperatives.

Fattah said the ministry handed over the management of PT Panca Olah Rimba's 40,000-hectare forests in East Kalimantan to Inhutani I in 1990.

In 1991, Inhutani I got the concessions of four more companies, comprising of PT Maskumambang (50,000 hectares in South Sulawesi), PT Cidatim (95,000 hectares in East Kalimantan) PT Sewarga, (35,000 hectares in East Kalimantan) and PT Sylva Duta (100,000 hectares in South Sulawesi). In 1992, part of the forests of PT Porodisa Trading Corporation was given to Inhutani I.

Other concessions

Eleven timber estates were given to PT Inhutani I in 1993, including PT Bina Wana Sejahtera (131,000 hectares in North Sulawesi), PT Dayak Besar Agung (82,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Dwi Warna (37,500 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Kayu Mas Timber (60,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Meranti SMD K. (25,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Meratus Kaltim (56,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Nata Marga Jaya (40,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT New Timber Raya (60,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Pulau Laut Timber Corporation (30,000 hectares in East Kalimantan), PT Sumber Buana S. (27,000 hectares in East Kalimantan) and PT Dayak Besar VTC (also in East Kalimantan).

Fattah said that the ministry is currently negotiating to hand over the controversial concession of PT Alam Nusa Segar on Yamdena Island, Maluku, to the state-owned timber company.

He said that in a bid to control and to supervise privately- run concessions, Inhutani I has bought the shares of eight concessionaires.

Suwarni, the financial director of Inhutani I, said in the press conference that the company's assets increased from Rp 119 billion (US$54.8 million) in 1992 to Rp 157 billion in 1993, while its net profit increased from Rp 1.78 billion to Rp 12.57 billion.

In a related development, Fattah told reporters that the reasons of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to protest and to boycott made-in-Indonesia wood-based products are not only based on commitments to sustainability but also political and trade interests.

"Everyone agrees that forests must be sustained and rules are needed to ensure their sustainability. But there is a possibility of hidden protectionism in their environmental campaigns," he said. (09)