Sat, 01 Apr 2000

More funds needed for reforestation

BANDUNG: Director General of Site Rehabilitation and Social Reforestation Yaman Mulyana said here on Thursday that shortage of funds had hampered the reforestation programs for critical areas.

Speaking to journalists after opening a discussion on Regreening and Reforestation Programs at the state Padjadjaran University campus in Jatinangor, Mulyana said that the Ministry of Forest and Plantation had spent more than Rp 4 trillion.

"That much money could recover only one million hectares of critical sites/forest, while we have a total of 20 million hectares of critical sites, including eight million hectares of damaged forests," he said.

Mulyana said the cash-strapped ministry continued its attempt to recover all the damaged sites. He added the critical areas were mostly located in Java, followed by East and West Nusa Tenggara, Lampung and South Sulawesi.

"The forests in those islands have been ruined for years."

In a related development tens of students from the Activists of the Padjadjaran University staged a non-violent protest, urging the government to stop issuance of permits for exploiting forests (HPH) to some conglomerates. (25/sur)