Sat, 22 Jan 2000

WB to hold forestry seminar

JAKARTA (JP): The World Bank's office in Jakarta will hold a high-level seminar on forestry next Wednesday to find solutions to the ongoing problems confronting Indonesia's forestry sector.

World Bank environmental specialist Thomas Walton said in a statement on Friday the seminar would be attended by members of the government, donors, agencies and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in forestry.

"This seminar is the first time all major stakeholders in forestry will convene to discuss how we can work together to overcome the ongoing problems confronting Indonesia's forests, a valuable natural resource that is disappearing at alarming rates," Walton said.

He said the great concern over Indonesia's shrinking forests at the last meeting of the Consultative Group of Indonesia in July 1999 prompted the follow-up seminar.

Nearly 17 million hectares of Indonesian forests have disappeared in the last 12 years, with an annual deforestation rate estimated to be 1.5 million hectares, Walton said.

"At this meeting, we would like to establish the foundation for a new forest vision for Indonesia and do so in a way that involves all of the stakeholders concerned and earn their commitment and support," Walton said.

The seminar will be held at the Shangri-La hotel. (jsk)