WALHI Asks for Implementation of Industrial Logging Moratorium

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  • TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) has asked the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) to push the Indonesian government to implement an industrial logging moratorium on industrial groups. With logging now taken place on 4.5 million hectares per year and a forest destruction scale that has reached 2 million hectares per year , Indonesias primary natural forest will only last another five years. The illegal logging moratorium that is currently implemented no longer meets proper requirements anymore. Most of the illegal logs have been facilitated with legal documents, said Longgena Ginting, WALHIs Executive Director, in Jakarta on Thursday (16/01). According to Ginting, the industrial logging moratorium will come as an incentive for the timber industry to develop industrial forest plantations (HTI). Up to now, the realization of HTIs has only reached 12 percent although HTI owners have been given facilities including land clearance and tax payment facilities. Currently, around 70 to 80 percent of the timber industrys needs come from illegal logs, said Ginting. Last year, Indonesias log production reportedly reached around 12 million cubic meters although the needs of Indonesias wood industry reached 63 million cubic meters. The remaining 51 million cubic meters came in the form of illegal logs, said Ginting. Forest Watch director Togu Manurung said that the government should also reduce the logging limits of timber companies. Recently, the capacity of Indonesian forests in meeting industrial needs has decreased and this year, for example, the government is only targeting 6.8 million cubic meters of log production, a 50 percent decrease compared to 2002. We have no more time. Forest destruction has also taken place in national parks and protected areas, Manurung said referring to logging in Mt. Leuser national park in Aceh, Bukit 12 national park in Jambi and Lorentz national park in Papua. Manurung said that the CGI has never been serious in monitoring Indonesian governments commitment in forestry sector. The government has made 20 commitments to the CGI in the matter of forestry sector, including the one on the eradication of illegal logging business. However, the illegal logging activities have increased rapidly. Every year, at least 10 million cubic meters of logs have been smuggled abroad, said Manurung. Primary forest accounts for 18.9 million hectares of Indonesias total 46.8 million hectares of forests and already 14.3 million hectares of these 18.9 million hectares have been destroyed. (Sapto Pradityo Tempo News Room)