Omnibus Law Erases Requirement to Preserve 30 Percent Forest Areas



Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe requirement to preserve a minimum of 30 percent forest areas mentioned in the Forestry Law (UU Kehutanan) has now been erased in its latest amendment that came with the omnibus job creation law. 

    The legal requirement was initially established under the late B.J. Habibie presidency but now has been erased in the omnibus law proposed under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration. 

    In addition to the removal of 30 percent minimum requirement, the authority to control forest preservation aspect will now be governed under a government regulation (PP), a regulation which tier is lower compared to a Law (Undang-Undang).

    The requirement was initially signed by President B.J. Habibie on September 30, 1999, under Article 18 of Law No.41/1999. Five years later, the law underwent several changes under Megawati Soekarnoputri's presidency. Despite the changes, the 30 percent forest areas minimum requirement remains intact. 

    The provision was initially established to preserve the natural balance. However, lawmakers creating the omnibus law claimed that such a restriction is no longer relevant with the current developments considering that in Java Island alone, the forest areas are already less than 30 percent.

    Despite facing rejections from several House of Representatives' factions, the omnibus law's final draft bill officially erased the 30 percent restriction.