TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya said that the government would boost economic growth of people living near forests. She said that the move is in line with the Nawa Cita (nine priority programs) that was initiated by President Joko Widodo.
Besides, Siti said that in Indonesia, there are 35,000 villages located near forests and there are around 40 million people living those villages. Unfortunately, she added, 10 million of them are categorized as poor people.
Several programs that are being considered by the government among others the social forestry program and the marginal group rescue program, she added.
She went on to say that the government would boost infrastructures by always taking into account the sustainability of natural resources.
In the meantime, Chairman of HuMa, a non-governmental institution, Chalid Muhammad said that the government’s paradigm about economic growth must be changed first.
According to Chalid, previously, corporates were considered as the main supported of economic growth; now, however, those living near forests must begin to be considered as those supporting the growth. He also asked related ministries to facilitate them in developing the economy.
Besides, he added that the number of villages located near forests constitute half of the total villages in the country.