Greenpeace Indonesia staged a rally at the Environment Ministry on Thursday, demanding Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta speed up law enforcement against violators to avoid further environmental damage.
Greenpeace also handed over evidence on environmental violations by palm oil plantations and pulp and paper companies, which they said damaged forests in Kalimantan, Sumatra and Papua.
“We hope the ministry accelerates the implementation of the environment law to improve the country’s environmental condition,” Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest political campaigner Yuyun Indradi said.
It was the first rally held at the ministry since Gusti took office last year. Gusti had left the ministry an hour before the Greenpeace rally, saying he had to accompany Vice President Boediono.
The 2009 Environment Law gives strong mandates to the ministry, including arresting violators of the law, in order to protect the environment. But the law remains ineffective with no government regulations issued to implement it.