Ministry employs 5,000 preachers to preserve forests
The Forestry Ministry will dispatch 5,000 Muslim preachers in its latest move to campaign against forest destruction, citing the rampant case of illegal logging involving local communities.
“Our forests don’t go up in flames on their own, but are intentionally burned because there is this tradition of burning the land after harvest and before planting, which has now also affected forest areas,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said Sunday in Yogyakarta.
He was speaking during the national working meeting of the propagation assembly of the central executive board of Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah.
The minister called on the Muslim scholars to support the campaign against forest burning, as well as to promote forest preservation and reforestation efforts.
The 5,000 Muslim preachers are being recruited from a number of Muslim organizations. They will be given relevant trainings and will be paid about Rp 2 million (US$234) per month.
The program is set to begin later this year and last throughout 2012.
Muhammadiyah propagation assembly committee head Agus Sukoco said 95 Muhammadiyah preachers were ready to participate in the program, tempointeraktif.com reported.