Jayapura: Forests in Papua, which cover 42 million hectares, are estimated to be worth US$78 billion, or about Rp 700 trillion, according to Papuan caretaker governor Syamsul Arief Rivai.
Speaking at a meeting with regents and mayors from throughout Papua, in Jayapura on Monday, Syamsul said: “If the forests are managed properly and sustainably, they can produce over 500 million cubic meters of logs per annum.
Monday’s meeting was held as part of the framework of signing changes in the mapping of Papuan forests linked to the province’s spatial planning revision.
Changes in spatial planning are expected to become the best reference in the exploitation of forests aimed at supporting development activities in the area.
“We have to increase our efforts to safeguard the forests from any damaging actions for the sake of future generations,” Syamsul said.
The governor further said that at least 400 villages have been identified as lying in preservation forest areas; over 1,300 villages are situated within producing and conservation forests on the lowlands; and over 600 villages are based in forests about 1,000 meters above sea level.