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Jakarta Post

Why forestry is Indonesia's best hope

  • Wimar Witoelar
    Wimar Witoelar

    Founder of Intermatrix Communications, which advises the civil society group Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN)

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 15, 2017   /  09:57 am
Why forestry is Indonesia's best hope Conserving forests: An aerial picture taken by a joint police-military patrol shows piles of woods from alleged illegal logging in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu, a biosphere reserve in Bengkalis, Riau, on Feb. 24. (Antara/FB Anggoro)

Most Indonesians are not generally aware of the real value of our forests. In fact, only the current government has given forests their rightful place in the Cabinet structure, placing it as a function of the environment strategy. As in many developing countries endowed with tropical forests, Indonesia has always seen forests in the perspectives of security. The dense foliage of tropical forests allows concealment of activities that could be sensitive and detrimental to government oversight. Modern satellite technology and sophisticated aerial monitoring have made forests less opaque, but still governments do not feel secure, especially when the forests are in border areas. Forests have been seen as sources of wealth to be allocated to politicians or military officials in return for political loyalty. The situation is changing as electoral democracy takes hold in Indonesia and p...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.