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Jakarta Post

Ministry employs clerics to preserve forests

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Mon, July 18 2011   /  08:00 am

JAKARTA: The Forestry Ministry will dispatch 5,000 Muslim clerics in its latest move to campaign against deforestation, citing widespread cases of illegal logging by local communities.

“Our forests don’t go up in flames on their own, but are intentionally burned because there is a tradition of burning the land after the harvest and before planting, which now also affects 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.

Zulfikli called on Muslim scholars to support the campaign against forest burning, as well as to promote forest preservation and reforestation efforts.

The 5,000 clerics are being recruited from a number of Muslim organizations. They will ...