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Jakarta Post

Kalla promises to prepare regulations on land governance

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, September 28, 2015   /  01:45 pm
Kalla promises to prepare regulations on land governance

Tough issues: Vice President Jusuf Kalla discusses green development issues with representatives of 10 Indonesian civil society groups on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27. (Courtesy of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development/INFID)

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the government would improve Indonesia'€™s land governance by halting the issuance of permits for converting natural forests into industrial forests.

Such measures, he said, needed to be conducted concerning the impact of forest damage, which had continued to grow at an alarming rate.

He asserted that the government had prepared a regulation to stop the opening of plantation land.

'€œThere will be no more new land to boost production. There must be no more exploitation of peat land," said Kalla. He was speaking during a meeting with representatives of 10 civil society organizations on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27.

Kalla said he had conveyed the government'€™s plan to businesspeople, members of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). The Vice President also encouraged all Indonesian businessmen to change their paradigm in carrying out their business activities. To boost their production, he said, the country'€™s businesspeople should push forward a land intensification measure instead of expanding the amount of land they are using.

'€œThe current haze disaster is proof of a land governance problem we are facing. Forests have been destroyed while peat land is converted,'€ said Kalla.

He further said the government would be tougher and more careful in making decisions on its next development policies.

'€œWe [Indonesia] have made mistakes in three policies areas, namely on forestry, coal and palm oil sectors. This should not happen again in the future,'€ said Kalla.

Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) executive director Abetnego Tarigan said Kalla'€™s idea on the need for Indonesia to leave its land-based economic policy was the right choice as extensive environmental damage would decrease the quality of the country'€™s economic growth in the future.

'€œMoreover, state revenues from the land-based economic sector have continued to decrease due to poor handling of environmental damage and heavy burdens of environmental recovery efforts, such as the haze problems, which have been occurring for the past 15 years,'€ said Abetnego.

He said goal 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a 15-year global development program, adopted in the 2015 Sustainable Development Summit in New York on Friday, had asked all UN member countries to protect, recover and promote the use of the terrestrial ecosystem.

'€œThe government has been called on to manage forests in a sustainable way, to combat decertification, to prevent and recover land degradation and to halt the loss of biodiversity,'€ said Abetnego.

Citing the latest data, he said the deforestation rate in Indonesia had reached 1.1 million hectares per year. (ebf)

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