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Jakarta Post

"Where are the trees?," Jokowi slams green programs

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Sun, December 10, 2017   /   05:45 pm
President Joko Widodo takes part in a tree-planting ceremony. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has criticized greening and land-restoration programs that he described as purely decorative without concrete follow-up action.

“For years we have conducted monotone acts without any change. The budget [for tree planting] at the Environment and Forestry ministry is big but where are the trees? Where is the greenery? Who can show it to me?,” said the President during his speech marking Indonesian Tree Planting Day and the 2017 National Tree Planting Month in Karangasem village, Gunungkidul regency, Yogyakarta on Saturday.

He quipped that every year there were expensive ceremonial tree-planting events for 1 million trees, which, if executed properly, would see Indonesia swamped by trees.

“Tree saplings 30 centimeters tall are planted with no funding for maintenance, how can they survive?” he said.

Replanting programs must not only involve tree-planting activities, Jokowi said, but also intensive maintenance processes to preserve and boost the growth.

Meanwhile, Environment and Forestry Ministry Siti Nurbaya Bakar said this year’s commemoration aimed at inviting all parties to join hands in forest and land management.

With around 3,000 farmers living in the village, there were 45,000 fruit, teak and acacia saplings on 15 hectares of land, which was also the habitat of long-tailed macaques, she said.

The government would also provide 50 million of trees to support the program of 25 trees planted for each citizen per year. The program has so far seen 2.7 million trees planted on 5,463 ha of land across the archipelago, Siti added. (rin)