Forestry Ministry to review cooperation with foreign agencies

Indonesia will reconsider its cooperation with the World Wild Fund (WWF) and other foreign agencies for their failure to help manage the country`s forests effectively, according to Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan.

After inaugurating an online licensing service facility here on Wednesday, the minister pointed out that the condition of forests jointly managed by the government and foreign agencies was worsening.

For instance, Zulkifli said, illegal logging was still taking place at the Gunung Leuser national park in Nangroe Aceh Daroesalam province and there was rampant deforestation at the Teso Nilo national park.

“Therefore, we will have to review such cooperation efforts,” he explained.

As a result of mismanagement of such forests, Zulkifli noted, the government must bear the cost of reforestation. 

“Although plenty of funds have come from abroad, we will still come under fire for what has happened,” he said.

Zulkifli revealed that he would soon visit the Teso Nilo national park to resolve problems relating to nomadic farming there.

He stated that the forestry ministry was making sincere efforts to peacefully relocate the nomadic farmers living in the national park.

“We have replaced repressive measures with a welfare approach. Therefore, it is impossible to force the nomadic farmers to leave the national park. We are trying to find areas outside the national park to resettle them,” Zulkifli said.

According to Landsat image analysis, 46,960 hectares of carbon-rich forests have in the past decade disappeared at the national park, which is home to elephants, tigers, and various other exotic animals.

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