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  Antara 31 Aug 06
Forest land in Indonesia may be reduced to 10 % by 2020

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Forested land in Indonesia would be reduced to 10 % by 2020, a forestry ministry official said here.

The director of forest protection and examination, Noor Hidayat, said it was predicted that by 2020 the country`s forests would cover only 10 % of land.

He said "following the implementation of regional autonomy the authority to issue forestry licenses is in the hands of district heads who often do not implement it correctly making it frequently being exploited by certain parties affecting forest sustainability."

He said out of 120.35 million hectares of forests, at present around 59.6 million hectares had been damaged and could not function optimally.

He said the high rate of deforestation followed the increasing illegal loggings, conversion of forest land, forest destruction and forest fires.

"If the activities continue our forestland will be smaller and its effect will be on various sectors," he said.

He said his office had taken various efforts to reduce the rate of deforestation such as fighting illegal logging and campaigning about the importance of managing the forests sustainably.

"We have also developed industrial forests to promote sustainable forest management efforts," he said. (*)

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