President Joko Widodo has criticised forest management in Indonesia that was seen as not having comparable results with the big funding annually.
Forestry Ministry and Forestry Agency, in his opinion, have not produced forests that have conservation functions or being sources for state revenues from forest products.
“How many trillions of funding each year (is available) for Forestry Ministry, but what are the results? Show me which forests are successful. None, except one in Wanagama,” he said during a reunion among Faculty of Forestry UGM alumni in Bulaksumur on Tuesday (19/12) at Faculty of Forestry UGM.
The President later compared the role of forestry sectors in Indonesia and Norway, which he said as having contributed much for the state revenues, which are very high. As a country with fertile lands and sizeable forests, Indonesia has to be able to earn bigger revenues from forestry sector.
“I’ve seen (Norwegian) upstream and downstream business which was done in detail, from tree planting, tree maintenance, logging, all is operated under detailed management. And this is the thing that we haven’t done yet,” he said the President who was attending the event with the First Lady, Iriana, and their youngest son, Kaesang.
While criticising the forest management, ‘Jokowi’ mentioned the Wanagama forest in Gunung Kidul as the model of successful forest management. Wanagama was a barren land that was turned into conservation and education forest under the management of UGM.
“This means that we could actually build forests like Wanagama. Forestry Ministry’s funding is huge, if we don’t build the forests like the Wanagama forest, conservation forests will get damaged and gradually perished,” he said.
In front of the attending lecturers, staff, students, and alumni of Faculty of Forestry, the President asked forestry society to also think about a solution to this problem and give contribution for Indonesia’s forestry resources management.
He proposed an idea for forest management that will involve the society, which is by providing lands for the surrounding society to manage the forest. This is a concept which is being developed by UGM for the management of Forest with Special Purpose (KHDTK) of Getas-Ngandong Areas measuring 10,901 hectares which were provided by the Government for Faculty of Forestry UGM in 2016.
“This has to be the thought of Faculty of Forestry UGM, how an example of upstream to downstream business is done, and society can enjoy the results. Skip the industry, from just the forests we can actually really prosper,” said the President.
After the remarks, ‘Jokowi’ did a tree planting, accompanied by State Secretary, Pratikno, Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister, Muhammad Nasir, Governor of the Province of Yogyakarta Special Region, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Rector of UGM, Panut Mulyono, and Dean of Faculty of Forestry UGM, Budiadi. The tree that he planted was Cendana (Santalum Album Linn), which was critically endangered in the 1990s, but after being introduced at Wanagama forest and further varied and enriched with genetic materials by Faculty of Forestry UGM has now grown well and spread wide.