YOGYAKARTA - UGM Faculty of Forestry insists that strengthening forest management is needed as a key to sustainable forest management, because the rate of forest destruction in Indonesia is quite high, reaching 1.08 million hectares per year. Weak forest management is predicted due to the poor management of forest resources since the implementation of regional autonomy. "Many cases in the field such as regional autonomy which is not accompanied by the professionalism of local forest managers and the interests of practical politics," Dean of Faculty of Forestry, Prof. Dr. Ir. Mochammad Na'iem, M.Agr.Sc., said to reporters on Thursday (13/10). The statement was made in the framework of the 48th Grand Reunion of the Faculty.
Na'iem said that today the government has not expressly determined the areas of protected forest that should not be destroyed or converted. In fact, the rate of 120 million hectares as areal extents are not entirely in accordance with the real fact as more and more forest areas are converted to settlement and mining. "If we still claim that our forest area is about 120 million hectares, the total area should not be changed. The fact is now, the forest is disrupted by the (plantations) oil palm, transmigration and mining," Na'iem said.
Na'iem said that the forestry sector is still limited to a contested political commodity by some authorities and businessmen for the sake of temporary power. Meanwhile, in accordance with the mandate of Pancasila and Constitution of 1945, forest resources must be properly managed and utilized optimally for nation’s welfare and prosperity. "It is time for forest management to be established as a key to sustainable forest," he said.
UGM forest management researcher, Dr. Senawi, M.P, said that the rate of forest destruction is caused by the fact that all regions proposed spatial changes for plantations and settlements. By the reason of population increase, regions ask for forest management changes. "We are reviewing changes in forest areas that serve as settlements and plantations. Our recommendation is forest area should not be disrupted anymore," the reviewer of this national forest team said.
He further explained from the result of the team’s assessment it is known that nearly half of Indonesia's forests are in damaged condition, including the ecosystems that live in it.
The grand reunion of UGM Faculty of Forestry in 2011 is planned to take place in Wanagama educational forest, Gunungkidul, on Saturday (15/10). The event will hear speeches from Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, S.E, M.M, and Mayor of Surakarta, Ir. Djoko Widodo. Along with the event, Wanagama will be launched as a center of excellence for forest rehabilitation development to improve quality of life.