Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Forest Business Entrepreneurs Association (APHI), Transtoto Handadhari, said that the government lacked in giving certainty for Indonesian forest business entrepreneurs in forest planting. This resulted in the slow planting of HTI. "The government is not providing enough certainty for forest business entrepreneurs, thus slowing efforts for forest plantation development," he said on Tuesday (28/9), in the Faculty of Forestry.
According to Transtoto, the government should give business certainty by allocating lands for plantation forests, establishing consistent rules, and ensuring business protection.
Transtoto added that the development of plantation forests has been blamed for causing deforestation. This is the constraint in the implementation of forest plantation. "Plantation forrest is often criticized as the cause of deforestation, whereas the conversion has beeen carried out on natural forests that have been damaged or no longer productive. Therefore, the government should review which plantation forest zone can be built with silvicultural system so it is free of conflict, "he said on the sidelines of an expert discussion entitled Silviculture System of Plantation Forests in the Faculty of Forestry UGM.
Transtoto said that during this time the development of plantation forests is considered as having low productivity. In fact, timber production from plantation forests is increasing from 1 million cubic meters in 1998 to 21 million cubic meters in 2009. Meanwhile, timber production from natural forests tends to decline, from 16 million cubic meters in 1998 to 5 million cubic meters in 2009.
Furthermore the alumnus of the Faculty of Forestry UGM conveyed, forest plantations will continue to increase production. Increased plantings and production will directly give a significant multiplier effect, such as increasing employment opportunities, increasing prosperity, industrial growth, export growth, and tax revenues as well as foreign exchange. "So, it can be said that the plantation forests are the backbone of the national economy and a guarantee for the nation’s future," he added.
Plantation forest, he added, also has great potentials in carbon trading. Plantation forests are able to absorb carbon five times larger than the other forests. Carbon absorption potential of plantation forests is 3.7 billion tons of CO2, equivalent to 1 billion tons of C (10 years old of acacia on an area of 19.18 ha) and 4.4 billion tons of CO2, equivalent of 1.2 billion tons C (equivalent to 11 years old pine on an area of 19.18 ha). "Seeing the various potentials and constraints, the government should strive hard to encourage the growth of plantation forest so that national forest management will be increasingly independent and can generate the national economy," he said.
Meanwhile, the Director of Plantation Forest Development, Dr. Ir. Bedjo Santosa, M.Si., conveyed that the government remains committed to providing business support and investment in plantation forest development. The realization of that commitment, among others, is the issuance of Presidential Instruction No. 1 Year 2010 by which the targeted allocation of forest production area for new permit is 450 thousand hectares area and the addition of new plants on the existing forest licenses is 450 thousand hectares.