YOGYAKARTA-The role of the private sector in the management of conservation areas in Indonesia is still considered minimal. About 20 trillion rupiah of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) fund collected from employers is also still small to be used in the management of the conservation areas. Going forward, the existence of Indonesia Conservation Foundation working independently and professionally in managing CSR is needed.
"Although we have been much assisted through the National Budget, NGOs, the World Bank, etc., but still we’re short of budget to manage the conservation areas," Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Forestry, Ir. Darori, M.M. said, in Partnership Workshop: Private Sector’s Participation in the Management of Conservation Areas, held by Faculty of Forestry at Hotel Hyatt Regency of Yogyakarta on Thursday (28/7).
The workshop attended by investors, bureaucrats, academicians, practitioners and observers of the management of this conservation area lasted for two days, 28-29 July 2011. The event which was also attended by Dean of Faculty of Forestry, Prof. Dr. Ir. Mochammad Na'iem, M.Agr.Sc., was opened by Vice Rector for Alumni and Business Development, Prof. Ir. Atyanto Dharoko, M. Phil., Ph.D.
Darori added that budgetary constraint of the government for the management of conservation areas will directly impact the effectiveness of management of the areas. He admitted that though there are many protected areas appointed, the management in the field has not been effective because of limited funding, quality, and human resource of managers and inadequate supporting facilities and infrastructure of management. Indonesia has allocated 27.2 million hectares of conservation areas consisting of 521 units. "The new government was able to budget funds amounting to USD 2.35 per ha in 2006, while at the same year the U.S. government has budgeted EUR 76.12 per hectare of conservation areas," he added.
Meanwhile, representative of Commission IV of the House of Representatives, Herman Khaeron in the event, assessed the management of conservation areas is complicated. Herman emphasized the importance of the supervision which should be tightened, especially by central government so that damage to the conservation areas will not happen.
Herman explained that the House so far has also played role in the management of conservation areas, namely through the additional budget. The budget increased from year to year. In 2012, the government together with the Parliament has prepared a budget of 1.5 trillion rupiah. Herman also hoped that the government together with private parties would not only promote economic function, but also ecological and social functions in the management of conservation areas. "In 2006, the new budget reached 600 billion rupiah. Well, in 2012 we prepared 1.5 trillion rupiah and averagely the amount rises every year," Herman said.
Prof. Dr. Ir. Chafid Fandeli, M.S, lecturer of Forest Resources Conservation Division, said that the meaning of privatization of conservation areas should cover several things, namely all functions and benefits of regions must be assured in good condition, provide welfare for the community, provide economic value to improve the quality of the regions, and give contribution to development. Chafid also mentioned the privatization of National Park as one of conservations of area. Up to now, the National Park is an area being called as basket of benefits, which has not been fully known and explored. "The National Park is a conservation area which has an important role in maintaining the existence of ecosystems with its biodiversity, becoming representation of particular ecotype," Professor of Forestry Faculty of UGM said.
Related to the role of the private sector in conservation area management, David Makes as CEO of Sustainable Management suggested the existence of some obstacles. They are among others, the overlapping between central and local government and burdensome 'double' levies. "Sometimes with the passing of regional autonomy, there are overlapping rules between central and local governments. In fact, the conservation of areas is the authority of central government, moreover, when we talk of levies that are burdensome," David said.