Gunungkidul - Minister of Forestry of Indonesia, Ir. Zulkifli Hasan, said the government will encourage the production of plantation forest in the management of production forests, as well as to reduce the threat of natural forest habitat disruption and the dependence on natural forest timber. He said this year production of Indonesia's forests only reached 50 million cubic meters per year and about 60% of which came from plantation forests. "China has managed to produce 150 million cubic of plantation forest per year. If we are serious and devoted, in 20 years we can produce more than that," said the Minister on the sidelines of the Wanagama Forest inauguration as the leading center of forest rehabilitation. The event took place at Wanagama Forest, Gunungkidul, Saturday (15/10).
To increase forest production, Ministry of Forestry will cooperate with Universities to assist in applying technology for the plantation forest cultivation, such as sangon wood, mahogany and meranti. According to the Minister, the production capacity of plantation forest reaches 10-18 times compared to natural forests. Thus, it takes only 10 million hectares of land for plantation forest development. Unfortunately, the owners of the Forest Management Right have not been using the forest plantations optimally. "Currently the permission for chop down trees is tight," he said.
Plantation forest production program aims to increase the number of jobs and improve the economy of communities living around the forest areas. "There are 38 thousand of villages near the forest areas," he said.
Specifically to increase the production of plantation forest and forest rehabilitation, the Minister of Forestry will ask the regions and the Forest Management Right holder to gain experience from the management of Wanagama forests that since 1964 has successfully been rehabilitating forests in Gunung Kidul. "If Korea has successfully greened the country, we only managed to green the Wanagama," he added.
Answering reporters' questions in relation to the removal of Indonesia and Malaysia borders conducted by residents in Kalimantan, Minister of Forestry says it is caused by the well-being factor. "It is economic reasons that make our citizens move the markers," he said.
To improve the economy of people living in border areas, the government has set up a special body. "We are optimistic that in 10-15 years, our economy will be better than Malaysia," he added.
Recognized by the Minister of Forestry, the removal of border markers only happens in Borneo. In Papua and NTT it does not happen because the economy of Indonesian citizens who live on the border are much better compared to those of the neighboring countries, such as Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea.
Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Prof. Dr. Ir Moch Nai'em, said with the inauguration of Wanagama as the pilot of forest rehabilitation center of excellence, it is expected to encourage UGM alumni foresters to implement similar efforts in the regions. "Hopefully, it can motivate alumni all over Indonesia to work even better in the future," he said.