Indonesia will need 7 years to stop illegal logging
November 16, 2007
Indonesia will take seven years to stop illegal logging and deforestation, said the country’s minister of forestry.
“We are committed, we have a replanting program and we are proposing a law,” minister Malam Sambat Kaban told Bloomberg in an interview in Jakarta. “We hope by 2014 the natural forest will not be disturbed.”
Kaban said the forestry ministry is seeking additional powers to find, arrest, and prosecute illegal loggers. Indonesia currently loses $3 billion to illegal logging each year and is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases due to deforestation and ecosystem degradation.
Illegal logging in Indonesia has been difficult to control due to rampant corruption and competing interests between the central and provincial governments. Poor monitoring and lack of enforcement mean few offenders are caught and even fewer are prosecuted: the Environmental Investigation Agency says that of the 186 suspects arrested for illegal logging in the past two years, 13 have been sentenced.
Still environmentalists are hopeful that the December climate meeting in Bali could provide financial incentives for preserving Indonesia’s forests for the carbon they store. By some estimates, carbon credits for “avoided deforestation” could generate hundreds of millions in tax revenue for Indonesia.