An economist from Indonesian New Guinea has been named Indonesia’s environment minister, reports the Jakarta Globe.
Balthasar Kambuaya was appointed environment minister after last week’s cabinet shakeup by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Kambuaya, currently the rector of Cendrawasih University in Jayapura, the capital of Papua, is not known to have much background in environmental protection or resources management. The Jakarta Globe said environmentalists weren’t sure whether he would be a more productive minister than his predecessor, Gusti Muhammad Hatta, who was largely judged as ineffective at enforcing environmental law in the face of a strong forestry lobby and rampant corruption.
All figures in hectares
“He faces a huge challenge proving to civil society groups like ours that the job is just about management, as he says,” Berry Nahdian Furqan, executive director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), told the Jakarta Globe.
“We’ll see about that. We want to know what his programs for his first 100 days in office are, but right now we still can’t see what his plans are.”
Kambuaya is just the indigenous Papuan in the President’s cabinet.
Indonesian New Guinea contains the largest chunk of Indonesia’s remaining rainforests.