Gov’t Committed to Environmental Conservation
The Government has renewed commitment to environmental preservation with three Draft Government Regulations (RPPs) for the environmental and forestry sectors being prepared as implementing regulations of the Job Creation Law.
According to Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, the Job Creation Law will further ensure the sustainability of the Social Forestry Program the Government has initiated since 2007.
He also said the program has benefited communities living nearby state forests and customary forests, adding that the economy of forest communities has seen an increase thanks to the program.
“If it is managed in a cluster, then we will support it with the People’s Business Credit (KUR) and followed by assistance, the resulting products will have high competitiveness, and hopefully they can be exported,” he said, Friday (11/12),
Airlangga also pointed out that the social forestry program has provided new work space for around 800-900 thousand heads of families (KK), adding that in the Job Creation Law, social forestry-based community economic empowerment is regulated for the improvement of the national economy.
With the discussion on social forestry, the Government, he said, expressed hope that the welfare of the community around the forest area will improve, while still considering the balance between the environment and existing socio-cultural dynamics.
The Minister further said that the impact of the social forestry program on the surrounding communities is divided into three parts:
First, economic impact since it indirectly provides new jobs to the community. Based on statistical data, there are around 800 thousand households that already have access to forest management income.
Second, social impact. People no longer feel anxious because they can legally manage forest areas. The Job Creation Law is also expected to to reduce inequality of forest control between the wider community and corporations.
Third, environmental impact. With the legal institutionalization of the Government, the surrounding community cannot clear land by burning or by illegal logging which disturbs forest sustainability.
The communities also no longer consider forest land management as a side business, but instead a major business on a large enough scale which will certainly increase community income, he said.
Furthermore, investment in forests in the Job Creation Law applies the principles of environmental conservation, he added.
With the inclusion of social forestry in this Law, the Government, he added, opens up investment for the wider community, but it must still be in the corridor of environmental preservation. (Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs PR/UN) (MUR/EP)