President Jokowi: Social, Customary Forests Should be Productively Managed
Holders of forest and land management rights from the Government should utilize them for productive activities, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said.
“I will continue to check to ensure that the lands are really used for productive activities, not neglected, but continues to be developed. So that it has great benefits for our economy, for the people’s economy,” the President said during his remarks at the handover of Decrees on Customary Forest, Social Forestry, and Land Objects for Agrarian Reform (TORA), at the State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday (07/01).
President Jokowi also ordered that the issuance of decrees is followed up by assistance to the community.
“Once again, it is not enough to just issue them. The business aspects should also be formulated. So, after all of you receive these decrees, they should be used for productive economic activities that are also environmentally friendly,” the President said.
The holders of the decrees, President Jokowi said, are urged to plant productive crops in accordance with the characteristics of the economic value in each region. In addition, the holder communities are also urged to develop various businesses, such as agroforestry, ecotourism, agrosilvopastoral system, bioenergy, and non-timber forest products business.
“Nowadays, many are planting, be it sengon (Paraserianthes falcataria), albizia, or acacia, plant them all, but it must be calculated which one is more profitable, calculate it,” the President stated.
The Head of State also ordered related ministries such as Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises and Ministry of Villages and Development of Disadvantaged Areas and Transmigration to help the community in terms of access to capital, either via KUR (Smallholder Business Credit) or Village Funds.
“We have increased the budget ceiling for the KUR to Rp190 trillion, the interest has also been reduced to 6 percent per year. In my opinion, this should be very visible, very possible,” the President added.
The President also stated that the local governments should also provide assistance to existing business groups on matters ranging from management to technology.
“I think if these methods are implemented, we will be able to reap huge benefits at some point in the future,” the President said.
In addition, the President also called for consolidated and integrated policy breakthroughs between ministries, central, provincial, and regency/municipal governments. The goal is for the social forestry program to have a significant impact on economic equality and economic justice for the people, without disturbing the function of forests and their ecosystems. “The forests can be maintained and the people can also get the benefits,” he said.
The President reminded that the management rights should not be transferred.
On the occasion, 2,929 Social Forestry Decrees throughout the country were handed over with an area of 3.442 million hectares. In addition, 35 Customary Forest Decrees covering an area of 37,500 hectares and 58 TORA Decrees covering an area of 72 thousand hectares were also handed over in 17 provinces. (TGH/UN) (FI/LW)