Forestry Ministry Warns Concession Holders of Possible Revocation
The Forestry Ministry might revoke up to 22 forest concessions if the holders fail to file their operational work plans by Aug. 3, an official has said.
Awriya Ibrahim, the director of natural forest operations, said on Tuesday that the ministry has approved the 22 concessions last year, but had warned the holders that they could lose their rights if they did not meet all requirements, including filing a work plan.
The concession holders, he said, had to file an operational working plan based on the guidelines of the Periodical Comprehensive Forest Inventory (IHMB), which provides information on the forestry product potential of their concessions, including the number of trees, and the state assets involved.
“There are a lot of concession holders who are causing problems and ignoring the requirements for trees prior to and after logging,” Awriya said.
The ministry revoked two concessions, covering a total of 105,600 hectares, in the first half of the year. It has also sent warning letters to 40 additional concession holders.
“The Forestry Ministry will issue zero logging quotas for concession holders who have not submitted their operational work plans based on the IHMB,” Awriya said.
He added that because of the warnings and actions that have been taken, wood production from natural forests this year might only reach five million cubic meters, 8 percent less than last year’s production of 5.77 million cubic meters.
“This might be a concern because it could increase the pressure to raise wood production,” Arwiya said.
But he defended the ministry’s actions, saying they were necessary to make sure concession holders toed the line on regulations. He said that for this year, the ministry was forecasting wood production from natural forests and timber estates to reach 9.1 million cubic meters. It expects that number to be eight million cubic meters next year before jumping to 10 million cubic meters the following year.
The bulk of the production is expected to come from East and Central Kalimatan, as well as from Papua and West Papua.
He said that based on the IHMB concessions, total wood production could reach 13 million cubic meters a year, but the government preferred the lower figure of 9.1 million as “our policy is to prioritize the planting and safeguarding of existing forests.”
The production targets, however, have not been reached in the past few years. In 2010 and 2011, the targets were also set at around 9.1 million cubic meters but actual production was closer to four million cubic meters.
Awriya did not say why the targets were not met.