The Ministry of Forestry says illegal logging, land clearance, forest fires and mining has devastated Indonesian Borneo and cost the country an estimated Rp 311.4 trillion ($36.4 billion).
Raffles Panjaitan, director for forest investigation and protection at the ministry, said an estimated 1,236 mining firms and 537 oil palm plantation companies were operating illegally in Central, East and West Kalimantan on the Indonesian half of Borneo.
The companies had caused losses put at Rp158.5 trillion in Central Kalimantan, Rp 31.5 trillion in East Kalimantan and Rp121.4 trillion in West Kalimantan, he said.
The figures for the number of companies were supplied by district heads and governors.
Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hassan said the names of the companies, including a number of large operations with thousands of hectares of concessions, were not being released because they were still under investigation by the ministry in conjunction with the Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force.
Also involved in the investigation were the AGO and the Environment Ministry, as well as the Corruption Eradication Commission who were investigating alleged abuses by authorities regarding the issuance of licenses.
He said the investigation would take three months.
Antara & JG