Today the area of forest Exploitation Rights (HPH) totaled 26 million hectares. “we just lock it up” 26 million hectares is enough and there will be no new permit for HPH. The HPH in effect today is operational and HPH holders are asked to exercise Intensive Silviculture so the productivity of forest as wood resource can be maintained without expanding timber area” Minister of Forest Zulkifli Hasan was quoted as saying.
Intensive Silviculture means replanting of trees amids timber areas. Cleared areas are immediately filled with local tree I,e. Merbabu, Meranti, Ulin etc. a big company had practiced this Silin and was evidently successful. HPH right is only permitted for restoration, i.e. to embark on a forest already damaged to be rehabilitated.
Primary forest and peatland may no longer be developed. This could mean that the government ignore economic growth for the sake of environmental conversation. “there are still 12 million hectares of neglected land without trees grown. Every investor who need expansive land like palm plantations or industrial forests are driven to idle or neglected land” the minister said.
Besides there was still Conversion Production Forest (HPK) which were convertible. According to the law, HPK may be released by the Ministry of forestry for cultivation projects. “ I will be very selective about releasing HPK. If a certain forest area is damaged and treeless, they would be released. But if the forest is thick I will defend it in spite of HPK status. Kindly find neglected land and do not disturb green forests” the minister said.
The ministry of forest also support government’s effort to be self supporting in food. They admitted that the gowing population needed more food but the present condition of land was not spacious enough to accommodate growing agro industry for food. Therefore agriculture needed additional space for food plantation; for that matter plantation projects were being developed like the Merauke Integrated Food Estate and Energy (MIFEE).
Of the total space of 1.3 million ha requested by the ministry of Agriculture, only 600,00 ha can be procured by the ministry of forestry. All of the expanse of land to be released are cleared land (treeless lend) so investors who will enter need not to cut any tree.” I hope that the investors who plan to build suigarcane plantations and sugar mills quickly realize their projects. There are 40.000 ha of land suitable and ready for use as sugarcane plantations. We support the idea to make Merauke as national rice barn” the minister remarked.
In regard to Papua, according to the minister of forestry, there were 19 investors who were interested in using land for industrial forest, palm plantations of sugarcane plantations but when they were driven to exploited ex HPH land they stepped back. This indicated that in fact they were simply going after woods, because what there demanded was freshly green forested land, and were not interested in used land. Zulkifli was highly expectant that the companies who remained would realize their investment projects. “to remain in used land indicates that investors are serious about running business in the line of business they choosed and not going after woods” he said.