Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Paper industries allowed to use wood from natural forests

01/10/09 00:48

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Forestry Ministry will allow pulp and paper industries to use wood from natural forests if supply from timber estates (HTI) is not available due to their development problems in the past two years.

"It is not impossible for the policy for pulp and paper industries to use wood from natural forests to be extended," Forestry Minister MS Kaban said here on Friday.

The forestry minister had earlier issued a decree banning pulp and paper industries to use wood from natural forests.

Based on the decree HTI companies linked with pulp and paper industry are required to finish planting their areas in 2009 by the latest.

However, Minister Ka'ban said in the past two years several HTI companies had been suspected of conducting illegal logging and as a result many companies had been afraid of being suspected of doing it making them to delay their planting and industrial forest development activity.

"Plants that have to be harvested after six to seven years were cut earlier and as a result stocks of tree stand in the HTI companies are irregular," he said.

The minister did not mention time limit for the use of wood from natural forests saying "it depends upon their respective annual plan."

In addition to the facility the minister urged the companies to immediately finish planting their areas moreover the illegal logging case has now been dealt with by the police.

He reminded that the obligation to conduct timber estate management had to be done six months after the license was given by the latest.

For those who are late, the government may revoke their license, he said adding that timber estate planting also had to be done with respect to principles of sustainable forest management.

The Forestry Ministry expects until 2009 a total of five million hectares of timber estates could be created. Until the end of 2008 realization of the forest development reached 4.3 millin hectares.

At present a total 222 units of timber estate companies have been recorded operating on a 9.807 million hectares of land consisting of 164 companies with a definitive license operating on 7.1 million hectares, 26 units on 2.03 million hectares with a reserve license and the rest 32 units on 300,000 hectares for transmigration programs. (*)


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