ban pleases environmentalists but upsets pulp industry
Rendi A. Witular,
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
plan to temporarily ban logging in natural forests has
been praised by environmentalists but upsets industry
players who fear the policy will have a big impact on
of Forestry is reportedly drafting a decree on the logging
moratorium's details following the issuance of governmental
regulation No. 34/2004 on June 8, which authorizes the
ministry to impose the moratorium.
support the plan as it will protect our forests, which
have suffered major damage in the past," Agus Purnomo,
director executive of World Wild Fund (WWF) for the Jakarta
branch, told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.
that the new policy was not aimed at hurting forestry-based
businesses, but at forcing them to take more care of the
environment in their operations.
regulation emphasizes the use of wood from forest estates
as raw material for the businesses," said Agus.
having been given concessions for large industrial timber
estates (HTI) timber and pulp factories prefer to take
their raw material from natural forests rather than planting
trees on their concessions.
has thus far allowed the practice to continue by providing
them with logging licenses (IPKS).
businesses take their raw material from natural forests
because it is much cheaper than buying logs grown on timber
estates or than the expenses they would incur to develop
forests on their concessions.
would not be affected by the moratorium if they had developed
their forests long ago and had not heavily relied on natural
have developed forest estates before setting up factories,"
Based on joint
research by WWF and the Center for International Forestry
Research (CIFOR), of the 120 million cubic meters of logs
used by the pulp industry during 1988-2000, only 10 percent
was harvested from forest estates.
the Office of the State Minister of the Environment show
the rate of deforestation in the country reaches between
two million and 2.4 million hectares a year.
of the Pulp and Paper Association, Kahar Haryopuspito,
said the logging moratorium would deal a heavy blow to
the industry as it would result in a shortage of raw material.
is a serious threat to the industry. And this is deplorable
given the fact that world demand for pulp increases each
year, and the pulp industry has handsomely contributed
to the country's foreign exchange earnings," said
Despite the economic
crisis, the country's pulp and paper industry has progressed
well over the past five years. Exports of pulp and paper
products reached US$3.5 billion in 2000, up from $2.7
billion in the previous year. Some 60 percent of the industry's
output is exported, while 40 percent is sold at home.
industry analyst Gatot Ibnusantosa warned that if the
government realized its moratorium plan, the country's
pulp and paper output could fall this year.
will, of course, have a severe impact on the industry.
The industry will have to reduce its capacity or even
import raw material, which will render their products
uncompetitive against those produced in other countries,"
Gatot added that
the government should find a solution that would protect
the businesses as well as the country's forests.
if the government wanted the pulp industry players to
rely on forest estates, the government should facilitate
licensing for forest estates," he said.