Jakarta Globe, March 15, 2013
Eight cabinet ministers and the heads of four state institutions on Monday signed a joint action agreement concerning the management of Indonesia’s forests.
The signing of the accord took place in the presence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono at the State Palace. The heads of the Home Affairs Ministry, the Justice and Human Rights Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the Forestry Ministry, the Public Works Ministry, the Environment Ministry and the National Development Planning Commission were all in attendance.
The signatories from state institutions were from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), which initiated the pact, the National Land Agency, the Geospatial Information Agency and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).
Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who heads the Presidential Unit for Development, Supervision and Oversight (UKP4), also signed on as a witness.
“The KPK is conscious that prevention is just as important as action, and it sees the forestry sector as becoming increasingly important,” KPK chairman Abraham Samad said at the occasion.
He noted that forests are being illegally exploited, and that sometimes the subject of their utilization leads to instances of corruption. The KPK, he stated, has conducted a detailed study on the supervision of Indonesia’s forestry sector.
Samad noted that forests cover 128,225,145 hectares in Indonesia, or 70 percent of the country’s surface, but the remaining land was becoming increasingly insufficient to support the nation”s fast-growing population.
“With the signing of this agreement, a joint commitment — especially to forestry — is being built,” Samad said.
The pact is expected to lead to a working program and a mechanism to monitor and evaluate Indonesia’s forestry sector.
In his speech at the occasion, Yudhoyono expressed his appreciation of the KPK’s initiative and called on ministers to abide by the agreement at both the central and local governmental levels.
“I hope that with the signing, this memorandum of understanding is really implemented not only at the ministerial level, but across the whole of Indonesia,” Yudhoyono said.
He demanded that the chairman of the KPK and the head of the UKP4 intensively monitor the implementation of the agreement.***