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Land Rehabilitation to be Strengthened

The budget of the Directorate General of Watershed Control and Protection Forests of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in the 2019 State Budget is Rp. 3.51 trillion,  increased more than twice compared to the last year’s budget. Reflecting on the achievements of rehabilitating forests and critical land until 2018, which reached only 788,083 hectares of the target of 5.5 million ha, the location of planting needs to be expanded in the area of social forestry permits.

The forest and land rehabilitation program (RHL) cannot target the social forestry permit areas because there is a Government Regulation (PP) Number 76 of 2008 concerning Forest Rehabilitation and Reclamation. The regulation prohibits the rehabilitation of forests in areas with management rights, utilization permits, and forest use permits.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry as the party in charge of RHL can take advantage of the moment of revision of Government Regulation No. 35/2002 concerning the Reforestation Fund by including social forestry schemes in the application of RHL.

“We encourage (reforestation funds) to be utilized for social forestry which in essence is RHL itself. It can improve the welfare of the people,” said Bejo Untung, Program Manager for the Regional Study and Information Center, Sunday (1/6/2019), in Jakarta.

He, along with a number of community organizations in the Civil Society Coalition for Fund Optimization Funds related to Reforestation Results has requested RHL with open spatial data. In addition, it is also necessary to empower citizens to further decide on types of plants along with the treatments.

According to Bejo, the 2019 State Budget Act allows reforestation funds to be utilized for RHL, land-fire handling and social forestry. The Minister of Finance issued a Minister of Finance Decree Number 230/2017 so that reforestation funds could be used for social forestry.

According to Muayat AM, Chair of the Working Group on Agrarian Reform and Social Forestry, granting RHL an access to the areas of social forestry permit makes RHL sustainable. It is because site-level management institutions, such as cooperatives holding social forestry permits or rights, are responsible for maintaining plants from rehabilitation measures.

Source: Kompas

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