Prof Basuki Wasis: The Country Loses 30 Thousand Trillion Rupiah Due to Forest Degradation

The world's tropical rain forests only exist in three regions of the world. Namely South America (about 400 million ha/ha) centered on the Amazon River basin, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia (about 250 million ha) and in West Africa (180 million ha) from the Congo River basin to the Gulf of Guyana.

Tropical rainforests are climax ecosystems, containing half the species of flora and fauna worldwide. Tropical rain forests are also dubbed as "the world's largest pharmaceuticals" because almost 1/4 of modern medicines come from plants in tropical rain forests, the best buffers for environmental services (water management/hydroorological functions, absorbing carbon and producing oxygen) and storing very high biodiversity. 

"Based on the results of the 1999 Consensus Forest Use Arrangement (TGHK) in 1999, it is estimated that 50 million ha of natural forest have been degraded. Most of the forest damage is due to illegal logging activities and has caused huge losses to the state and the environment," explained Professor of the Faculty of Forestry and Environment of IPB University, Prof. Basuki Wasis during the Pre Scientific Oration Press Conference, (24/11).

He explained that the interpretation of satellite imagery showed that the rate of natural forest destruction in 1985-1997 was recorded at 1.6 million ha/year, and between 1997 and 2000 it was recorded at 2.8 million ha/year. And in 2000 - 2003 it was getting out of control.

"As a result, materially it has caused state losses of around IDR 30,000 trillion. It is very ironic, the Indonesian state which has such rich natural resources, but in reality many of the country and its people are poor," he added.

Besides that, he added, there has been environmental damage which has caused floods, droughts, fires, emergence of pests and diseases, global warming, landslides and erosion. As a result, the Indonesian people are increasingly miserable.

He explained, to overcome this, the government has issued RI Presidential Instruction Number 4 of 2005 concerning the Eradication of Illegal Logging in Forest Areas and Their Circulation throughout the Republic of Indonesia. It was instructed that all law enforcement officials need to accelerate the eradication of illegal logging in forest areas and its distribution throughout the territory of the Republic of Indonesia.
Meanwhile, he continued, the presence of experts and witnesses could be key in the process of enforcing illegal logging and the environment. These expert witnesses can measure the impact of illegal logging through a process of verification or investigation.
According to him, this is important because the loss or impact of pollution and environmental damage is cross-time, cross-generational, cross-world and global in nature. Thus the expert's statement in the form of scientific evidence (scientific evidence) then proceeds to become legal evidence.

“However, criminalization often occurs in the form of criminal reports and/or civil lawsuits against witnesses and experts. This will endanger environmental law enforcement and other environmental activists. The perpetrators of legal terror must be given severe legal sanctions," he said.

He added that in the future the perpetrators of legal terror must be given severe legal sanctions and large fines. So that law enforcement on forest and environmental damage can run well and without being haunted by fear and anxiety. (Zul)

Published Date : 25-Nov-2022

Resource Person : Prof Basuki Wasis

Keyword : IPB University, Illegal Logging, Professor