Conservationist Speaks Out About Construction In Harapan Rainforest

Harapan Rainforest photo courtesy of indonesien.um.dk
Harapan Rainforest photo courtesy of indonesien.um.dk

by Jon Afrizal for The Jakarta Post

Conservationist PT Restorasi Ekosistem Konservasi Indonesia (REKI) rejected a plan to build roads for coal trucks that would pass through the Harapan rainforest in Jambi, South Sumatra. It reasoned that the road construction could jeopardize the restoration program currently underway.

“The track construction will cause severance on lines used by animals in the forest,” REKI spokesperson Surya Kusuma said. He also said that another problem that might erupt was it would facilitate illegal logging and would threaten the existence of the Batin IX, local tribe who live within the forest.

He lamented that REKI was not involved in the plan.

“We were in shock when we got invited to attend a meeting with the Forestry Ministry in December 2012 to hear a presentation about the plan,” he said.

He said that REKI had written to the Forestry Minister twice about its rejection but received no response.

“It will raise question about the government’s commitment to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia.”

This story appeared in and is courtesy of The Jakarta Post.

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