Indonesia: Paris forum raises forest fires in Indonesia

Antara 6 Dec 15;

Paris (ANTARA News) - The Global Forum Landscape held at the Palais de Congres, Paris, France, on Saturday raised the issue of the fires which burnt two million hectares of forests and created haze in Indonesia.

The forum which was organized by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) was attended by thousands of bureaucrats, researchers, environment activists, students and media representatives.

"The participants raised the forest and land fires which created poisonous smoke and wanted to know the efforts made by the Indonesian government to cope with the issue," Director for Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) Indonesia, Fitrian Ardiansyah said here on Saturday evening.

Fitrian said the Indonesian government needed to use a landscape approache to overcome forest fires that had taken place since the past years.

He said that various countries turned out be successful in using a landscape approach. This could be seen in the The Little Sustainable Landscape Book launched by CIFOR and various environment organizations in the forum.

Fitrian said the landscape approach outlined an area management in an integrated way and involved concerned parties from the government, the private sector to the people.

"Because river basin areas and fires are not confined to the

boundaries, landscape approaches are important to tackle this issue," Fitrian said.

In the meantime, has been striving for the management of forests as the nations productive assets without ignoring environmental conservation at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) being held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.

The Adviser of the Indonesian delegation at COP 21, Christianto Wibisono said in a written statement released on Thursday (Dec 3) that as the lungs of the world, Indonesias forests must be preserved.

But as the owner of the worlds third largest forest cover, Indonesia should also not be banned from exploiting and managing its forests for the sake of its peoples prosperity, he added.

"In principle, we will strive for the management of forests as the nations productive assets by always conserving them," Christianto said.

To that end, there must be explanations about the importance of synergy between ecology and economy to become an issue that Indonesia will raise at the COP 21, he said.

"By doing so, Indonesia will no longer be dictated to by developed nations and non-governmental organizations to use forests under the pretext of environmental conservation," said Christianto, who is also the founder of the Indonesian Business Data Center (PDBI).

He said PDBI is one of the parties proposing the merger of the Forestry Ministry and the Environment Ministry into the Environment and Forestry Ministry with the aim of synergizing ecological and economical dimensions.

Therefore, he added that Indonesia must be able to explain the synergy between the two seemingly contrasting dimensions at COP 21.

"We must not be dictated by any developed nations and NGOs in empowering economic assets. However, Indonesia must be able to serve as a policy maker," he pointed out.

Indonesia has the chance to become the worlds largest palm oil and wood producer and all parties, including domestic NGOs must support the vision.(*)

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