Indonesia: Government allocates Rp320 billion for river basin reforestation

Antara 17 Mar 17;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has allocated some Rp320 billion (US$23.9 million) from the disaster management reserve funds for reforestation program along the river basin areas in West Java and West Nusa Tenggara provinces.

Chief of the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei stated that the government would speed up reforestation of river basin areas to avert natural disasters that have increased during 2016.

"The vice president has demanded the implementation of the program immediately, as this is an emergency situation. We have agreed to take some Rp320 billion from disaster management reserve funds ," Willem said after a meeting on river basin reforestation in West Java and West Nusa Tenggara here on Thursday.

Of the total funds, some Rp62.9 billion would be allocated for river basin reforestation in West Nusa Tenggara and the remaining would be used for a similar program in West Java.

The program is scheduled to begin in April, Willem noted.

The program would include changing the cultivation pattern in the slopes area, development of supporting facilities such as water, and land conservation facility.

In 2016, BNPB had recorded 2,384 natural disaster events, an increase from 1,732 events recorded in 2015.

Deteriorating environmental conditions have become a major cause of natural disasters.

"In this case, we are focusing on reforestation of the land in West Java and West Nusa Tenggara, including the river basin areas. The vice president has instructed such program to be implemented throughout the country," Willem remarked.

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya asserted that the ministry has entered its final stage of reforestation of Cimanuk and Citarum upper stream river basins, as well as river basins in West Nusa Tenggara.

"We will have conventional planting and seedling, as well as aerial seedling in the forest areas," she said.(*)

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