Indonesia: Social forests managed by cooperatives should be expanded - President Jokowi

Antara 28 Nov 16;

Tuban (ANTARA News) - Tree planting for social forests, managed by both private parties and cooperatives, need to be explored more, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said.

"Let us not give large concessions entirely to corporations, if it could be beneficial for the people, then by any means, go for it," President Jokowi said during the commemoration event of National Tree Planting Day and National Planting Month in Tasikharjo village, Tuban, East Java, on Monday.

When corporations fail to pass on the benefits to the public, then social forest management concessions will be given to cooperatives or private entities, Jokowi further said.

"I believe that this model can be followed and I will be sure to check it. We hope that it could be a good model to be explored in other provinces and regions," he stated.

The government will support programs that incorporate farmers, fisherman and cooperatives in managing large-scaled economic schemes, he continued.

"I would like to incorporate farmers, fisherman and cooperatives, and without a model involving them it would be challenging for small entities to grow. It needs to be done on a large economic scale," he remarked.

He also advised his ministers to support the program so that they receive the tangible economic benefits and improve the economic movement.

"I have warned the cooperatives minister to involve the cooperatives, and I have also said to the maritime and fisheries minister to incorporate fishermen. The same goes for the agriculture minister whom I have advised to incorporate farmers," he reiterated.

He will keep an eye on the program and it will be evaluated in the next 3 to 4 months to a year, the president assured.

If the evaluation shows positive results in a way that it affects the economy, it will then be implemented in other cities and provinces in Indonesia.

Tree planting in Tasikharjo village, involving the Green Earth Endowment Producers Cooperative, need to be followed by other parties, the president said.

"I see this as a well initiated format and I will continue to follow its progress, because there is an environmental value to it, but on the other side, there is also a community value and that can also be beneficial for the peoples economy," he stated.

Every month people can obtain earnings from maintaining the trees and again during harvest season, he explained.

"This is the kind of Pancasila (five ideologies) oriented economic processes that we would like to explore more," he concluded.

(Reported by Joko Susilo/Uu.KR-ARC/INE/KR-BSR/A014)