Ministry invests in seedlings for the future
City News – March 15, 2007

A student (photo) plants one of the seedlings donated by the Forestry Ministry on Wednesday to farmers and community members in Megamendung, Bogor.

The ministry is aiming to increase the forested area on Java, particularly West Java where the percentage of forested land area has dropped from 30 to 18 percent.

Forestry Minister MS Kaban said the hilly areas of Puncak in Bogor should be clear from buildings.

“The land is God’s. If an official built a villa without obtaining a building permit they must now go about arranging one.”

The minister said district and subdistrict heads should think twice before issuing permits that violated building codes, because their actions could lead to disaster.

He said they should not feel pressured to give high-ranking officials building permits because the situation in Puncak was critical.

“There are a lot of people with economic power who cause considerable environmental damage,” Kaban said.

Megamendung subdistrict secretary Resnaldi Yushab said local authorities, farmers and other residents would monitor the growth of the seedlings.

–JP/Theresia Sufa