Illegal logging costing the country 60 trillion rupiah annually

Tempo Interactive – December 2, 2004
Illegal logging in Indonesia (Tribune)
Illegal logging in Indonesia (Tribune)

Pekanbaru-RoL – The Minister of Forestry, H. MS Kaban, says that level of illegal logging in Indonesia is resulting in financial losses to the state amounting to 60 trillion rupiah per year

Kaban revealed this during a workshop on the elimination of illegal logging in Pekanbaru in Riau province on Thursday. Moreover, every year the theft of timber is reducing forest cover in Indonesia by 2.8 million hectares.

For example he said, if 30 cubic metres of wood is taken then multiplied by 2.8 million hectares it means that around 72 million cubic metres of timber is being lost. Meanwhile the state budget it only acknowledges the felling of 5.7 [million] cubic metres annually.

“If we use the calculation of 30 cubic metres then the money which is lost as a result of these activities is just under 80 billion rupiah per year. In fact Indonesia’s losses from this have reached 60 trillion rupiah per year”, said the minister.

This data he continued, only calculates the removal of timber and does not yet take account of the loss of flora and fauna as well as rare plants which are located in Indonesia’s forests.

He also revealed that if this illegal logging continues within the next 25 years Indonesia will not have any natural forests left. According to 2002 estimates that there are only 55 million hectares of natural forest remaining. “If illegal logging continues to deplete the forests in Indonesia, in 25 more years Indonesia will not have any natural forests”, said Kaban. ant/aih

Translators note:

To put this figure in perspective, at the current price of oil on the world market, the government is budgeting 59.3 trillion rupiah for fuel subsidies which it says it can no longer afford. It is of course common knowledge that government officials, the police and military are heavily involved in illegal timber smuggling.

[Translated by James Balowski.]