An archive photo: forest fire in West Kalimantan Province. ANTARA PHOTO/Jessica Helena Wuysang/16
The Environmental Affairs and Forestry (LHK) Ministry officially issued a decree (SK) on releasing 6,901 hectares of protected forest area, or 69,011,965 square meters, in Sekadau District, West Kalimantan Province.
"We have good news. We have received a decree from the LHK minister pertaining to the release of protected forest areas," Sekadau District Head Rupinus stated in Sekadau, W Kalimantan on Thursday.
The LHK minister’s decree is a follow up to a proposal submitted by the Sekadau district government several years ago and also a follow up of an event held at the Tugulis Untan Monument in Pontianak in September 2019 when President Joko Widodo handed over a decree on land distribution to the local people, he noted.
In accordance with LHK Ministerial Decree Number 25 / MENLHK / SETJEN / PLA.2 / 6/2020, the government releases a total of 69,011,962 square meters of protected forests located in Mount Naming - Lubuk Lintang - Gunung Burung, Gunung Biwa, Gunung Tinjil Limited Production Forests, Buayan River, Kenyabur River, and Mount Tinjil Permanent Production Forest - Buayan River, Kenyabur River, Betung Mountain, Jabai Mountain, Sekayam River, and Mengkiang River.
In the near future, the village heads will be invited in Pontianak for the symbolic handover of land from President Joko Widodo through videoconferencing, he stated.
Sekadau is West Kalimantan’s only district to receive land that was initially part of the protected forest area, he pointed out.
Rupinus is optimistic that the community would stand to benefit from the LHK minister's decision to convert the protected forest area into a non-protected one.
"The names of all villages (receiving the land) are listed. It is expected to benefit the community, either for settlements, plantations, or farming," he remarked.
The Sekadau district head spoke of his plan to soon coordinate with the National Land Agency to prioritize the issuance of free certificates for the newly converted land. (ANTARA)