Minister asks NGOs not to discredit their own country
Pelalawan, Riau (ANTARA News) - Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan has asked Indonesian non-governmental organization activists not discredit their own country abroad and thus disrupt the country`s business development.
"We ask for the NGOs` cooperation to jointly settle any problem that arises. Do not denigrate your own country abroad," he said after inspecting an acacia nursery of PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper in Pelalawan, Riau, Sumatra on Thursday.
The minister made the statement in response to NGO activists who have often used peat land forests in the Kampar peninsula for a negative campaign abroad against the government and the private business sector with regard to environmental preservation.
The fact is there are a lot of wise ways the NGOs could take to tackle the problem such as jointly discussing it with the government and the companies concerned.
Regarding the 671,125 hectares of forests in the Kampar region in Pelalawan and Siak districts in Riau he said the government had already declared the region as a production forest management unit (KPHP).
"So later we will provide a football filed in the Kampar Peninsula KPHP for discussing rules for and the implementation of the region`s management," he said.
The minister said that according to him besmirching an own country was not patriotic in the midst of current global competition in all sectors including pulp and paper industry.
The dispute over peat land management in Kampar is still going on between the government, private business and NGO activists.
NGO activists says the government should not have issued a license to exploit the region as it has more than three meter deep peat layer which is a rich carbon reserve.
On November 12, 2009 Greenpeace activists used Kampar as its location for environment campaign ahead of the climate change conference in Copenhagen Denmark. They repeated their action on July 15, 2010.(*)