JAKARTA (Jakarta Post): The forestry ministry plans to have 1,500 elite forest rangers by 2009 to protect forests from illegal logging.
Forestry Minister MS Kaban said his office would also procure speed boats and firearms and train rangers on how to use them.
He spoke at the inauguration ceremony of 300 rangers in Sukabumi, West Java on Wednesday.
He said "floating ranger stations" would also be set up.
Currently there are nearly 900 elite forest rangers divided into 11 brigades.
National Police chief Gen. Sutanto said Thursday that illegal logging activities had significantly decreased in recent years.
Logging syndicates had long benefited at the expense of the country's public wealth and the fight against them wasn't over, he assured