TEMPO Interactive, Bengkulu:The Bengkulu branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has condemned the Bengkulu Provincial Government’s plan to convert 99.272 hectares of forest in Bengkulu into plantations.
Walhi Bengkulu director Zenzi Suhadi said on Monday that the areas to be converted included the Taman Buruh Semidang Bukit Kabu, Sanggul Hill in Seluma regency and the Mandara protected forest.
The Bengkulu Forestry and Plantation Office chief, Chairil Burhan, said the Bengkulu’s forests only cover 46,54 percent of the total province area. If it is converted, Bengkulu will have 41 percent of forests. There are 38 points that have been recommended to the Forestry Department to be studied before the conversion.
PHESI ESTER YULIKAWATI