Antara News, Sunday, June 6, 2010 03:46 WIB
Mamuju, W Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Companies holding concession rights to exploit forests are the enemy of protected forests in West Sulawesi`s Mamuju district, a local government official said.
Mamuju District Chief Suhardi Duka said here Saturday he was "traumatized" by the destructive acts of those companies against protected forests in the region.
"The 300,000 hectares of protected forests that Mamuju district still has must be preserved. Don`t destroy these forests," he said.
A number of companies holding concession rights had destroyed protected forests in Mamuju district. As a result, people often suffered by flooding, he said.
"Their destructive acts have caused the frequent flooding. We are all traumatized," he said.
To preserve the district`s protected forests, Duka said he would firmly reject any company`s request for a license to operate in the forestry field in the region,
"If the companies want to benefit, they can do so by managing limited production forest areas, not protected forest areas," he said.
In Mamuju district, the companies holding concession rights were PT Rante Mario, PT Inhutani, PT Hayam Wuruk, PT Malakawa, PT Palapi Timber, PT Sampaga Utama Sakti, PT Maskumbangan, and PT Intan Pertama, he said.
Meanwhile, in commemorating World Environment Day on Saturday, tens of university students in Tembilahan, Indragiri Hilir district, Riau Province, gave tree seedlings to local people.
The activists of Indragiri Islamic State University`s Nature Loving Student Brigade also staged a theatrical performance and raised a banner reminding the people of the need to preserve nature.
The students asked the government to take care of people living near forests by improving their welfare for the sake of forest preservation.