BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Recently, in COP Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, President Joko Widodo stated that the rate of deforestation in Indonesia fell significantly, even reaching the lowest percentage in the last 20 years.
Based on data from Forest Watch Indonesia, since 2017, deforestation has indeed shown a downward trend. However, it was not because of government intervention, but because forest resources have been depleted, such as in Sumatera and Java. Meanwhile, in areas that have extensive forests, especially in the eastern region, there has been an increase.
The unbalanced data of deforestation in Indonesia is also conveyed by Vice Chairman of DPP Himpunan Kerukunan Tani Indonesia (HKTI) Ir. H. Doddy Imron Cholid, M.S, in the discussion entitled ‘Deforestasi untuk Pembangunan, Demi Kebaikan atau Kekuasaan?’ held by Himpunan Mahasiswa Administrasi Publik, FISIP, Universitas Pasundan, on Tuesday, 21 December 2021.
He connected this deforestation issue with the Agrarian Reform policy which is predicted to facilitate the rearrangement or restructuring of ownership, control, and use of agrarian resources, especially for the benefit of farmers, farm workers and society.
“Is this deforestation really for the purpose of Agrarian Reform which refers to the welfare of the people? Or just to serve investors? With the big theme of improving people’s welfare, the distribution of land that will be released as land for the object of Agrarian Reform is even more raising the issue of deforestation and forest destruction,” he said.
Agrarian Reform is feared to increase the number of poverty and unemployment in rural areas because people are increasingly losing access to land. In addition, agrarian conflicts have also emerged, in the form of land disputes, increasing large-scale land tenure, as well as overlapping spatial plans.
Doddy said the condition of land cover in Indonesia consisted of land forest areas (terrestrial) covering an area of 120 million hectares or about 70 percent. While an area of 70 million hectares or about 30 percent is Other Use Areas (Areal Penggunaan Lain, APL).
“From this area, there is an imbalance in the structure of land tenure, in which 70 percent is controlled by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), 10 percent of private legal entities, 16 percent of individuals, 4 percent of farmers or smallholders, and 0 percent of farm workers,” he said.
Governor (term used for calling highest position in the student association) of Hima-AP Muhammad Fauzi said that deforestation was brought up as the theme of the discussion considering that land use change is often not in accordance with existing procedures. The government also seems not to consider the possible impact felt by the surrounding community. He is worried that the deforestation carried out by the government is only for the sake of investors without considering the community.
“It is as like as the case of land conversion for rock mining in Desa Wadas, Purworeja. The community defends their land because their livelihood comes from gardening and farming. If it is converted to the mining industry, the community will lose their source of income,” he said.
In line with the urgency of the problem of deforestation, Hima-AP through the Field of Study, Action and Strategic (Bidang Kajian, Aksi dan Strategis) plans to implement a program of planting 1,000 standing trees in disaster-prone areas caused by illegal deforestation. So far, Hima-AP is still conducting research on the targeted villages
“Students have role as agent of change and social control. Do not let deforestation become a field for investors and put the community aside. We will continue to criticize and monitor who the forest will be given to. For investors, what has the government given to the community and the extent to which they have acted,” he concluded. (Reta)*