Ministry releases West Kalimantan's 6,901 ha of protected forest area

Ministry releases West Kalimantan's 6,901 ha of protected forest area

An archive photo: forest fire in West Kalimantan Province. ANTARA PHOTO/Jessica Helena Wuysang/16

We have received a decree from the LHK minister pertaining to the release of protected forest areas
Sekadau, W Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The Environmental Affairs and Forestry (LHK) Ministry officially issued a decree (SK) on releasing 6,901 hectares of protected forest area, or 69,011,965 square meters, in Sekadau District, West Kalimantan Province.

"We have good news. We have received a decree from the LHK minister pertaining to the release of protected forest areas," Sekadau District Head Rupinus stated here on Thursday.

The LHK minister’s decree is a follow up to a proposal submitted by the Sekadau district government several years ago and also a follow up of an event held at the Tugulis Untan Monument in Pontianak in September 2019 when President Joko Widodo handed over a decree on land distribution to the local people, he noted.

In accordance with LHK Ministerial Decree Number 25 / MENLHK / SETJEN / PLA.2 / 6/2020, the government releases a total of 69,011,962 square meters of protected forests located in Mount Naming - Lubuk Lintang - Gunung Burung, Gunung Biwa, Gunung Tinjil Limited Production Forests, Buayan River, Kenyabur River, and Mount Tinjil Permanent Production Forest - Buayan River, Kenyabur River, Betung Mountain, Jabai Mountain, Sekayam River, and Mengkiang River, among others.

The release of protected forest area is conducted through the change of Forest Area boundaries for land resources for the Agrarian Reform Project to help the rural community groups in Menawai Tekam Village, Merbang Village, Semadu Village, Mengaret Village, Sebetung Village, Sungai Antu Hulu Village, Sungai Tapah Village, Terduk Dampak Village, Cenayan Village, Karang Betung Village, Landau Apin Village, Lembah Beringin Village, Sebabas Village, Teluk Kebau Village, Tembaga Village, Tembesu Village, Lubuk Tajau Village, Meragun Village, Nanga Engkulun Village, Pantok, Senanga Village, Tapang Tingang Village, Seberang Kapuas Village, Semabi Village, Seraras Village, in Belitang Hilir Sub-district, Belitang Hulu Sub-district, Nanga Mahap Sub-district, Nanga Taman Sub-district, and Sekadau Hilir Sud-district, in Sekadau District.

In the near future, the village heads will be invited in Pontianak for the symbolic handover of land from President Joko Widodo through videoconferencing, he stated.

Sekadau is West Kalimantan’s only district to receive land that was initially part of the protected forest area, he pointed out.

Rupinus is optimistic that the community would stand to benefit from the LHK minister's decision to convert the protected forest area into a non-protected one.

"The names of all villages (receiving the land) are listed. It is expected to benefit the community, either for settlements, plantations, or farming," he remarked.

The Sekadau district head spoke of his plan to soon coordinate with the National Land Agency to prioritize the issuance of free certificates for the newly converted land.

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