Palangka Raya, C Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has continued to bolster forest management units to boost the economy and protect forest areas from several damaging threats ranging from logging to fires.

"Forest management units have been formed to improve forest governance in Indonesia to improve institutional order in forest management," the ministry’s acting director general of sustainable forest management, Agus Justianto, said.

He made the statement during a working visit to Pulang Pisau district, Central Kalimantan, on Wednesday.

Giving an example, he said that in Central Kalimantan, there are forest management units in production forest and protected forest areas. As many as 32 forest management units have already undertaken long-term forest planning.

He informed that the Gerbang Barito Sembilan forest management group in Central Kalimantan is responsible for managing peatlands and also runs forest fire control programs.

"They created a forest fire-aware community and provide education budget for peatland management," he said.

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The forest management unit also produces non-wood products, such as purun (Lepironia articulata) for straws.

Another non-wood forest product is compost blocks made from leaves. Compost blocks contain nutrients that plants need, store water, and can be used on extreme land.

"The raw materials are all from nature and do not use plastic or grow bags, are free from Escherichia coli and Salmonella bacteria, and contain microbes that can make the soil fertile," he informed.

In addition to compost and straws, the community-based forest management unit also farms kelulut (stingless bee) honey in Tuwung village, Pulang Pisau district.

The village can produce 15 liters of kelulut honey per month, which is priced at Rp25 thousand (around US$1.59) per 100 milliliters. The honey is marketed in several regions.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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