"We have only six forest affairs staffers and one forest ranger to monitor state forests of 121,661 hectares covering six districts. This shortage of forest personnel has made us always unable to capture forest encroachers," said Rosman.
The biggest cause of destruction of forest areas is illegal tin mining , Rosman said. To date, Central Bangka district could only rely on police to help in dealing with forest encroachment cases and therefore it needed a sufficient number of forest rangers.
Rosman emphasized that the destruction of the forests had so far covered up to 50 percent of the 121,661 hectares.
Central Bangka Forestry Office head Ali Imron said that he was trying to convince the people living nearby the forest areas of the importance of the forests. Those people were among the closest to the forest areas and could be asked to help with keeping the forests preserved.
"The people must take a role in helping the government to keep the forest preserved by preventing encroachers from destroying the forest," Imron added.
In addition to personnel shortage, the difficult factors in arresting forest encroachers in Central Bangka regency areas is the fact that the encroachers have their own secret roads to flee from being captured.
The Forestry Office has been concerned should the big trees at Bukit Pading cut down by encroachers its to hold water may diminish and cause water shortage at Sadap waterfall which running the turbine of the power plant to produce electricity of the village.(*)