East Kalimantan Needs More Forest Rangers

East Kalimantan Needs More Forest Rangers (KOMPAS.COM/RAHMAT RAHMAN PATTY)

The number of forest rangers in East Kalimantan is very small. East Kalimantan has forests with an area of approximately 6.5 million hectares. Sadly, there are less than 100 forest rangers on duty there.

This was conveyed by the Head of the East Kalimantan Provincial Forestry Service, Joko Istanto. He said, “Our current number of Polhut is inadequate, but we have never complained. And with around 55 Forest Police, we are still dedicated to the country for the sake of sustainable forests,” he said, quoted, Tuesday (27/12/2022).

Joko stated that the number should be one to 5,000 between the forest rangers and the existing forest area.

To overcome the shortage in the number of forest police, continued Joko, his party formed a community of forest police partners and a community concerned with fire to assist the Forest ranger duties at the grassroots level.

“Empowering communities around forest areas is one of the best ways to preserve forests, including cooperating with stakeholders and collaborating with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to work together for operational and other technical activities,” he said.

Joko explained, currently, there are 55 forest police in 20 UPTDs, 1 in Tahura, 17 KPHP (Production Forest Management Units), and 2 KPHL (Protected Forest Management Units) each in regencies and cities throughout East Kalimantan.

“To increase the number of personnel, we have proposed to the Governor through the BKD, including we have also tried to ask the central government for quotas for increasing the number of state civil servants (ASN) for forest ranger in East Kalimantan,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he hopes that all East Kalimantan forest rangers will continue to serve according to their duties and functions in securing forest areas in the East Kalimantan region as part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

As is well known, the task of forest rangers is very important to maintain the sustainability of forests in East Kalimantan. This is because forest fires often occur. the small number of forest rangers will have an impact on the prevention of fires that occur.