Professor of Forestry of IPB: Forest Fires Cases Must be Prosecuted in a Comprehensive Manner

One of the Professor chair holders of  the Faculty of Forestry, Bogor Agricultural University (Fahutan IPB), Prof.Dr.Ir. Bambang Hero Saharjo, M.Agr will present his scientific oration on Saturday, 28 February 2015, tomorrow. His scientific oration will be on "Bukti Ilmiah dalam Penegakan Hukum Kasus Kebakaran Hutan dan Lahan dengan Pendekatan Multidoor (=Scientific Evidence for Law Enforcement in the case of forest fires by Multidoor Approach)". During his press conference held at the Campus IPB Baranangsiang, on Thursday, 26 February 2015, Prof. Hero explained that had carried  research projects on forest fires in Indonesia.

According to Prof. Hero, forest fires have become a long established practice in Indonesia, a plunge into the dark history and extremely painful, and cause endless cycle fire. Such situation was based on limited SPOT imagery that revealed the number of hot spots have never declined of  over the past five years, and it was coupled with the significantly increasing number of hotspots in several Southeast Asian countries. 

The haze generated from this year’s forest fires has indicated that the use of fire as a land clearing method has been adopted by farmers, large plantation companies and forest-plantation management. Whether they are being practiced by farmers themselves or companies employees, however forest fires are now regular events and are likely to become more severe in the immediate future. 

Yet, such situation unable to convince and cause the officials of the government aware on the impacts of forest fire, as it will  become problem not only on domestic affair but also affects Indonesia’s reputation in other countries. It shouldn’t be tolerated. So far, it is the lower level people who have been charged to counteract the growing risk of wildland fire outbreaks, they will sentenced and charged for criminals, But estate crop companies that proved to practice fire they are proud of  as being proven innocent. 

For example was the case of PT. Adei Plantation & Industry (Malaysia). The company was caught as it utilized fires to clear  40 acres of forest area for plantation. As penalties based on the criminal justice policy, the company was  sentenced one year in prison and 15 billion Rupiahs fine. When PT. National Sago Plantation (PT. NSP) adopted fires to clear three thousand acres of lands, and caused losses amounted to Rupiah 1.04 trillion, it was proved innocent (corporation was found guilty, but the director was set free) and it was only got Rupiah two billion fined. "This happens because the judges and juries of the case do not aware on  environment problem," said Prof. Hero. 

Therefore, according to him, scientific evidence is really required to charge forest fires cases. Proving scientifically forest fire cases using the scientific data and facts, scientific method, and the results must be based by the results of the laboratory analysis. This proof must be done also by experts who really have the competence as an expert land and forest fires.

It is said, the majority of forest crimes occur due to corruption of the parties concerned. While the setting of the criminal law and criminal procedure in the Forestry Act has several limitations. Among other evidence set out in the Forestry Law is still very conventional, and yet they do not accommodate any records. 

Sanction of criminal law only to the extent forestry prison and fines, not including recovery. Meanwhile, the provision of corporate criminal offense is still limited, only being targeted for the management of legal entities and enterprises, and no revocation of legal entity and so forth.

"Cross-Sector Standardization Effort is needed to combat forest fire,  it means using a variety of legislation and cumulative or known by the term multi door. Forest crimes are almost always accompanied by money laundering, bribery, graft, tax evasion and environmental crime. That is why various laws should be used to ensure that the crimes are prosecuted in a comprehensive manner, "he said. (Wied).








Published Date : 02-Mar-2015

Resource Person : Prof.Dr.Ir. Bambang Hero Saharjo, M.Agr. Guru Besar Tetap Fakultas Kehutanan Institut Pertanian Bogor (Fahutan IPB)

Keyword : ipb