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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ecotourism Business No Need Amdal Permit

Investor now can develop a conservation forest into an ecotourism destination without carrying out a study on its impact on the environment, as a part of the government's latest policy to relax bureaucracy. The decision was made when many conservation forests were converted into palm oil plantation or mining field, as had occurred in Kalimantan - Indonesia.

Forestry Ministry and State Environment Ministry agreed to revise the 1990 government regulation on tourism in an effort to lure investors to develop ecotourism across the country. The revised government regulation is due this month. There will be no asphalt roads and cement buildings in the ecotourism sites.

The permits to transform the conservation forest into ecotourist sites were issued by the Forestry Ministry. The authority to issue the Amdal document, which was aimed to assess whether activities could harm the environment, lies with the State Environment Ministry. The assessment from the Deputy for spatial planning at the State Environment Ministry state that ecotourism would not harm the environment and will no air pollution on site. There is no significant impact and that's why being agreed to drop Amdal requirement.

Almost all forested provinces in the country have suffered annual floods in the wet season and water crisis in the dry season. Experts blamed the problem on poor forest management. The 1990 regulation stipulates the ecotourist sites be developed by cooperatives, individuals, the private sector or the government with a total renting period of 30 years.

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