Outrages of the environmental protection organizations due to the enactment of Presidential Regulation Number 28 Year 2011 is validly understandable. It is about the Utilization of Conserved Forest for Underground Mining which creates may allow companies to mine in protected forests without decent waste management and proper ecosystem rehabilitation plan. The president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself has vowed to both sustain the environment and eradicate poverty in his speech in Forests Indonesia Conference 2011 from which the major question can be deliberated: Is allowing conserved forest to be used for underground mining more of an economical priority or can a profound environmental protection be obtained from it?
Conserved forest, as the name implies, is a forest which has the function to support lives in terms of water, flood, erosion, sea-water intrusion and soil fertility control. It should be conserved to support the lives of other living beings in which some of them may not survive if these forests are damaged due to the loss of their functions. Furthermore, they should not be used for economical purposes in any way, as they serve a very vital function of preserving lives. If in any circumstances it must be used for economical purposes, the conducts must be carried out in a very careful manner regulated by stern regulations in order to prevent any harm.
Presidential Regulation Number 28 Year 2001 regarding utilization of conserved forest for underground mining has not fulfilled these requirements as it does not contain a detailed prescription as to the strict sanctions that companies will receive if they do not comply to the regulation and how they should restore the forests as a whole aside from replanting trees after their mining activities are ended. Consequently, it creates a gray area in which possibilities of harming the environment become widen as companies are not strictly warned. Thus as a conclusion I would like to say that Presidential Regulation Number 28 Year 2011 is more of an economic disguise rather than provision of more protection towards the environment, as it has not provided strict sanctions and powerful regulations in the operation of underground mining in conserved forests.