Green judges

Published: Thursday 15 August 2002

-- With a view to arm the judiciary to combat environmental destruction, Indonesia has decided to train judges and prosecutors. At the end of the exercise, the government hopes the judges would be competent enough to handle eco-issues more effectively.

"Indonesian law is extremely weak, while environmental problems are complex. We will train 12 judges and 12 prosecutors on environment issues," revealed Indonesian environment minister Nabiel Makarim after meeting President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Makarim added that he would take the advice of other institutions before forming an agenda for the training. The move appears ironical as Indonesia's rain forests have been ravaged for years by over-logging - mostly with government approval. Moreover, though Indonesia ratified a forestry law in 1999, it has failed to prevent large-scale tree felling in the country.

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