Updated: 05/20/2014 22:21

Challenges facing Indonesia in sustainable development

The Indonesian government has explained why sustainable development remains a challenge - a factor that has led to the annual haze. 

At the first Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources, Special Staff to the President for Climate Change, Agus Purnomo said Indonesia's poor have not enjoyed the same rate of economic growth as the middle and upper class. 

Also, he said it's necessary to consolidate the authorities on the ground - where the forest fire hotspots are - with the agencies in Jakarta. 

"Managing landscapes requires every sector that influences the land management to be involved in the decision making. Such cross-sector coordination is easier said than done."

When it comes to land management and land use permits, the incentives for small and medium enterprises are limited, and interconnectivity between small and medium enterprises and bigger companies is not encouraged. 

This could be a problem as nearly half of palm oil palm plantations are owned by small and medium holders. 

But Mr Purnomo added that there's no silver bullet to prevent the fires or haze. 

He said what's needed is the active participation of the private sector and non-government entities.

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