Forest and field fires are a scourge for Indonesian residents and government, and conditions will get worse in the dry season. Some residents on the islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra often face these disasters. Resolving this problem must involve many parties. For that, academics in law programs are required to take an active role.
Secretary to the Directorate General of Environmental and Forestry Law Enforcement, Dr. Sugeng Priyanto, M.Si explained that the role of academics in the forest and field fire cases are minimal. Many cases of environmental crime that are being processed at court are constrained by the lack of expert witnesses present. So, he invited academics from the legal field to be brave and willing to be involved in solving forest and field fire cases in Indonesia.
“Handling environmental crime needs to be multi-disciplinary. Academics rarely become expert witnesses. The role of academics as expert witnesses in cases must have competence and integrity,” he said while filling a national seminar at the Faculty of Law and the Master of Law Sciences at Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), Thursday (13/2) in the Amphitheater Room of the UMY Postgraduate Program Building.
Sugeng also mentioned that there are many kinds of environmental crimes, not only cases of forest and field fires. This includes illegal logging, coastal and marine damage, illegal mining, environmental pollution, illegal wildlife and plant trade, and management of illegal waste. The above cases can cause various disasters, including ecological disaster, state loss, legal certainty and state authority.
Environmental crime is related to politics and social economy. Many parties need to deal with this, “he added.
He hopes that with the active role of academics, the problem of environmental crime can be resolved. Sugeng said that many things can be done by people who are experts in a discipline, such as providing input and solutions through written or written work or being an expert witness at an environmental crime case trial.
“We need to know how to solve forest and field fire cases. Someone should explore environmental law enforcement, because there are still many opportunities and challenges there. We must change our way of thinking from a theoretical campus to a campus with a practical attitude. It takes experience and perseverance to go to the field but that’s what is needed, “concluded Sugeng. (ak)