Forestry Minister Disappointed By US Actor Harrison Ford


Forestry minister Zulkifli Hasan has expressed his disappointment over US actor Harrison Ford’s behaviour during an interview on Monday.

Harrison Ford came to the Ministry of Forestry that day to interview the minister for his documentary film on global warming that also depicts pictures of a number of forests in Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan and Riau.

In a press conference, after the interview, the minister said the US actor viewed that Indonesian forests had been severely damaged, national parks encroached and actors behind them were not caught while permit for ecosystem restoration has not been issued.

“I understand the American man just came here to see Tesso Nilo (national park in Riau) and wanted violators to be caught the same day. It was not easy to explain it to him. He was very emotional. His temper was high during the interview. I could understand his love for the fauna, the environment and the rain forests in Indonesia,” he said.

He said he had explained to Ford that the settlement of forest problems in Indonesia was done in stages. No force is used against the encroachers but it is done by improving their welfare by providing them with land for them to farm.

“The time was very short. I was only given an opportunity to speak one or two words during the interview. Discussion should have been done before so that there would be understanding despite the differences. I was immediately given a make-up and then acted for the interview,” he said.

Zulkifli said he was not afraid if the result of the interview would be used to discredit Indonesia.

“Now people are free. If they are not allowed to cover it they could seek materials from other sources. We are not covering up anything,” he said.

Regarding newsmen’s disappointment over their failure to interview Harrison Ford despite almost three hours of waiting the minister said that “we have signed a contract that Ford would not give any statement or a press statement.” reporting by Subagyo.

Beside had a meeting with Forestry Minister, Harrison Ford also met with Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

In the interview, the president explained about Indonesia’s seriousness to preserve and save the environment, forest and sea, as well as efforts to address climate change.

Filed under: The Nation

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