The government plans to set up an illegal logging prevention and eradication coordinating board (BKP3L) to synergize related government institutions in the fight against illegal logging.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, after a hearing with the House of Representatives` Commission IV to discuss a Bill on Illegal Logging Prevention and Eradication, here, Monday evening (Feb. 7), said the new body would be led by the legal affairs coordinating minister, and the executive chairman will be the forestry minister.

The government in the Bill proposed the setting up of the coordinating board to synergize anti-illegal logging efforts which have so far carried out by the police, attorney general office, the corruption eradication commission (KPK), and a special task force, the minister said.

Local governments would also be involved in the planned coordinating board, he said.

The Parliament had suggested an establishment of a commission on illegal logging, but the government preferred to set up a coordinating board, he said.

The bill would cover not only illegal cutting and theft of trees, but also forest encroachment.

The Bill suggests that those involved in illegal logging activities be sentenced at least three months or 20 years maximally.

Local residents who are used to cut trees illegally should be given light sentences, while companies or those financing the illegal logging activities should be punished four years minimally and 20 years maximally, the minister explained.

Illegal logging activities have come a transnational crime and its modes of operation have been sophisticated, the minister said.

Indonesia`s forests have been degraded due to rampant illegal logging activities, according to the forestry minister.

Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan last year had said the forestry sector would be a net sinker capable of absorbing up to 0.89 giga tons of CO2 by 2020.

Indonesia is one of the first developing nations to have pledged a voluntary CO2 emissions cut by 26 percent by 2020 using funds from its own state budget, and by 41 percent, if developed nations give financial support for the purpose.