Indonesia's Forestry Ministry says it will teach 5,000 Muslim preachers how to preserve the country's forests.
The move is Indonesia's latest step in a campaign against forest destruction, worsened by rampant logging activities by local communities, the Jakarta Post reported Sunday.
"Our forests don't go up in flames on their own, but are intentionally burned because there is this tradition of burning the land after harvest and before planting, which has now also affected forest areas," Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said Sunday during the national working meeting of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization.
Hasan called on Muslim scholars to support Indonesia's preservation and reforestation efforts.
The 5,000 ministers will be recruited from several Muslim organizations and will be given training and will be paid about $243 monthly, the Post said.
The program is set to start later this year and will run through 2012.