Indonesia’s President has introduced a ban on forest-clearing permits

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  • 19 Aug 2019 12:00 AM
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Indonesia Forest-clearing Ban is Made Permanent, Amid Protests

Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging. The moratorium prohibits the conversion of primary natural forests and peatlands for oil palm, pulpwood and logging concessions. It was introduced in 2011 by then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as part of wider efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. The government says the policy has been effective in slowing deforestation, but environmental activists have opposed the claims, saying that forest loss and fires have increased in areas that qualify for the moratorium.  According to data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the rate of deforestation in areas covered by the licensing ban between 2011 and 2018 is down 38 percent from the seven years prior. Greenpeace has contended this with an analysis of satellite imagery showing that deforestation rates increased in those areas after 2011. The NGO recorded 12,000 square kilometres forest loss during this time.

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